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A Tree of Palme 4: Backgrounds

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Palme Climbs a Kooloop Tree
Source: Movie
Layers: 3
No sketches available
Cel Number: A66 END
Oversize, 18W x 21H

Key Cel
End Cel
Book Cel
Original Matching Background

Added 6/16/2008
Updated 3/22/2017
This set-up, from Cut 135, shows Palme in his semi-conscious state at the start of the film, compelled to climb up the grotesque kooloop tree growing beside his home by the static electricity that it's attracting. Seeing the danger, his creator tells Baron, their pet "crowsnake" (another otherworldly creation something like a flying lizard) to go up and try to stop him. Here Baron seems to be on top of Palme's head, ineffectually trying to halt him or push him back down.


This set of images was among the most damaged items in the "messy midden" that I acquired in June 2008. It was missing the bottom (background) layer, so I imaged the two book layers and the cel on top of a piece of art paper that was similar in color to the tan desert sky in other scenes.

The bottom "Book 1" layer was originally a watercolor on paper, about 18.5 x 13 in., with the branches of the tree carefully trimmed out and mounted on plastic. The artist then added some blue "moss" on the front of the plastic. The "Book 2" layer, which was painted on the front of the acetate sheet, was much larger, about 21 x 18 inches, the same size as the cel. Both these layers were intended to move diagonally across the "Book 1" layer (and the background) during the cut, creating an illusion of changing perspectives and depth.

Sadly, the greater size of these layers exposed them to damage, and the right end of the "Book 2" layer was so badly bashed that it's even torn in one place. (If you look carefully about half way down, you'll see the big jagged rip.)

This set also came with a "Book 5" layer (first thumb) showing another thin forking branch going straight up. From what I can see on the DVD, this layer passes quickly in front of the cel layers from right to left at the start of the cut and was photographed out of focus, adding yet another level of "depth" to the scene. Interestingly, it was painted with the same degree of realism as the other layers.

Actually, this combination of cels never appears in the final released cut: Palme never gets that far up the trunk. This is one of several cuts that were trimmed back during post-production, presumably because of the movie's already lengthy running time. If you click the second thumb, you can see a more detailed view of this "deleted scene" part of the set-up.

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Next: Inside the Canopy of a Kooloop Tree 1    

Curator: 60something-sensei
Gallery Created: 8/3/2002
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