Monty Python is celebrating the 40th anniversary of Monty Python and the Holy Grail this year and one gift that fans can buy themselves is a fancy new Blu-ray edition of the movie! One of the features on the castle-shaped box set (already enough reason to get it) is the video above, a 14-minute collection of Terry Gilliam’s animation that was cut from the final film. It’s been uncovered after 40 years and is narrated by Gilliam himself, who laments that had this footage only been kept in, Holy Grail would have been a much bigger success. What a damn shame.
Gilliam also shares some insight into his thoughts behind the cartoons, which were inspired by actual drawings that appeared inside of religious texts, historic evidence that monks were probably bored out of their skulls in between services and self-flagellation. He also admits that sometimes, he didn’t “have a clue” what he was thinking for some animations, which makes them all the more magical and inspired. Because that’s the beauty of Monty Python: making something outrageous or silly out of almost nothing.
But there is some benefit to all those cuts: Gilliam also talks about the beauty of editing and how it enables us, the viewing audience, to skip all the stupid work they have to do behind the scenes and spare us from watching the crap in this video. But watch it anyway! Because it’s still the same trippy Gilliam animation we’ve grown to love.