That Day In January we celebrated Burns Night as usual with haggis, tats, neeps and whiskey but not a reading from Robbie's work, which for some reason always remains on the shelf. I'm not sure why. Perhaps sharing a surname is enough for us. I was only reminded of this at the other end of the year when attending the Museum Association conference and visiting the stand of Spiral Productions who produce digital media for exhibitions and museums, including this superb animation of Tam o'Shanter for the Robert Burns Birthplace Museum in Alloway, Scotland. Narrated in full voice by the actor Brian Cox (though I would of course like to hear a Professor Brian Cox version), it reminds me of Ralph Bakshi's animated version of Lord of the Rings, which also mixed silhouettes and animation with live action and didn't stint on the more gruesome aspects of a tale. The images are broad and striking which is presumably what's required in a museum space were to extent they're their own advertisement, enticing the visitor to step over and watch the whole poem all of the way through. The Spiral website has a portfolio of other work produced for the museum including this kids game inspired by the Burns poem.
Tam o'Shanter from Spiral Productions on Vimeo.