Synopsis by Bhob Stewart
This German-made children's fantasy (with English dialogue) employs marionettes from Germany's acclaimed Augsburger Puppet Theatre to tell a tale of lovers in the rodent community beneath the streets of Manhattan. The screenplay was adapted from the children's book by Tor Seidler (Farrar, Straus & Giroux, 1986), illustrated by Fred Marcellino, and expanding on the 1995 short film pilot Monty Spinneratz. The tale focuses on artist Monty Mad-Rat Jr. and politician's daughter Isabella Noble-Rat. Isabella is impressed when Monty takes her on a tour of New York's underground sewers, but her family doesn't want her dating beneath her station. Meanwhile, the "democratcy" is threatened by both rising drain waters and a chemical concocted for a mass extermination of the rat populace. Fortunately, Monty has some magical Mexican shells which could save the situation. Four onscreen performers here (Lauren Hutton, Beverly D'Angelo, Jerry Stiller, Josef Ostendorf) have no strings attached. In Germany, this film opened to a $3 million box office.
artist, puppet [doll], rodents, sewer-system, shells
High Production Values