The last creatures I built and animated for this two-year project of hope and despair was a dragon and a snake. Which means that the stop-motion part of the film is finally done and finished. Now, only a narration remains to be recorded.
The Dragon was based on the "Sirrush", a pretty mystical creature portrayed on the so-called Ishtar gate, alongside ordinary animals like bulls and lions. The Sirrush has a more than passing resemblance with a dinosaur, but is also furnished with a very snake-like head and clawed paws. Some very enthusiastic researchers have suggested that the Sirrush is in fact, based on observations of live dinosaurs. The bulls and lions of the Ishtar gate are actually rendered in a quite realistic way. Is this also the case with the Sirrush?
The ancient Sirrush has a spearhead pattern of scales, that looks very ornate, but also very functional. I tried to copy it for the skin of the puppet and soon realized what a nightmare it meant trying to invisibly overlap the skin patches. I managed to piece it all together well enough. You can see the seams here, but when the puppet was painted, they pretty much disappeared.
The finished puppet is about two feet long, which is manageble, and allows for quite a bit of detailing.
In the film, the king of the title challenges a herd of Sirrush dragons to show his prowess to the gods. The big creatures, however, are less than impressed by the pipsqueak at their feet.
Now, for the snake. I was so lazy with this very short sequence, I simply sculpted a plasticine snake and animated it. I also animated a pair of gold paper wings for a clip where the snake goes psychedelic and flies away.