Film ID:
NEFA 20686

JUST SO STORIES: THE CRAB THAT PLAYED WITH THE SEA

1981

Visitor Tabs

Description

An animation by Sheila Graber based upon a story by Rudyard Kipling from the Just So Stories for Little Children series. This film explains the ebb and flow of the tides and how the crab changed from a large animal to a small one.

The film begins with each of the animals featuring in Rudyard Kipling’s Just So Stories appears on screen one by one; the whale, camel, rhino, leopard, armadillo, kangaroo, crab, cat and butterfly.

Title: Just So Stories

Title: By Rudyard Kipling

All the animals fade away leaving the crab who looks at the camera. It closes its eyes and the film changes to a view of planet earth in a starry sky.

The film fades to reveal the Eldest Magician with a long white beard and wearing a long gown and pointed hat both covered in stars. He floats in the sky over an unopened flower. He drops his hands and the flower opens revealing the world inside. He waves his hands and green and blue are added to the globe representing the land and the sea.

The film changes to a side view of the Magician holding an elephant in his hand. He places the animal on the earth beside a buffalo, tortoise and beaver who are sitting in the landscape of the world. The Magician looks down on the world as the animals look up at him.

In his right hand the Magician holds the Son of Adam and a young girl. He speaks to them and they reply.

Lurking from behind the world is Pau Amma the King of Crabs who walks over the world angrily. He dives into the ocean. The young girl with a flower in her hair watches.

The film fades to the Magician rubbing his chin. He closes his eyes before opening them again and looking upwards. The film cuts to show the elephant digging in the ground. The elephant suddenly becomes smaller within the landscape revealing a representation of the continent of India and the Himalayas mountain range.

The film cuts back to the Magician who looks to his left. In a field a cow with horns is seen eating grass. Again, the film fades to show the cow between the African and Indian continents. Large blobs of yellow represent the Sahara and Indian deserts.

The film cuts back to the Magician who looks to his right. Beside a tree a beaver bites into the wood. The film fades to show a representation of the Everglades in Florida.

The film cuts back to the Magician who looks down. The film changes to show a turtle digging in the sand beside water. Again the film changes to show a representation of the Malay Archipelago.

A circle appears around one of the islands in the Archipelago which morphs into the world now small held in the Magician’s hands.

On a beach Son of Adam mends a fishing net while the little girl sits under a tree holding a coconut. She pours the milk from the coconut into a bowl and a bird comes down and drinks from it. The man looks into the sky and speaks.

The film cuts to show a river with an elephant drinking on the far bank and a crocodile resting on the other. A house on stilts stands in the background. The tide comes in and covers the landscape with water before receding and leaving an empty river and a number of dead fish in its wake.

The Magician looks down from a cloud and is seen speaking. He points down at the ground angrily. The camera pans right to reveal the globe. All the animals can be seen around the globe looking towards the Magician.

Above the world the Fisher of the Moon sits with his rod in a crescent moon. He lowers a hook towards the earth. Sitting beside the Fisher is the Rat of the Moon who bites through the fishing line. The Fisher lowers another hooked line. The rat tries to bite through this line with his teeth and finally succeeds.

The young girl looks up into the sky and speaks. She uses her arms and hands to describe the crab. She walks sideways beside a beach watched over by a bird in a tree.

In the sky the Magician speaks to the girl. He then shrinks and sits in a canoe beside Son of Adam and little girl (daughter?). On a wave the canoe travels out to sea. Coming to a stop the Magician stands and raises his arm ordering Pau Amma to the surface.

Down beneath the ocean surface, Pau Amma looks up from the seabed. He come up from the floor and eats a worm sitting on a piece of sea-weed before descending back to the seabed again.  

The image of Pau Amma morphs into an image of the world. A pair of eyes in the water transform into Pau Amma coming out of the water and climbing across the land causing the waters to recede. He gets back into the ocean and the water rises.

The film morphs back into the image of the Magician speaking. Pau Amma looks up from the seabed smiling and begins to rise towards the surface. The film morphs into the Magician looking down angrily speaking with Pau Amma.

Rising out of the water Pau Amma looks down on the tiny canoe bobbing around in the waves. The Magician stands in the canoe his arms raised. Suddenly Pau Amma’s shell disappears and he puts his legs around himself. A shark jumps out of the water and tries to bite Pau Amma who swats at him with one of his legs. A school of sharks appear around Pau Amma. He drops back into the water and sits on the seabed unhappily.

Back on the surface there is a view of the Magician followed by Son of Adam who is holding a knife. The little girl holds a pair of golden scissors. She uses them to cut a necklace around her neck in half.

Back on the seabed Pau Amma looks up at the surface. A tear drops from his eye as he looks down on his naked body.

The Magician speaks to Pau Amma and in his hand holds a crab with a shell. Suddenly the shell is removed and the crab looks unhappy. He closes his hand again and points down on the world.

Pau Amma swims to the surface and looks down on the canoe. The Magician points at Pau Amma and a shell appears covering him again. A pair of scissors are thrown at Pau Amma and they transform into claws which attach to his front two legs. Pau Amma begins to shrink and drops back into the water.

Appearing alongside the canoe is Pau Amma who is picked up by the little girl. Son of Adam holds a paddle and speaks. The Magician looks on angrily at Son of Adam and sweeps up into the sky again, his arms around the world.

With a hook attached to the canoe the Fisher of the Moon pulls the canoe back to the shore. The Eldest Magician appears over the moon as the Fisher and rat look up. The film morphs into the world with the Fisher pulling on the oceans up and down creating the tides.

A wave crashes across the sea and as it retreats three crabs scuttle across the rocky beach and hide behind three rocks. Three hands appear and try to pick up the crabs who use their claws to nip at them. Scuttling back to the surf their shells disappear as their eyes turn down.

The film ends with Pau Amma who appears alongside a montage of other Just So Stories animals.

End Credit: Music by Brenda Orwin

End Credit: Narrated by Sylvia Welsh

End Credit: Animated and Directed by Sheila Graber

End Credit: Co-produced with Marble Arch Films