(The Ink and Pixel Club is pleased to present a review of the film When the Wind Blows by guest writer Nick Nadel.)
Over on AMC’s Film Critic, I recently listed some of the best animated movies based on comic books and graphic novels. This one was particularly fun, as I got to discuss When the Wind Blows, a little-seen British animated film from the ’80s that is quite possibly the most depressing movie of all time.
I rented the movie on VHS many years ago (it still isn’t available on Region 1 DVD, probably due to music clearance issues and/or protests by suicide prevention groups), and it still haunts me to this day. Based on a graphic novel by Raymond Briggs (author of the equally sad, but in a more traditional children’s book sort of way novel The Snowman), When the Wind Blows is basically 80 minutes of an adorable British couple slowly dying from radiation poisoning.
Things start innocuously enough (the gentle satire of marital bliss recalls George and Martha, but without hippos), but within twenty minutes, the Russians have carpet-bombed the UK on a level usually reserved for the most post-apocalyptic of science fiction movies and it’s all way, way downhill from there.