Once upon a time, there were some people called the Rushers of Din. Each night as they slept, sweet dreams were delivered to them from sunny Frivoli, while nightmares came to them from the mysterious Murkworks.
But the malevolent master of the Murk, Synonamess Botch (voiced by Marshall Efron), was not content. He wanted the Rushers to have non-stop nightmares, which he could achieve if he gained control of the Cosmic Clock.
He kidnaps the deliverers of the dreams, Greensleeves (Hamilton Camp) and the Figmen of Imagination, and tricks Ralph, the All-Purpose Animal (Lorenzo Music) – who could change his shape but hadn’t quite mastered the technique – and his Chaplinesque mime pal Mumford – nicknamed “Mum” – into stealing the mainspring from the Cosmic Clock.
Realising they’ve been tricked, Ralph and Mumford try to get the spring back and prevent Botch from unleashing his nightmare bombs.
Along the way, they get help from their wisecracking Jewish Fairy Godmother (Judith Kahan), Greensleeves’ niece Flora Fauna (Julie Payne), the nerdy junior varsity superhero Rod Rescueman (James Cranna), and Botch’s own head nightmare writer, Scuzzbopper (also voiced by James Cranna).
This animated movie from Warner Bros. was made in the San Francisco studios of George Lucas and produced using a technique which director John Korty called “Lumage”, which gives the film depth, translucent colour and textural effects not achieved with standard cel animation. The film was scored in the UK by the London Symphony Orchestra.
The film exists in different versions – one family-friendly and one full of profanity.
Ralph, the All-Purpose Animal
Rod Rescueman/Scuzzbopper/Frivoli Foreman/Preacher
Narrator/Chef of State/Judges/ Bailiff