In the late 1970s, Grendel by John Gardner was a highbrow best-seller that everyone with pretensions to intellectual sophistication was reading. In it, the author retold the epic Anglo-Saxon hero myth of Beowulf from the point of view of the monster the hero killed, rather than from the hero's vantage point. In so doing, he scored numerous points about the violence and intolerance of human beings and raised more profound philosophical issues. This animated feature was adapted from Gardner's book and never quite found its audience; too simplified for the literati, it was definitely not a children's feature and was not aimed at mainstream audiences. Taken on its own merits however, reviewers lamented that it deserved a better fate than the obscurity to which it was consigned. Peter Ustinov provides the voice for the beleaguered monster.
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