On October 9th, 1986, the Danish feature-length animated film Valhalla, based on Peter Madsen's comics albums about the old Norse sagas, premiered in the Dagmar theatre in Copenhagen, Denmark, after four laborious years of production.
Produced by the Valhalla Consortium, first by Asgaard Film with Metronome and Fogtdal, then by Swan Film Productions, Valhalla was at the time of its premiere the most expensive Danish film ever. It became a hit in Denmark, but after a short period of world-wide release, it ended its run in Swan Film's bankruptcy in 1987, as did the subsequent series of Quark shorts. It was sold to Metronome, which in turn was sold to the Swedish company Sandrew in the late 1990s, and Sandrew-Metronome re-released it in 2003, and a special edition DVD has made this “old Danish classic” available at last. Valhalla is now owned by Nordisk Film.
(Note: this picture was too scaled down on the DVD.)
The four animating co-founders, Stefan Fjeldmark, Hans Perk, Jørgen Lerdam and Karsten Kiilerich, animated around 60% of Valhalla and assisted a further 15%. Executive Producer and A. Film co-founder Anders Mastrup was production manager on the post-production of Valhalla and on the Quark shorts series.
Directed by Peter Madsen and (ex-Disney animator) Jeffrey Varab, Valhalla was the starting point for a whole generation of animators in Denmark. Before Valhalla, Stefan Fjeldmark had published a comics album of his own based on H.C.Andersen's Snow Queen, Hans Perk had worked as assistant for Børge Ring in Holland for four years on several feature films and was assistant director, editor and animator on the Academy Award winning short film Anna & Bella, and Jørgen Lerdam had worked for Danish animation producer Bent Barfod.
Valhalla was the first project that all five co-founders of A. Film worked on together. Nearly two years after its premiere, August 1st., 1988, A. Film opened its doors, as a save haven for the Art of Animation.
Thor, most often animated by Karsten,
here in a scene by Stefan...