Revenge of the Onion Bhaji

See the previous post about ‘Chef-in-a-Box’ meals.

Chef-in-a-Box meals at The Forum


Raul Garcia with Chef-in-a-Box mural
Raul Garcia with his ‘Chef-in-a-Box’ mural
Pete Western eating Chef-in-a-Box meal
Pete Western enjoying his ‘Chef-in-a-Box’ meal


As animation production at The Forum wore on into late 1987 and early 1988, the sense of urgency about finishing on time for the planned release date increased exponentially and almost anything was done to keep people at their desks and working… long into the evening and seven-days-a-week.  That included – periodic beer carts, overtime pay, paid taxis home at night, and the notorious ‘Chef-in-a-Box’ meals.

The crew was dedicated to the film, but when the managers went home for the evening… sometimes even dedicated people, especially creative people, can find time to play.  Some of the products of that play were the gag drawings.  There were also a couple of late night films produced.  Phil Nibbelink directed Revenge of the Onion Bhaji, with animator Rob Newman co-starring with a Chef-in-a-Box bhaji.  A bhaji is an Indian snack that is popular in London.  I can’t help but think of the rabbit attacking the knights in Monty Python and the Holy Grail (1975), and I’m sure that film helped to shape auteur Nibbelink’s vision.  Another late night film, Dodgy Bhaji, starred animator Rob Stevenhagen.