The 1987 skateboard film The Search for Animal Chin is widely regarded as one of THE action sports milestones. Featuring the amazing skateboarding of the Powell Peralta team, including Tony Hawk, Steve Caballero, Mike McGill, Lance Mountain and Tommy Guerrero as they go in search of the mythical Won Ton Animal Chinm rhe film is a fantastic look into the 1980s, just as skateboarding was growing up. In those pre-internet days, to just know about the film – and to be able to rattle off the quotes from its star characters – was enough to let you behind the velvet rope and to be a ‘skater’, and there are plenty of attics around the world with worn-out VHS copies.
The film also features the classic Bones Brigade cartoon skulls and skeletons drawn by Vernon Courtlandt Johnson, aka VCJ perhaps the most influential artist in skateboarding’s history.
You can now get a free download of the Animal Chin film by visiting this site set up to help promote the forthcoming Stacy Peralta-directed documentary of the Powell Peralta era, simply entitled Bones Brigade. Billed as “A biography about the birth of modern skateboarding and the personalities that shaped it,” the film features all the old members of the Bones Brigade team, with plenty of supporting roles from those where there in and around the skateboard scene. If you’ve seen Stacy Peralta’s recent documentaries Riding Giants or Dog-Town and the Z-Boys, you’ll know the format. Here’s the trailer for Bones Brigade:
And here’s Tony Hawk talking about the Animal Chin days
Of the many memorable moments in the film, the Animal Chin Ramp really stands out: a custom-built mega ramp put together by Tim Payne with help from builders Tommy Kay, Lance Mountain, Mike McGill, Buddy Carr and Mike Hill. Made just off a bike trail in Carlsbad, California, the legendary ramp came quipped with a channel, extensions, a spine with push-through center, and even a mini-ramp built into the deck. The Bones Brigade crew were the only people to ever skate it – it was broken up as soon as the filming finished. Powell have just released this mini-documantary detailing its construction:
Bringing it back to the art side – there have been a couple of great 80s skate photography exhibitions doing the rounds recently, most notably Grant Brittain‘s Sk80s show that was held in San Diego’s Bottlecraft Beer Shop, as well as the Monsters of Skate Photography Exhibition that Ar4t put on back in January 2012, which featured Grant’s work, as well as Miki Vuckovich, Jon Humphries, Dave Swift, James Cassimus and Atiba Jefferson.
In the meantime, Bones Brigade the documentary is asking fans to instagram any pictures or memorabilia from the 1980s with the tag #bonesbrigade. The best images will be posted to include in the Bones Brigade DVD artwork.
And even if you don’t have any ties to that era, we strongly suggest that you sign up to the newsletter and get your free download copy of The Search for Animal ChinTweet