Oh wow! After doing a little more research on Nina Paley, the animator from yesterday’s blog post, I found that she has a feature length animated film called Sita Sings the Blues. It is another fantastic work from Ms. Paley. This animated film is a reinterpretation of the of the Indian epic story, the Ramayana.

The one problem that Nina and the film have is that some of the recordings are restricted by copyright, which limits the distribution of this film. The songs, sung by Annette Hanshaw, provide the perfect soundtrack, but since the recordings are not public domain the budget for the music license would cost more than the film. The copyrights for the old songs were purchased by companies who could extend and administer the rights of songs that would have otherwise been in the public domain.

I know that Nina Paley is attached to Annette Hanshaw’s recordings of these gorgeous torch songs, but I wonder what it would take for someone like me to just rerecord the songs and replace them in the video. When I first started singing, these are the kind of songs that I cut my teeth on. These songs led to jazz becoming my first love. It’s actually quite cool to hear Annette Hanshaw perform the original versions of these songs, and who doesn’t love that warm analog sound?

I don’t know if it’s something I’d do right now, but to “remake” this movie with me singing the songs could be a fun project. The thing is, this movie is a great piece of work, and copyright restrictions limit how far this movie can go. Personally, I’d rather see the songs redone so the movie can be seen by as many people as possible.

But you can still stream the movie from my blog here, or from the main site, Sita Sings the Blues