I feel the need to start by pointing out that the following review does include spoilers. If you’re not interested in knowing the plots, concepts and details of the animations included in DVD collection featured here, please feel free to make your way to the review’s final paragraph, where you will be allowed to read only the information regarding Popwreckoning’s giveaway of said DVD collection. Otherwise, please continue on to the twisted and creative clutter that is The Animation Show: Volume 3.
Following a short disclaimer by Mike Judge‘s legendary characters Beavis and Butt-Head, we jump directly into Rabbit by Run Wrake. Dick and Jane style characters, with fucked up solutions to their life problems, make their way through a world in which every object is properly marked with an itemized label.
Jane, wielding a knife, directs a rabbit to a tree, which her partner in crime Dick leaps from, knocking the bunny unconscious. Said rabbit is then carried back to the kids house, where it is slit in half with Jane’s trusty knife. Upon dissecting the bunny, Dick and Jane discover that hiding inside is a tiny, golden idol located just below the lungs and just left of the kidney. Following a pretty impressive cartwheel by the idol, two pestering flies who just happen to be in the wrong place at the wrong time, are magically turned into jewels and a feather at the hands of the golden one.
After a fairly impressive floor routine to the kitchen, which included several triple salchows and a tummy rub, the idol reveals an addiction to jam comparable to Kurt Cobain‘s addiction to heroin. Slightly pissed that a encroaching wasp was seemingly making eyes as his jam, the idol zaps him, transforming him into two jewels and a jar of ink. It is at this point that Dick and Jane realize that if exploited properly, this golden idol could be their key to riches they otherwise might have never known.
Quickly formulating a plan, Jane collects every bit of jam that she can find throughout the house to keep the idol happy and eating, as Dick bitch-slaps a sheep with a bat, knocking him out. The kids then slice the sheep open, in order to attract a swarm of flies and wasps. Fed up with the interruption of his meal, the idol goes nuclear on the winged insects, changing hundreds into jewels, ink and feathers. The kids rejoice, then repeat this process on a horse. After collecting a fortune, the kids decided to go to bed, leaving the idol to indulge in his jam.
Upon waking, the kids realize the have run out of jam to keep the idol pleased. As a result, the kids decide they will take the feathers and ink jars into town to the local market. Delighted by the idea of being able to sell quill sets, the store owner trades the kids their ink and feather sets for a large supply of jam. In theory, all should be well in the world again. However, as Dick and Jane return to the house, they find their idol in the process of being eaten by a tiger. The idol, just before being swallowed, winks at the kids in a cocky manner. This begins the process of life returning to the way it was prior to the idol’s appearance. The jewels the kids have collected change back to wasps and flies, which turn on the kids, consuming them in the ultimate portrait of instant karma.
Moral: Greed will consume you. Literally! This DVD is worth owning if not only for this brilliant and slightly creepy modern day fable.
Following “Rabbit,” we find Gaelle Denis‘ “City Paradise.” With artwork done in computer animation that is as lifelike as I have ever seen, and music by the great Joanna Newsom, “City Paradise” is nothing but stimulating. While I personally would not have complained had there been more to the plot line story, the audio and visual elements certainly compensate from what the mind is left missing. Feel free to give it a once over before moving on to “Everything Will Be Okay” by Don Hertzfeldt, a rather amusing and insightful piece surrounding the thought processes and interactions of people and the happenstance that is life.
Drawn in a very simple, stick figure like style, the complex subject matter of “Everything Will Be Okay” seems rather ironic, yet intriguing. The cartoon’s main character Bill, struggles through a number of situations like strange dreams, paranoia and different types of illness. The piece runs through a number of thoughts Bill has due to these issues, which grow exceedingly strange as the piece goes on. Regardless of its unique style and subject matter, “Everything Will Be Okay” remains a fantastic work of art completely true to life, which is certainly worth your time.
“Collision” by Max Hattier is less of a cartoon and more of a screen saver. In reality, it consists as nothing more than computer generated shapes which more in time with sounds added within the background. Though pretty, the piece’s complete lack of plot makes it a complete waste of my time. One would be well advised to simply skip “Collision” for The Animation Show: Volume 3‘s fifth installment, “Astronauts” by Matthew Walker.
Opening with a bit of humor, a set of British astronauts sit stranded on the moon due to the fact that the first of the two men has lost the keys to the ship somewhere outside. This style of humor seems to continue as one astronaut, in boredom, pokes a “Do not push” button while the second is in the bathroom. This results in the release of one of their two oxygen tanks. Yet, rather than fess up to his mistake upon the return of his fellow co-pilot, the pusher of the button instead simply covers the warning system with his crossword puzzle. With only enough oxygen left for one person to survive, the crew of the ship plays “paper, rock, scissors” to decide who will leave the ship. Yet, in the end, both astronauts end up doomed, due to the clumsy nature of the pair. Matthew Walker has constructed a brilliantly amusing piece which I found to be a delightful watch.
Following “Astronauts” we find “Carlitopolis,” a creation surrounding a lab rat and the conditions it encounters along the way. The use of comedy with the story reminds me very much of Looney Tunes, only with much better special effects. Nieto does a very nice job of creating the sense of reality on this animated short.
For more exposure to the best animators in the business, please look for Popwreckoning’s continuing coverage of The Animation Show: Volume 3 DVD collection.
Popwreckoning will be giving away a DVD with each of the three parts of this series. In order to win the DVD assigned to this section of the review, be the first to answer the following question: Mike Judge‘s Hank Hill, from the tv series “King of the Hill” stemmed from a character created on another one of his television series, “Beavis and Butt-Head.” What other animated series is a spin-off of “Beavis and Butt-Head?” To win, email Joshua with your answer along with your full name and mailing address.
Look for part two of The Animation Show: Volume 3 soon!
Filed under: album reviews, contest | Tagged: beavis and butt-head, contest, don hertzfeldt, dvds, gaelle denis, hank hill, joanna newsom, king of the hill, looney tunes, matthew walker, max hattier, mike judge, nieto, run wrake, television, the animation show |