The Big Snit (1985) Poster


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The best existential animation i have ever seen.
stiffjesus16 May 2006
'The Big Snit' came into my life complete by accident and has left an indelible mark on my soul. A scar of love, destruction and pointlessness that will forever be a part of my life. This is tale of beautiful futility. We are helpless without each other. We are helpless against governmental wrong-doings. We are helpless as to the choices we all try to make when in love. Deaf to the mutterings and goings on of an world outside the window. Blind to an inevitable apocalypse. Dumb of the hatred and greedy opinions of an over-indulgent society. This is a tale of personal commitment and triumphant love defeating the ideologies of war. Their petty bickering is a sublime observation of human nature and of how love comes with it's pains and darkness Everyone has some irritating aspect to their personality and this is observed by the makers in the most simplistic and fantastic way. We travel only a short distance with the two main characters but are left wanting to complete our own journeys with a some of their simple,loving, honest philosophy in tow. I am so very glad that i exist in this 'our time'. Another 20 years either side of my birth date, and i would not have seen and felt.... ....The Big Snit. William White. Sheffield.
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One of the greatest films of all time!
vinzclortho19 July 2002
This is a masterpiece. 'The Big Snit' is a crazy, weird, hilarious and eventually touching look at an old married couple and their quiet life, who argue over sawing and scrabble while a nuclear war rages on outside. Everything in this great animated short stands out as memorable: The eye shaking of the wife, the vacuuming binge, the husband's saw fetish (keep an eye on those backgrounds!), the very verbal cat, the demented game show, the "informative" news anchor, the "beautiful" accordion serenade and the moving and memorable ending. I am so glad I found 'The Big Snit', which is hands down one of the greatest works of film ever produced.
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How this missed winning an Oscar,...
RobT-229 August 2001
...the world may never know. (The film that did take the "best animated short" Oscar that year, "Anna and Bella", is very good, but it's no "Big Snit". Both are available on Expanded Entertainment's "World's Greatest Animation" compilation, in case you'd like to compare.)

"Snit" and its director, Richard Condie, have attracted so much attention that there's little for me to add. I'd like to note, however, that the film contains one of my very favorite single "shots" in an animated short, the one where the man opens the door to let the cat out. I don't want to give away the actual events depicted here, but the first time I saw the shot I was whipsawed from one mood to another, then seconds later to still another. That shot has never failed to affect me that way since. For this shot, and for the way Condie builds up to that set of moments, "The Big Snit" deserves the tag of "masterpiece".
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Canadian animated classic
Tito-826 March 1999
This hugely entertaining short is considered one of the best shorts ever, and I certainly won't argue with that. Even in a country where top-notch animated shorts are created with regularity, this film still manages to stand out. If you ever get the chance to view this film, please do so. It's only ten minutes long, and yet it contains a man who is obsessed with saws, a woman who vacuums the bathtub, and a nuclear war. What more could you want in a film?
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Canadians Have The Best Shorts
Jeope!17 July 2000
Richard Condie is a Canadian marvel, and one that should be shared with the world. Be it for gut-busting early work such as "Getting Started" and the Oscar-nominated "Snit" through "The Apprentice" and the digitally made "La Salla", Condie is a treasured local hero. But no singular piece of work puts a stamp on his career quite like "The Big Snit". And did I mention it was nominated for an Academy Award? Darn tootin'.

"The Big Snit", although clearly a dated message-bearer from the 1980s (the short revolves around Cold War-esquire nuclear annihilation, but don't worry – it's hilarious as hell), carries with it a larger meaning, as is most of Condie's work in an understated sort of way. While the planet scurries for cover from Armageddon, a couple bickers over each others' annoying habits (in true Condie fashion, he hacksaws the furniture while she shakes her eyes – literally). And don't forget to watch it again and again, 'cuz there's always something to look at. Condie loads this fella up with countless visual gags and memorable catch-phrases.

I strongly encourage this incredible piece of animation be tracked down. In Canada it's usually spotted in a National Film Board video that includes other stellar shorts (including fellow Winnipegger Cordell Barker's equally funny "The Cat Came Back"). Americans will just have to dig a little deeper, but keep at it – the reward is worth the toil.
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The perfect one!!!
cococan26 May 2006
This film is all about humans. This film stayed as my all time favorite short cartoon for years.

Isn't it the simplest things that make life so much more interesting?! We humans are so soft, compassionate, funny, caring to each other one moment -- we invent the most beautiful and amazing machines to kill as many people as possible with the least effort the next. In our short lives, we destroy our world, each other and often, our own lives, than spend the rest of our lives trying to fix what we've destroyed. Sometimes, there is nothing left to fix!

This film can entertain, educate and even help us realize what is wrong in our lives! Life is short and can be even shorter! The ending is way too optimistic I am afraid.

I love Richard Condie's mind and what he makes happen with it!


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OH MY GOD how I love this toon.,.
smakawhat23 April 2002
Richard Condie's utter maddness insanity cartoon 'The Big Snit', is a trip through qwerkyness, madness, hillarity, enjoyable backgrounds, melting characters, and a conclusion that nearly brings me to happy tears everytime I see it.

This short I have seen over and over AND OVER and I NEVER TIRE of it (luckily having it on tape from a broadcast on TV)!! It never stops to make me burst out in laughter uncontrollably, and then reach down into the depths of my spirit, highlighting the greatness of the human condition.

Cause when someone says, 'Come on, let's finish the game' everything is alright in the world and the troubles that we face everyday we suddenly realise are all petty fleeting things not to fight or worry about anymore. This film at first seems just like a simple exercise in cartoon slapstick humour, but it is far more than that. This film hits a greater sense of spiritual meaning with mankind in the wake when everything seems to be so bad and trivial.

It is flawless... in every way. AND DAMN FUNNY TOO ;)

Rating 10 out of 10.
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Beautiful. Hilarious. Poignant. Many other adjectives too numerous to mention
Popeye-822 September 2000
I have only seen this once--in 1986, at an "artsy" theater in Minneapolis...but I remember it like I saw it a thousand times this morning. Hilarious ("Sawing for Teens", playing Scrabble with all "e" tiles), beautifully animated (taking off her eyes, shaking them back into position, then putting them back on), and poignant (the end of the world, the pettiness of a snit)...

Required viewing for the human race. Calling this simply a cartoon is like calling THE GREAT GATSBY nifty typing.
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MartinHafer9 February 2008
This is a very strange little short film that initially didn't impress me. From a purely aesthetic point of view, the animation here certainly ain't pretty--though after a while you notice that the simple and silly drawings do possess a certain odd charm. That's probably because with the script as screwy as this one, the animation works.

The film shows an older couple sitting at the table playing Scrabble. At the same time they are fixated on this game or other bizarre pursuits (such as the husband's compulsion to saw things--even the chair and table)! And all of this stuff occurs as the television warns of pending atomic annihilation--Armageddon is definitely here! Naturally, the neighbors are screaming and running amok--during which time the couple obliviously continues with this idiotic game. Heck, even their cat knows the end is coming as the couple begin bickering about who may or may not have cheated--leading to a very surreal ending indeed!! The film deserves kudos for both being unique as well as very funny. While it did not win the Oscar, it was nominated for Best Animated Short--which it richly deserved.
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I'm not sawing the table
knifeintheeye2 April 2006
Man am I stoked I can leave feedback for this 10 minutes romp. I love it.

After not seeing it in years, I happened upon it the other day and watched it over and over.

'Stop shaking your eyes' and 'shake a rock and roll band' and 'stop sawing the table' are freaking classic lines.

The art is delightfully raw. The dialog sparse and wonderful. Just find it and love it. Cannot recommend this enough.

Thank you high school art teacher Mrs. Kogan for showing us this over and over. Thank you NFB for letting it be made. Thank you MTS for showing it (for free at the moment at least).

I want a Big Snit t-shirt now. I'd love an animation cell, but at 440.00 a pop, that won't happen.

Find this flick, and watch it.
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The Big Snit was a very worthy Oscar-nominated short from Richard Condie
tavm1 August 2008
Warning: Spoilers
Just went on YouTube and finally watched this Oscar-nominated animated short directed by Richard Condie. I had previously watched his funny Getting Started there. In this one, a couple are playing Scrabble. The wife keeps shaking her eyes while her husband has nothing but E's on his side. The wife leaves for a while to vacuum her bed and bathtub(!) before catching her husband looking at her side. Briefly before this, the husband catches a TV show called "Sawing for Teens" with the stars sawing something and the husband getting his own saw. That program gets interrupted by a special report of a nuclear war happening (the newsman is a skeleton here) as everyone panics outside though the husband fell asleep during this time and thinks a parade is going on as he and his wife continue arguing about the game...There's plenty of other bizarre things going on before the touching ending comes on. Quite hilarious and well worth seeing for any animation buff out there. Can't wait to see any more animated shorts from Mr. Condie...
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hilarious silliness
SnoopyStyle9 April 2017
A couple plays Scrabble. He's not doing so well. She decides to vacuum the bathroom. The TV reports that all out nuclear war has broken out. Neither partner notices the report as the cat chews through the power cord. She comes back and catches him cheating. A fight ensues. He can't stand her shaking her eyes and she can't stand him sawing the furniture. They make up. All the while, they don't notice the chaos occurring outside.

It's surreal. It's silly. It's hilarious. It's heart-warming. Comedy doesn't always translate but hopefully it's funny not just for Canadians.
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As Bizarre as the World in Which It Was Made
Hitchcoc28 December 2015
It's cool when something totally original comes along. This is it. To start with, the "human caricatures are amazing." They have eyes that come lose and rattle and the wife is constantly trying to correct them. They play scrabble. She has a seven letter word ready to go. He has all e's and keeps rearranging them. He takes so long, she leaves to vacuum the house. While he is watching a TV show called Sawing for Teens, he dozes off and misses the announcement of a nuclear war. He can't understand the despair and panic in the streets, thinking it is some sort of parade. What seems like pointlessness has a great point for all of us. It is pure existentialism at its best. The absurdity of everyday life is thrown in our faces in every scene. Why don't we do the things that make us happy? Why don't we let love show us the way? Why don't we take chances? Why do we hurt each other with petty complaining?
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Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb
TheBlueHairedLawyer12 September 2014
Warning: Spoilers
I was living in New Brunswick when the National Film Board of Canada sent a VHS of animated short films to the Oromocto public library. I borrowed it and watched this one, and it's stayed with me ever since. The plot seems to have no real purpose to it, just two lovable characters arguing over their board game while, unknown to them, the television is broadcasting about a sudden worldwide nuclear war. I'm unaware of whether or not there's some strange message underlying here, or if the fact that both characters look human but can take off their eyes and shake them like dice means anything or was just there for some nonsense humor. Either way, it was morbid and strangely hilarious, the entire cartoon. There doesn't seem to be any environmental or political messages within it, I think it was just meant to be a little black comedy cartoon with the simple plot of, "don't be a snit or you'll always miss what's going on around you, and don't argue all the time because any moment could be your last."
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Yet another masterpiece from the inimitable Richard Condie
Robert Reynolds28 November 2001
This short was nominated for an Academy Award, losing to Anna and Bella. Not since Doctor Strangelove has nuclear war been so hilarious! Condie takes a situation and turns it on its ear and then gives it a spin for good measure. Visual gags abound in Condie's work and I always see something I missed before every time I watch this. On The World's Greatest Animation, well worth seeing for thisand many other shorts. Recommended.
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Its the "Teen" Bit that's Funny
tedg12 September 2007
These small animations seldom work because of the big joke: here a couple arguing while the world is destroyed. Its the smaller side jokes that fill out the box that make it work. Here, our man gets distracted.

He is obsessed with sawing. The TeeVee show he watches in secret (folding joke there) is "Teen Sawing." Its a cartoon in a cartoon that is hilarious and of course it bleeds into the main cartoon. As things get more hectic, the man's sawing does.

Its clever, and especially the notion that this obsession is carried by teen excess.

Ted's Evaluation -- 2 of 3: Has some interesting elements.
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LeRoyMarko3 January 2003
Very funny short film about a couple fighting over a Scrabble when, outside, a nuclear war is raging. Crazy stuff like that saw that keeps coming back!

Out of 100, I give it 77. That's good for **½ out of ****.

Seen in Sudbury, on December 31st, 2002.
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Scrabble would have to be fun even amid a nuclear holocaust
Lee Eisenberg21 January 2016
I interpreted "The Big Snit" as a look at lack of awareness about world events. This look at a couple playing Scrabble while a nuclear war takes place outside was no doubt intended as a warning about nuclear weapons, but manages to be funny every step of the way. It serves as a reminder that animation is simply another type of filmmaking; it doesn't have to be "cute". Indeed, these short cartoons are more interesting than the animated features starring the celebrities of the moment.

"The Big Snit" got nominated for Best Animated Short Film at the Academy Awards. I'd say that it deserved the nod (I haven't seen that year's winner). The only other Canadian cartoon that I've seen is 1981's "Crac", which won Best Animated Short at the Academy Awards. Michael Moore has the highest praise for Canada, and these cartoons show that our northern neighbor has some great ideas for cartoon shorts. This one remains relevant, since there are still nukes in the world. But most importantly, it's a funny cartoon. You're sure to like it.
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Pretty odd, but otherwise not too memorable
Warning: Spoilers
"The Big Snit" is a 10-minute animated short film from 30 years ago. It got director Richard Condie the first of 2 Academy Award nominations. The contents are basically a couple who plays a game of scrabble, gets into a heated argument, but quickly makes up after that again. I have to say I did not really like the animation at first, but it grew on me I guess as the film went on. Still, the story as a whole was not too convincing or memorable. A nuclear attack happens, but the two protagonists are sort-of living in their own world here and don't really care about what's happening outside. There is some dark humor in here like the newscaster who has turned into a skeleton already or the scenes with the pets, but all in all I must say that I did not find it funny enough to recommend it. Must have been a pretty weak year if this got in with the Academy. Then again, the National Film Board of Canada managed so many times. Watch something else instead.
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