The Big Snit (1985)
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"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".
"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.
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!
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.
Required viewing for the human race. Calling this simply a cartoon is like calling THE GREAT GATSBY nifty typing.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Out of 100, I give it 77. That's good for **½ out of ****.
Seen in Sudbury, on December 31st, 2002.
"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.