Year Two of the "Animation Show" theatrical anthology series, showcasing more of the world's best animated short films: headlined by Don Hertzfeldt's "The Meaning of Life", also features Bill Plympton's "Guard Dog" and Peter Cornwell's "Ward 13". Written by
I won't review each short here separately, but in general this series is intriguing and definitely worthy a view. It starts off on the silly side with "Guard Dog", a short that, albeit a bit predictable, is still humorous and a little odd. The shorts don't really get funnier after that, but then again animation doesn't have to be funny.
While I'm not too knowledgeable on the subject of why these were put together, I believe it has something to do with showcasing creative talent in animation that would otherwise pretty much go unwatched, which in my case is true being that I wouldn't have heard of any of these animators if it wasn't for Mike Judge's and Don Hertzfeldt's names put above the title. However, besides Hertzfeldt's "The Meaning of Life" (which is the weakest Hertzfeldt short to date, methinks), the real stars are the other animators.
The strongest short is "Ward 13", a stop-motion animation about a patient trapped in a hellish hospital and trying to escape. It is hilarious, disturbing, and amazing all at the same time, a combination that results in the viewer staring at the screen with jaw agape once the credits start rolling at the end. It is so powerfully done with all three emotions that they tend to battle inside of you and leave you wondering what to think.
If it happens to be showing somewhere around you, I'd strongly suggest going to see it. Even if you don't like the separate shorts as a whole, the feature is definitely something intriguing and creative, and it's always nice to show what can be done with a creative mind at work.
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