DumbLand (2002)

TV Mini-Series  |   |  Animation, Short, Comedy
6.4
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Ratings: 6.4/10 from 1,760 users  
Reviews: 18 user | 18 critic

A series of 5-minute line animations (drawn in the rough style and with the minimalist plots of David Lynch's The Angriest Dog in the World comic strip) featuring an angry and violent Neanderthal, and his family and neighbors.

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A series of 5-minute line animations (drawn in the rough style and with the minimalist plots of David Lynch's The Angriest Dog in the World comic strip) featuring an angry and violent Neanderthal, and his family and neighbors.

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(8 episodes)

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1.33 : 1
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User Reviews

 
As is typical of Lynch, you'll (sort of) like it, even as you're hating it
23 July 2007 | by (Hellfudge, Pennsylvania) – See all my reviews

I picked up the "Dumbland" DVD around this time last year, despite the poor marks other sites had given it. I consider myself a David Lynch fan, even though his output has been erratic (in terms of both quality and content) over the past three decades. The first time I watched "Dumbland," I was dumb-founded and more than a little angry at the end of its 33 minutes--the animated series of 8 short episodes, previously available only to paying members of Lynch's website, was a total wash...awful sound, awful stories, and probably the worst animation known to man (at least a child's flipbook of drawings wouldn't cause a migraine). Near the end, I was semi-entranced by the dancing ants who sing a taunting song at our obnoxious, white-trash 'hero,' thinking a little of Lynch's bizarro craft was clawing at the surface. Foregoing a review then, I decided to watch the DVD a second time before giving an opinion. (I know Lynch well enough to realize his films often play better upon repeated viewings.) Well, the time has come. One year later, "Dumbland" is...still not that great, but a little better than my initial viewing. I don't care what pretentious justifications you have for this fitting into the Lynch Pantheon of Strange, its (clearly deliberate) efforts to be a subversive, "anti-entertainment" come across as obnoxious all the same: not only is the animation horrible, it is incredibly abrasive on the 'ol eyes (the white is so bright, in fact, that it is like watching black squiggles dance on a fluorescent lightbulb); and the sound mix is also poor, with the 'hero's screams louder than any other character. Again, I have no doubt that Lynch intended ALL of this, but if this is his new tactic of alienating audiences, it's pretty lame to stoop to aural/visual abrasion for its own sake.

That being said, the first 2-3 episodes have a certain quirky humor that is not apparent upon an initial viewing--trouble is, the gags (along with that damned animation) become VERY repetitive after that. Lynch's imagery of suburbia is crude and bizarre, including a panicked, scarecrow-haired wife; an androgynous embryo of a child; a blood-vomiting uncle; duck-f*cking neighbors; ants with attitudes; smiling flies; and tanks driving down the street, among other strange happenings. All of this is pure Lynch, and while "Dumbland"'s crudity doesn't merit "Eraserhead"-style analysis and debate, it ultimately makes for a low-budget, low-class, low-expectation, and low-level hypnotic experience (though that could just be attributable to the spiral that starts each episode).


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