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The Cow Who Wanted to Be a Hamburger (2010)

A children's fable about the power of advertising, the meaning of life and ultimately the test of a mother's love.

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A children's fable about the power of advertising, the meaning of life and ultimately the test of a mother's love.

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Animation | Short

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12 March 2010 (USA)  »

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Edited into The Oscar Nominated Short Films: Animation (2011) See more »

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Hey, it's Bill Plympton's work....so it has to be good.
19 February 2011 | by (Bradenton, Florida) – See all my reviews

A few months ago, I had the chance to meet Bill Plympton and learned about this film--which he was hyping at the ComicCon convention in New York. I'm sure he wouldn't remember me if he saw me again, but I was thrilled--he was the best thing about this event! I've seen practically everything available that he's done and I left with a couple of his latest DVDs and a drawing of the dog who starred in the "Guard/Guide/Hot Dog trilogy". All in all, it was a very good day. So, when I saw that "The Cow Who Wanted to Be a Hamburger" was included as a 'film of merit' along with the Academy Award-nominated films this year, I was thrilled.

Now despite being a huge Plympton fan, I must admit that this is not among my favorite of his films. I think the biggest thing that struck me was the style--very different from his more traditional penciled style. Instead, lots of intense primary and secondary colors fill in the backgrounds and characters. Additionally, there is a shaky quality to the film that is a bit disconcerting. It's not bad--just not as easy on the eyes as his other work.

As for the story, it's sick--and I like that. It begins with a calf looking at a billboard advertising burgers. Inexplicably, the little cow decides then and there that he, too, wants to become a burger! And, when the people from the burger plant come to round up the cows for a trip to the slaughterhouse, the calf is sad that they reject him! It's weird...and gets weirder. Just watch this weird thing--and be sure to watch the cute credits as well.

As for the story, I'd give it an 8 and the animation a 6--for an overall score of 7.


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