Rex the Runt (TV Series 1991–2001) Poster

(1991–2001)

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Remarkable animated sitcom-as-fantasy (possible spoiler)
alice liddell16 March 2000
Warning: Spoilers
An absolute joy from beginning to end, this 13-part series was first shown on BBC2 a couple of Christmases ago. In many ways a sitcom - laughter track; adventures and domestic foibles of a group of four friends who live in semi-detached suburban England - the film, being an animation, can explode the boundaries of the format, beginning where most sitcoms end. Many of the situations are familiar, such as winning the Lottery, or making new friends, or being fobbed off by a cynical doctor, but the narratives are not.

In the first, our heroes win not millions of pounds, but the city of Birmingham, which they shrink with a special ray gun, proceeding to collect other cities and towns from around England. In the second, the duplicitous friends are actually aliens who look like Easter Island statues and drag Rex off to win an intergalactic bet. In the third, Bob and co. set up a rival clinic, Bob's International Hiccup Centre which earns the heroes a fortune, but threatens their friendship.

The friends are dogs: Rex, the 'normal' one, who presents the narratives as a TV-anchorman; Wendy, a cynical, bored, unstable, endearing Northern girl; Bob, a wayward, gun-toting, eye-patch-wearing big softy; and their, um, dog, Vince, who has Pavorotti-syndrome which means he has unexpected spasms of the Barber of Seville's opening notes.

The great pleasure of the series is the way it combines flat, normal, suburban English reality (sort of heightened Mike Leigh if you like) - with such mundane concerns as not having anything in the house to eat, or being bored with the telly - with outrageous flights of fantasy which see our heroes in outer space, in a time machine, an exotic South Sea island, or FANTASTIC VOYAGE-style, inside Vince's stomach. This fantasy is very English, devoid of magic or wonder, very down-to-earth and silly, yet remarkably inventive ad full of strange metaphysical conceits if you care to look for them.

The film belongs to the MONTY PYTHON tradition in this way, and is full of puns, word-games, visual flourishes and bizarre literalisations, showing how manically surreal the everyday is. Although domestic, nothing is fixed, the plots and possiblilties are as plasticine as the characters themselves, anything can happen just by someone mouthing a cliche, and the filmmakers literalising it. For instance, one extraordinary nightmare episode derives from the thought of what's under the bed.

And yet, this anything-goes spirit belies the fact that everything does remain the same; no matter what adventures, our heroes always come back home, with the same personalities. The pressure of this suburban conformity is eventually too much, and in the final episode, sparked off, appropriately by the misuse of an everyday implement, the fixed characters and their unfixed world finally collide, and multifarious identity is asserted.

The animation and colour, seemingly stilted, yet pliably imaginative, are a treat, as is the music, which unexpectedly, through pastiche, nears a melancholy pitch. If all this wasn't enough, there are guest voices from the likes of Bob Monkhouse, Eddie Izzard, Kathy Burke and the godlike Antoine De Caunes (Lola Ferrari, RIP).
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Great
Rhythmbandit23 October 2001
Rex the Runt is a great claymation comedy. In christmas 1998 when Rex the Runt came to British TV I was instantly attatched. But after about 13 episodes at christmas is vanished from tv, i was upset about this and hope that another series would come, my prayers wer answered in september 2001 when a second series came on tv. It was as good as the first series.

Each episode is different from the last and they are deeply funny.

The characters are:

Rex: The Dog Wendy: The sarcastic female dog, alos known as a bitch ;) Bob: The big fat jelly wobbly fat bast***....according to Wendy Vince: Their supposed pet who is always doing something, either bounching on screen, trying to kill himself or saying one-liners. e.g: Sausages or Fat Bast***.

As the 1st series went on each episode got better and better. As I write this the 2nd series is currently on.

You do not want to miss the chance for some quality viewing, you wont be dissapointed. But if you miss it, then its your fault and you may find that you wont see it on tv for a long time. (i waited nearly 3 years for the 2nd series)

10/10

If you like this try:

Wallace and Gromit
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7/10
Very funny and entertaining, though it is a bit odd.
TOMNEL1 August 2006
I found all 26 episodes of this clay animated show to be entertaining, but I just wonder who could come up with this? It is so odd. Many of the plots involve really weird and confusing things, like making a hole in the Earth where it gets small like a balloon. The characters are Rex, the host of the show who always starts the show saying, "I'm Rex, and welcome to my life.". Wendy is the wanna be attractive dog with small breasts. Bad Bob is the eye patched "tough guy" who is actually quite a chicken. Vince is almost retarded and had Random Paparazzi syndrome which makes him randomly sing opera. Other characters include Dr. Dogg, the evil scientist who'll do anything to get rich and Arthur Duskart, the garbage man with the long nose hairs. It's a good show if you take it for what it is.

My rating: ***/****. 12 mins. TVPG to TV14.
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9/10
Wonderful Humor.
b-doran26 January 2014
This is an extremely silly show that tends to stretch the imaginations out quite far. It's humor is fun and entertaining and I enjoy the episodes time and time again. Not to mention the claymation is gorgeous. Aardman has done a fantastic job on this one just like all of it's others, yet this seems to be an undiscovered treasure for most. For such a goofy show, a lot of time went into the atmospheres created around Rex and his friends and its truly a marvel to behold. Unfortunately there seem to only be two seasons of the show seeing as I would own them all if there were more. If you are interested in claymation, animation, or stopmotion as I am, these are an absolute must. If you enjoy this check out Aardmans other work and their feature films like Wallace and Gromit, Chicken Run, and Pirates Band of Misfits.
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