TOO OUTRAGEOUS ANIMATION is an 88-minute compilation of 33 short animated films linked by their reliance on sexual, scatological, and violent themes. While the films are generally well executed, the majority of them are designed strictly for the titillation of college boy audiences,
replacing genuine wit with shock tactics, tastelessness, and bathroom humor.
Ranging from a few seconds to several minutes each, these 33 segments from the US, England, Italy, France, Poland, and Japan feature a wide variety of animation styles. Highlights include:
"The Expiration Date," in which a dog's "cartoon license" expires, enabling the cat, its perennial victim, to inflict on the dog escalating levels of permanent damage.
"Liver Lust or Louie," done in brightly colored 1950s animation style, focuses on a sexually-frustrated woman who achieves satisfaction with Louie, a slick-haired young man she meets on the street. When they both suffer multiple amputations and wind up in the hospital together, their lovemaking
"They Gave Us a ... but We Lost the Instruction Booklet," illustrates anal imagery as manifested in modern industry, which frequently replicates the function of the anus and deposits waste products onto the earth.
"The Four Wishes" adapts the classic tale of a poor farmer and his wife being granted four wishes, only to use them up in an angry dispute resulting in the growth of multiple genitalia over each other's bodies.
DNA Productions' "Captain Weird Beard" consists of linking segments spread throughout the film, and follows the gradual dismemberment and mutilation of a tavern kitchen boy by a group of pirates after the boy has expressed a wish to be a pirate.
Other representative titles in the group include "Guano: Who Calcutta the Cheese?," about flatulent cartoon characters; "Yes, Timmy, There is a Santa Claus," a shaggy dog tale culminating in a cruel joke played by Santa on a legless boy; "Little Red Riding Hood and the Wolf," exploring the sexual
possibilities suggested by the title coupling; and "Let's Chop Soo-e," a cartoon game show in which a piglet desperately tries to avoid the butcher's cleaver.
Opening with the legend, "Reality is for people who can't handle animation," TOO OUTRAGEOUS ANIMATION is a far cry from the once-outrageous works of the 1970s, such as the celebrated one-joke "Bambi Meets Godzilla" and even Ralph Bakshi's X-rated FRITZ THE CAT. These new shorts, dating from
1989-1994, reveal no restraints in displays of blood, dismemberment, sexual activity, release of excrement, flatulence, and cruel jokes at the expense of the disabled. While such subjects can certainly be funny at times, most of the filmmakers here show little interest in creating anything beyond
a single, naughty, attention-getting gag.
What's remarkable about this compilation, however, is the truly breathtaking level of skill and mastery of the medium. In addition to some expertly-executed 3-D model animation and at least one example of computer animation, the majority of the pieces are done in traditional cartoon cel animation
in a wide variety of styles. Some of the shorts are quite clever and use their imagery to make a point--most notably "They Gave Us a...but We Lost the Instruction Booklet" by veteran Italian animator Guido Manuli, as well as Michel Ocelot's "Four Wishes," both cited above. "The Expiration Date" is
quite amusing for the way it takes a traditional cartoon premise to its violent but logical conclusion.
Ultimately, however, the effect of putting so many of these shorts together in a compilation is numbing, undermining the chances of the less outrageous shorts in the group to stand out more memorably. (Graphic violence, nudity, sexual situations, profanity.)
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