“The Animation Show 2005” continues to prove that cartoons aren’t just for kids anymore. The film showcases international works from classic 2-D to stop-motion and complex 3-D pieces. The annual “Animation Show” is the brainchild of Mike Judge, creator of classics including “Beavis and Butthead,” “King of the Hill” and “Office Space,” and Don Hertzfeld, the madman behind the cult favorite “Rejected.” While 2004’s show was filled with sidesplitting slapstick, this year’s show has a more mature tone with features like the dark “Fallen Art,” the experimental “Pan With Us” and Hertzfeld’s much-anticipated “Meaning of Life.” But it’s only fitting that “Animation” takes adult strides from the giggle-fest of yesteryear as a nod to the growing number of adult-animation fans.
The show contains dark works, such as Peter Cornwell’s “Ward 13,” which takes stop-motion animation to a horrifying hospital.
In a lighter vein, David Russo’s “Pan With Us,” starts gently before launching into an artistic tour-de-force, combining animation with live action in unconventional ways. Closing the ensemble is Hertzfeld’s magnum opus “The Meaning of Life,” a philosophical journey that spans across galaxies by means of stick figures, charcoal and a lot of determination – it was filmed without computers and took more than four years to complete.
“The Animation Show 2005” is a magnificent example of the animation possibilities and spans far beyond the capacity of most animated works today. The show is definitely not “Bugs Bunny.” It will excite open-minded viewers looking for a drastic change from most animated shows.
Rating: 4 out of 5 stars