Poetry in Mation
Spike and Mike's 2000 Classic Festival of Animation
Review by Ross Anthony

"Festival" isn't quite the word; collection or anthology would be more appropriate to describe this 90-minute presentation of 14 animated shorts. Overall, it's a rather amusing time; some segments are magnificent, while others rather "Hum drum."

"Graveyard Jamboree" A very nice mix of animation techniques from clay to cartoon, puppets begin this Tim Burtonesque piece. A good starter.

"Fishing" Simple and very sweet purple watercolor lines on warm white, porous watercolor paper. The texture of the paper is half the fun. A Mexican fisherman reels in the "perfect storm" of fish from a simple puddle. Wonderful.

"At the Ends of the Earth" Absolutely fantastic! Makes the whole "festival" worth seeing. A dwelling teeters atop a pointed mountain, housing an old man, his wife, a large cow, cat, dog, and crow. No words ... just incredible balance and timing. If you could paint humor as a seesaw this would be it!

"Village of idiots" A cute Jewish folk tale in a near monochromatic, scratchy, but thick illustration. A man sees his old village in an all new way. Pleasant.

"Slim Pickings" Perhaps a statement on our treatment of the environment. A starving clay creature must decide weather or not to eat his favorite plant. Nicely done.

"Angry Kid" From those "Chicken Run" folks. A pain-in-the-butt kid sits in the back seat of a car annoying his parents. Pretty funny actually. Clay.

"Three Misses" A cynical blend of several fairy tales. Amusing.

"Panther" Oil on canvas is a refreshing change from the rest, but the story is as abstract as the imagery. Slightly tedious.

"Mutt" A stand up puppy dog, tells jokes on stage. Nothing to pant over.

"Bsss" A computer animated fly with large, but simple eyes endears us as he tries to balance on his tongue. Very nice.

"Hum Drum" Two shadow characters try to find something to do with their (our) time. Fair, just drawn out a little too far.

"Ghost of Stephen Foster" Done in the old style cartoon look of "Betty Boop" and "Steamboat Willie," this musical interlude is sentimentally sweet.

"One Day a Man Bought a House" A clay tale about a man, a house and a lady rat. The warm European accent of the narrator presents perfect irony against this sweet, but slightly twisted story. Clever and enjoyable.

"When the Day Breaks" Animal people, eerily cartoon-photo-realistic (if that's possible) flounder through an awkward drama. The story doesn't quite come together, giving way to an emotional and/or medium exploration. Still nice to look at.

"Spike and Mike" festivals have (in the past) premiered works by several now-famous animators including the creators of "South Park," "Wallace and Grommit," and "Beavis and Butthead."

  • Spike and Mike's 2000 Classic Festival of Animation. Copyright © 2000.
  • Creators: Mark Caballero & Seamus Walsh, David Gainey, Konstantin Bronzit, Eugene Fedorenko & Rose Newlove, Anothony Lucas, Darren Walsh (Aardman), Paul Driessen, Vuk Jevremovic, Kirby Atkins, Felix Gonnert, Peter Peake (Aardman), Raymond S. Persi and Matthew Nastuk, Pjotr Sapegin, Wendy Tilby and Amanda Forbis.
  • Produced by Craig "Spike" Decker and Mike Gribble at Mellow Manor (C)2000. All ages. Also see www.spikeandmike.com


Copyright © 2000. Ross Anthony, currently based in Los Angeles, has scripted and shot documentaries, music videos, and shorts in 35 countries across North America, Europe, Africa and Asia. For more reviews visit: RossAnthony.com

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Last Modified: Saturday, 16-Sep-2006 07:54:13 PDT