Published Jun 03, 2010The argument that children are less discerning could be made when trying to explain most of these short films, which, for the most part, are dreadful, and one is even flat-out offensive. There are a couple of animations that show a bit of budding talent, but this program is extremely weak, aside from some random, inappropriate German humour.
The German entry in question, Tally Ho, Pancake, actually makes me want to seek out cartoons from the land of Heidi Klum just to find out if they're all this bizarre and random. With English narration by a man with a heavy German accent, this short shows a man chasing a pancake that flies out of his frying pan because it doesn't want to be covered in syrup. The pancake then startles a cow that responds by pooping in its milk, exciting a woman hanging sausages on a clothesline. Nope, I'm not kidding.
Also included in this program is The Secret Life of Suckers, which features a beat boxing soundtrack while a plush rear window animal tackles a cell phone and suction efficiency. I'm reminded of the episode of The Simpsons where Homer voiced Poochie the Dog. Formic has a bit of this going on as well, with a skateboarder narrowly missing an animated ant while jumping about.
The Incredible Story of My Great Grandmother Olive has an interesting tale in it — an elderly woman getting her groove back with an alien — but looks a lot like Viva Piñata. Jungle Beat: I Love Rock & Roll also has this sort of aesthetic and has the added bonus of seeming like a crappy Madagascar DVD supplement.
Of course, it's not all bad, with Moon Children telling a playful story about how the stars came to be, while The Mouse that Soared follows a circus mouse recounting the vicissitudes of being adopted as he flies through the air.
It's just unfortunate that it all culminates with Yam Roll in Pyjama-Rama, a little cartoon that made me want to punch someone. Essentially, Yam Roll wants desperately to be liked by strangers, so he finds a magic trumpet to attract people. Unfortunately, someone else has pyjama bottoms that get more attention.
Now, we would expect that the lesson would have something to do with not needing fleeting validation from moronic, superficial strangers, but no, it's more akin to sticking with the performance, since there is nothing in this world more important than the approval of people you don't know. Apparently, this is a regular CBC series, because culture wasn't devolving enough already.