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Category:    Home > Reviews > Animation > Shorts > Claymation > Computer Graphics > The Animation Show: Volumes 1 & 2 (Box set)

The Animation Show: Volumes 1 & 2 (Box set)


Picture: B-     Sound: C     Extras: C+     Shorts: B-



Some of more influential and popular animators of the past decade, Mike Judge and Don Hertzfeldt, have teamed up to put together one of the most insane, entertaining, and overall enjoyable animation collections in recent DVD history.  This plethora of every brand of animation including classic pen and paper, CGI, Claymation, and much more pulls audiences in with its excellent uniqueness.  With animated short presentations from over 21 artists this collection kept this viewer captivated and entertained until the end.  Today animated shorts are sadly not seen very often, having gone the way of the 8-track tape, seen by studios to not be profitable or necessary.  The truth of the matter is that it is much harder to put a true, inspirational, and entertaining message in a 5-10 minute short then it is to say in today’s 90 minute to 3 hour films.  With the plethora of talent flowing through this set it is no surprise that this set is outstanding. Though some shorts are better than others, it is always interesting to see the array of different mindsets animators personify and to which arena they place their creative talents.


Mike Judge is mainly known for his gruesome duo Beavis and Butt-head as well as his tightly wound Texans on King of the Hill.  Don Hertzfeldt may be a name that many are not familiar with, but has found success with his ‘Rejected’ cartoon short series.  So if you hear people spouting out nonsensical comments such as “My spoooon is too big” or “My anus is bleeding,” that is homage to the talented and crazy Don Hertzfeldt.  Together (along with the help of select others) both Judge and Hertzfeldt have decided to present audiences with a plethora of animated short entertainment.


Some are shocking.  Some are sad.  Some are down right nonsense, but one thing is for sure they are all creative.  Overall, the set consists of thirty-one animated shorts.  On Volume One, Don Hertzfeldt takes it upon himself to set-up a platform for the DVD having created three new shorts (‘Welcome to the Show,’ ‘Intermission in the Third Dimension,’ and ‘The End of the Show’) to bookend the compilation nicely.  Mike Judge lends some of his early art attempts to this DVD set, some being more entertaining then others.  The more interesting aspect of Mike Judge’s contribution is the noticeable parallel of his early art to his future endeavors, such as a short entitled ‘Office Space starring Milton’ and an array of characters resembling those of Beavis and Butthead.  Many great shorts exist on this animated compilation, to name a few of this reviewer’s favorites (other than Judge’s and Hertzfeldt’s works):



Three separate animated shorts (using Claymation) from Australian artist Adam Elliot, who takes a dark humor twist on family life, even stating that he mainly draws his ideas autobiographically.  These shorts are a must see from this Oscar winning artist.


Fifty Percent Grey

A man who explores the after life and all it has to offer.  Another morbid but somewhat humorous twist on an interesting subject of what happens in death.


Ward 13

During this epic hospital, monster battle this reviewer could only say ‘My God this is cool!’  This Claymation short (probably one of the longer ones) follows a man as he ambitiously attempts to escape a hospital that has unforeseen intentions beyond helping him.  This short is amazing, plain and simple.



The technical aspects of this set are surprising.  The picture is quite consistent from short to short being clear and crisp; realizing that many of the shorts are meant to have a rough look.  The picture presentations vary according to how the original short was presented, but most remain color balanced and overall good.  The Sound is a simple Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo that is adequate and does not detract, but does have issues of balance this reviewer having to turn up and down the volume based on each shorts needs.  The extras are plentiful on this set, though not always entertaining. 


The one extra that stands out is a featurette entitled ‘100 Years of Animated Shorts,’ which goes through the long life and history of animated shorts.  Other extras include "Mt. Head" galleries of concept art and character design, "The Cathedral" motion tests, animatics, and production art, "The Rocks" production photo album, "La course a l'abime" storyboard-to-scene comparison, "The Feds" recipe for animating, "Fallen art" creating and animating characters, Bonus film by Chel White: "A Painful Glimpse into My Writing Process", "Magda" the making of piece and Bonus film by Pes: "Kaboom" with the making of "Kaboom".


In the end, a great set with great art….Go buy!



-   Michael P Dougherty II


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