As a child of the nineties, I grew up devouring cartoon favorites like Spongebob Squarepants, Doug, and Rocket Power (among countless others…) My carefully crafted cartoon friends had endless possibilities for adventure and I watched them prancing around Bikini Bottom on the hunt for jellyfish, rocking out to the sweet melodies of The Beets, and roaming the Ocean Shore boardwalk propelled by skateboards and roller blades. As I got older, my younger brothers kept me in the know with all their favorite animated series and I continued to foster my nostalgic love of Saturday mornings spent with a bowl of Cheerios and the bouncy opening jingle of Catdog (“One fine day with a woof and a purr, a baby was born and it caused a little stir!”) The simple pleasure that comes from watching a cartoon isn’t something that stays confined to adolescence; it’s a genre that universally delights with its neatly packed humor, vibrant characters and boundless imagination.
This Saturday’s collection of Absurd Animation is sure to please guests of all ages, so bring your kids, bring a date – heck, bring your grandparents! Creativity abounds from the twelve shorts we’ve lined up for your viewing pleasure, and moviegoers will most definitely leave satisfied and ready for more. From the crude stylings of “Boogodobiegodongo” (say that five times fast) to the sophisticated impressionism of Sundance-selected short “Marcel, King of Tervuren” (self-described as “Greek tragedy as acted out by Belgian roosters”) the evening of animation comes in all shapes and sizes.
Sure to be a highlight is Adventure Time creator Pendelton Ward and Tom Herbich’s award-winning short film “Thank You.” For those of you who haven’t seen Ward’s fantastical and imaginative show, it’s available for online streaming on Netflix. Disclaimer: you’ll probably have to set aside some time for a good and lengthy TV binge. “Thank You” is a simple story, simply told. A snow golem comes across a pack of fire wolves – his species’ mortal enemy – while on the hunt for nuts and fruit, and a fire wolf cub is left behind. Not wanting the young creature to die in the wilderness, the snow golem takes him in and they form an unlikely friendship. It’s a beautiful narrative that requires next to no dialogue, all in Ward’s signature visual style.
I hope you’ll join Rooftop Films for a night of really original and artfully crafted animated films and a musical performance by experimental instrumentalist group Wires.Under.Tension! If all goes as planned, you’ll be laughing and crying along with our animated friends!