Tuesday, August 19, 2014
Tales from the Far Side (1994)
Writers: Gary Larson, Marv Newland, J. Falconer, Dieter Mueller
Composer: Bill Frisell
Starring: Kathleen Barr, Doug Parker, Lee Tockar, Dale Wilson
More info: IMDb
Tagline: It's going to be a bumpy night.
Plot: A series of Gary Larsen's "Far Side" gags are turned into short animated gags, such as a Frankenstein cow; an insect airline's in-flight movie; deers, hunters, and UFOs; wolf home-movies; egg horror flicks; and cowboys & aliens.
My rating: 6.5/10
Will I watch it again? No.
I LOVE the comic strip. For me it's second only to Calvin & Hobbes and a close second at that. This near-half hour special is simply Larson's single panel comic brought to life. It's not as fun as the comic strip but it's really dark in tone and Frisell's score sets the mood to a 'T'. If you imagine one of his comics, widen the field of view and start the camera off to one side and ending on the punchline, you'll have a good idea at how this animation works. There are also gags that weren't in his strip like the airplane filled with all manner of insects flying to their destination with a bug flight attendant handing out larvae for the on flight meal. That might have been a comic strip but what follows wouldn't have been (the attendant's head is eaten by a passenger). If you dig the strip you'll probably dig this to some degree. It's not a home run but I've seen it twice now and I think I'm done but I'll never grow tired of Larson's comic.