Saturday, May 27, 2017

Tales from the Far Side II (1997)

Directors: Gary Larson, Marv Newland

Writer: Gary Larson

Composer: Bill Frisell

Starring: Kathleen Barr, Paul Dobson, Julie Faye, John Miller, Maxine Miller, Doug Parker, Drew Reichelt, Dave Ward, Dale Wilson

More info: IMDb

Plot:  An anthology of original animated shorts in the style and theme of Gary Larson's Far Side comics.

My rating:  8/10

Will I watch it again?  Yes.

I laughed my ass off.  Halfway through there's an extended bit where Death is on vacation and all kinds of crazy things happen with people and animals dying left and right.  Then there's the Ken Burns treatment to the war between cats and dogs.  If you love Larson's comic strips you'll certainly dig this 45 minute collection of gags.  There are a few bits that are not much more than animated panels from the strip but those are few.  They're still as good as the one dimension drawings but Larson does so much more with this medium than he could with the strip.  A simple example is panning from side to side to reveal the joke and then another joke and so on.   You can't do that in the strip because your eyes see everything at once even though you're focused on the beginning panel.  You've also got some voice work (often it's mumbled or nonsense) and a great use of music.  All of these things help bring Larson's wonderfully macabre sense of humor to life.  This is the only other special he did besides the first TALES FROM THE FAR SIDE (1994).  That is worth seeing for Larson fans but it's not as solidly funny as volume 2.

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