Appellate Judge James A. Stewart is continually surrounded by animated chaos.
"Nine animated shorts from around the world."
Actually, there are ten shorts in Nine Nation Animation; this is one of the few times when a DVD cover blurb offers less than you get. Part of "The World According to Shorts," Nine Nation Animation offers a sample of intriguing animation from nine nations:
• Deconstruction Workers (Bygningsarbeidere)—Real actors are surrounded by animated chaos as their construction site turns to rubble while they deal with personal doubts and problems. It has teeny, tiny English subtitles, which could prove annoying. Kajsa Naess, Norway.
• Average 40 Matches (Ortalama 40 Çöp)—The matches aren't just thinking outside the box; they're heading outside for a smoke, and not waiting for a smoker. Burkay Dogan and M. Sakir Arslan, Turkey.
• Bâmiyân—A child narrates the story of a Chinese monk's journey. Patrick Pleurin, France.
• Please Say Something—In a story of a cat-and-mouse couple, the cat finally gets up and leaves the mouse, until the rewind. Their do-over can't last, though. David O'Reilly, Ireland/Germany.
• Flatlife—In these four flats, all's well until someone decides to hang up a painting. The banging starts off a chain reaction of noises, bumps, and grumps. There's some tiny type here as well. Jonas Geirnaert, Belgium.
• She Who Measures—Smiley faced people with shopping carts go through a desolate landscape. Veljko Popoviç, Croatia.
• Home Road Movies—Dad loves buses, but buys a car because his family is large. The mix of live action and animation is more about growing up and growing old than about the road trips the family takes. Robert Bradbrook, United Kingdom.
• The Tale of How—Pythonesque animation illustrates an operatic song. The Blackheart Gang, South Africa.
• Never Like the First Time (Aldrig som första gangen!)—Interviews, a la Creature Comforts, about starter sexual experiences are animated in four distinct styles, starting with a hip retro look and ending in catalog style. Jonas Odell, Sweden.
• The Runt—The "bonus" short tells how a boy saves a runt rabbit—for a while. Dialogue's in English. Andreas Hykade, Germany.
I don't think there's a disaster in the bunch. My own favorites were "Deconstruction Workers," "Flatlife," and "Home Road Movies"; the first two are stories about the general unawareness of people, while the third shows a keen awareness of the human condition. Your reactions will surely vary, but fans of animation will likely find a few gems in the selection.
Of course, that's fans of adult animation. This definitely isn't one for the entire family. "Bâmiyân" contains scenes of snakes slithering through skeletal skulls and naked women, "Please Say Something" has profanity, and "The Runt" depicts the death of a rabbit. With "Never Like the First Time," the adult themes should be rather obvious.
Picture and sound quality are fairly good; all of the originals seem to have been in good shape.
If you're curious about Nine Nations Animation, you'll probably like it.
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Scales of Justice
Studio: The World According to Shorts
• IMDb: Deconstruction Workers
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