Real name: Carl Padgham
Review Star Average: 2.25/4
Keyframe's Managing Editor, animation critic and researcher (and former videogame critic). I'm stingy with my stars, so don’t expect a lot of high scores from me, a profile has to really work to earn its balls of fire facsimiles.
Presently, I review animation based on how they bear up to the peers in their respective categories - features-to-features, DTVs-to-DTVs, etc - rather than try to unfairly compare a high budget feature film with a low budget direct-to-video. Call it a category concession if you will.
I hope to never let nostalgia affect my reviews, but then nobody’s perfect. My favourite animated cartoons tend to fall between the original "Golden Era" and the late 80s to early 90s. My interest in animation goes back years. I enjoy playing video games but tend to find their animated adaptations range from awful to okay - I could say a similar thing to game adaptations of many animation licences.
While I may prefer traditional animation to CGI, I can watch almost anything and think that the story and characters are more important to a film, etc, than the medium of animation used in it.
For what it's worth, I have Asperger's Syndrome, a form of high functioning autism.
My Star to 10 scale ratio:
4.0 stars = 9-10 - Superb: One of the best films you could hope to see in your lifetime - insofar as I'm concerned, a rare gem in animation achievement.
3.5 stars = 8-9 - Great: That film that entertains all the way through, and never truly flounders, but is still missing the spark that seperates the great from the epic.
3.0 stars = 7-8 - Good: A film, etc, that is good, but not great, something you'd watch again, but might not go hunting down the Blu-ray or DVD - at full price - for.
2.5 stars = 5-6 - Mediocre: Straight down the middle, while it's watchable, you won't call it actually good per sé. On the flip side, neither is it actually bad.
2.0 stars = 3-4 - Poor: Not so bad as you cannot get through it, but you might not care to watch it again anytime soon, or remember anything about it immediately after it finishes.
1.5 stars = 2-3 - Terrible: Maybe there some redeeming factors, but they are few and far in a overwise horrid production.
1.0 stars = 1-2 - Abysmal: Practically unwatchable sludge. or as close to it as makes no odds.
Animation, Drawing, writing, reading (animal novels, fantasy, sci-fi, animation history), videogames, and radio comedies. Not necessarily in that exact order.
Animation that I love:
Theatrical Shorts, Animaniacs, Astro Boy (all versions), Count Duckula, Lilo & Stitch, WALL•E...
Ultimately we're at a point where even flash animation has to achieve a certain level of competence in it. This is mostly due to seeing web flashes were the animator/s at least put in the effort. Falling, like so many others of its type, is almost the antithesis of this. At least a part of this may be due to the time that and manner that the product was made, but then it was prevalent then, very much so, and some of these had something vaguely meaningful to say.
Hey, some of them were made by actual talent as side projects. In 2012, this would be something I'll expect from the worst-side of Indie-gaming, and thrown out with fits of laughter from the inter-webs. Or maybe that's just what I'd like to be the case.
It's not as overtly egregious as The Evil Strawberry, which had no redeeming quality whatsoever, but it doesn't have anything resembling substance either and doesn't offer anything that I can say is, worth seeing.
The animation lacks any merits or anything, looking like something barely above kindergarten level, but without the level of insane confidence in their drawing ability that a child has (or at least can get away with). Of course if the maker of his film thinks that their art constitutes anything good then I pity him. The animation follows the art style, in a “I can’t be bothered to put any effort in because I sure to get praise regardless” kind of way that this whole thing reeks off.
It also seems that the creator turned on a microphone without knowing anything about the use of sound balancing for recording purposes. The results of this, of course, mean that the entire dialogue of the baby is over-peaked and filled with so much static distortion that it becomes immensely painful to listen to.
Nothing else bares mentioning.
It is more than a waste of time, it’s a ear-splitting abysmal waste of time, effort - to sit through - and data. Albinoblacksheep should be ashamed of hosting it. If some of the flash animation out there is garbage, then this garbage is some sort of glowing green toxic waste that has been left to putrefy and mutant into something unimaginable.
Unfortunately it doesn’t bear up to repeated viewings, especially to someone who has spent many years watching the best and worse of what animation has to offer. Still, worth a watch anyway, just to see something daft in a world which is increasing forgetting how to have fun.
It’s also Flash that really makes me wish that the package had stayed as a web-editing tool: rather than the one used to create short animation that could be used and abused by just about anyone with a rudimental knowledge of animation techniques it is now.
Copying and pasting the same animated image over and over again is not clever, well not if done in this fashion. I can only imagine that the only reason it became so popular is because of the very fact that it is so easily emulated.
A lack of effort piece that inspires others to do lacklustre pieces is bad enough, the even lesser effort of carbon copying just cements this as something to avoid. It not funny, even on the first visit, it endlessly loops and quickly gets annoying… If I wanted all that, I think I rather listen to the Llama song, least that has a more coherent song.
NB: Please understand that I have nothing against using flash as an animation tool, when done well it can be very entertaining (in the case of 'Europe and Italy' or 'There she is' it can be really entertaining).
With Flash’s limitations, flat geometric shapes also translate into easier to animation, cheaper to store in memory and therefore can run smoother; this has to be one of the smoothest animation Flash has shown me. It also the funniest by a stretch, mostly due to the superb timing on the maker’s part, the supposed truth of what is being said and the occasional surprisingly piece of oddball.
His other shorts are good as well, on the recommendations front, I really like the “Yes and No” one, a great little commentary on driving habits.