Sunday, January 22, 2012

The Frog, the Dog, and the Devil (1986)

1 Nomination, 0 Wins

Nomination: Best Short Film, Animated - Hugh MacDonald and Martin Townsend

Typically, alcoholism is a subject dealt with more often in documentary shorts than animated shorts, but "The Frog, the Dog, and the Devil" is not a typical animated short. The short tells the story of a drunkard going through alcohol withdrawal, as personified by the Devil. Director Bob Stenhouse takes what could be a dark subject and makes it a funny madcap romp.

The short is full of imaginative animation that is used to advance the dark humor, and quickly dispels the notion that cartoons are meant for children. The website NZ On Screen points out that New Zealand is legendary for its alcoholism - John Flatt told a committee of the British House of Lords in 1838 that the country's natives referred to the Europeans living in the country as a "nation of drunkards - and Stenhouse's short plays with this stereotype.

"The Frog, the Dog, and the Devil" isn't my favorite of the nominees; though I haven't yet seen the winning "Een Griekse tragedie," Pixar's debut short "Luxo Jr." is one of the finest animated shorts ever made. Still, it's an excellent short film, and succeeds in turning a dark subject matter into a fun short.

The film can be viewed at:

Remaining: 3143 films, 870 Oscars, 5407 nominations

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