Hello to all those faithfully reading and hopefully enjoying this effort to make even the worst horror movie more watcha... aw, screw that - I'm not that good. If a movie makes you cringe because yet another batch of unlikable teens that are pushing 30 are inching toward their deaths, having a party no one does anywhere ever, a paranormal movie is boring you to tears with unending pans of empty rooms, or thanks to CGI technology when people finally bite it, their blood squirts everywhere except on the victim, the ground, the people next to them... you're in good company and this is the right place for you.

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Cartoons That Give You That Warm, Happy Feeling

Happy Tree Friends 
(Start: 1999 End: ???)

As you've read I do horror movies (unless there is the occasional movie that I deem necessary to either praise or make fun of). Mostly horror movies. While it is true I watch cartoons, A LOT, I've never come across this feel-good set of characters before. Why not? Uh, probably because it's not something you're going to find on Nickelodeon, much less the Cartoon Network channels. I'm talking about a very simply drawn, lesson teaching, cute as the dickens and bloodier than Stephen King's Carrie - yes, the Happy Tree Friends.

Starting in part in 1999 as a brief idea, it soon moved to the internet... just a little cartoon, nothing fancy. Except after it hit the internet it got over 15 million hits EACH MONTH. Take that Lady Gaga! In some countries you can watch these fuzzy, lovely, bloodthirsty little monsters on TV - unfortunately as you know, American TV doesn't seem to appreciate genius, especially if it might be seen by those under 17. 

We start each episode with a pop-up book, basically a small introduction of some of the characters. Then we have some simple subject matter, the first episode being about visiting an amusement park (which has some serious flaws). It doesn't take too long for the blood and mayhem to begin. 

Remember chanting 'Little Bunny Foo Foo' when you were a kid? I always thought that was pretty sick, scooping up field mice and bopping them on the head. Oh no my children, this is so, so much worse. If you want to check out an episode, there may still be some available on YouTube, Netflix also carries the series (which is how I found 'em). And I would definitely take a look - just one, if you can stomach it.

Mondo Media CEO John Evershed attributes the success of the series to animator Kenn Navarro. “He had a clear vision for that show and he’s just a brilliant animator. He has created something that is pretty universal. I envision kids watching Happy Tree Friends 20 or 30 years from now the same way that they watch Tom and Jerry now. 

Since I can't describe this flat, colorful mess very well I'll use some of wiki's description: Most characters played the roles of children doing childish games at first. However, as the series progressed the age concept was dropped, and now
characters act variously like children, teenagers and adults in different episodes. The only characters who are unaffected by this concept are Pop and Cub, who always act like an adult and a child respectively, and characters whose roles usually are not affected by age.

Yes, blood and guts are not limited by age or situation - even Fall Out Boy became part of the bloodbath in their 2007 video for The Carpal Tunnel Of Love which I will give you the link to here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eCV2h1uHx3o . The portrayal of death in Happy Tree Friends is usually graphic and exaggerated, depicting bloodshed and dismemberment in a vivid manner. The episodes last from between 1 to 7 minutes. The show is nearly free of dialogue, and when the characters do speak, it is mostly in gibberish with some simple English words. And I have a new favorite fuzzy wuzzy bloody gutsy icky cartoon...
STILL A Better Romance Than Twilight