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Don Hertzfeldt (born August 1, 1976) is the creator of many short animated films, including the Academy-Award nominated "Rejected" and Everything Will Be OK. He has an odd style, stick figures on paper with very little use of digital processing. You can get his films at his website, Bitter Films, and read up on some Word of God in this Reddit thread.
His animated shorts include:
- Ah, l'amour (one of his earliest works)
- The Meaning of Life
- Billy's Balloon
- Lily and Jim
- A trilogy concerning a mentally ill man named Bill; Everything will be ok, I am so proud of you, and It's such a beautiful day.
- The opening, intermission and ending to the first The Animation Show he did with Mike Judge. These are called, respectively:
- "Welcome to the Show"
- "Intermission in the Third Dimension"
- "The End of the Show"
- Wisdom Teeth (an adaptation of this Temporary Anesthetics strip and currently his newest film)
There was a series of Pop-Tarts commercials that looked like they were done by him. They weren't.
His works are surreal. And How!
His works provide examples of:
- Bloody Hilarious: Several gags involve violence, with ridiculous amounts of blood throughout.
- Deranged Animation: and how!
- Stick Figure Animation
- What Do You Mean It Wasn't Made on Drugs?
- Surreal Horror: Ever been beaten to death by a balloon?
- Genre Roulette: Discussed.
- Medium Awareness: The rabbit.
- Self-Deprecation: The end: "Pretentious Student Film?"
Lily and Jim
- Blind Date
- Cringe Comedy
- Mockumentary: Apparently? Interviews with Lily and Jim are interspersed throughout the film, but are never explained.
- Moment Killer: Type 3
- Twice Shy
everything will be ok
- Adaptation Expansion: Bill was originally from Hertzfeldt's webcomic Temporary Anesthetics and in it led a relatively normal, if depressing in a banal way, life, free of mental disorder (if you're willing to forget about some strange recurring dreams).
- Brick Joke: Near the start of the film, the narrator remarks on how Bill always picked fruit from the back of the pile at the grocer's, because the fruit at the front was at "crotch-level" with the other customers. Later on, he starts hallucinating that, in addition to having smokey demon heads, everyone he saw had "gigantic, bacteria-riddled crotches all over the goddamn produce."
- Dysfunction Junction: Most everyone Bill knows and meets was odd in one way or another, such as his unhelpful neighbor who talked about nanomachines could preserve his brain in a failed effort to comfort Bill, and quickly changed the subject to a dream he had where his toes fell off.
- Hallucinations: Bill suffers these multiple times throughout the film.
- Public Domain Soundtrack: Excerpts from Bizet's "Au fond du temple saint" and Smetana's "Vitava (Moldau)" are featured.
- Sanity Slippage: "THE PIPE IS LEAKING. THE PIPE IS LEAKING. THE PIPE IS LEAKING."
- Soundtrack Dissonance: The narration of the relatively mundane segments of Bill's life in the first part are set to the aforementioned Crowning Music of Awesome.
- Through the Eyes of Madness: The entire film is done through Bill's perspective.
- Title Drop: Very nearly; the exactly line is, "...as if everything were OK."
I am so proud of you
- Crazy Cat Lady: Bill's schizophrenic grandmother, who kept severed cat heads in her dresser and would rub them across her scalp when she "felt the fish smothering her brain".
- To a lesser extent, Bill's mother. She only had one cat, but she would shave it on the weekends.
- Hope Spot:
On his way to lunch, Bill smiles, and thinks for the first time that maybe everything will be o--(Bill collapses to the ground in a seizure.)
- My Life Flashed Before My Eyes
- Public Domain Soundtrack: Excerpts from Strauss's "Vier letzte Lieder", Wagner's "Das Rheingold" and "Im Treibhaus", and Bremner's "Old Sir Symon the King" are used.
- Railroad Tracks of Doom: three of Bill's relatives, including his mother, were killed by trains.
- Title Drop: Bill's mother would pack notes saying, "I am so proud of you!" with his school lunches. As noted in Hope Spot above, the previous film's title is very nearly dropped.
- Wild Child: "A wild man wandered into town that summer and beat the church organist with a shovel." He was really Bill's great-great-uncle, whose parents had drugged and abandoned in the woods as a child.
- Braces of Orthodontic Overkill: A variant. We can see three stitches from Nigel's wisdom teeth operation sticking out of his mouth, whenever he talks.
- Hope Spot:
"Yes, yes! I think this is finally the end of it!"
- Some more pulling*
"No, wait, there's more. Much, much more."
Cue WTHH face from Nigel.
- Foreign Sounding Gibberish: The dialogue is some strange pseudo-Scandinavian gibberish.
- Mind Screw
- Overly Long Gag: A solid three minutes' worth. Note that the entire video (sans credits) lasts only five minutes.
- Surreal Humour / Surreal Horror
The Animation Show
- Breaking the Fourth Wall: There is at least one reference to the audience in all three segments.
- Brick Joke: The beginning segment starts out with the two characters talking about the lobby of the theater, and by the ending there are a slice of pie, a hot dog, and a soda cup walking towards the right of the screen, with music in the background singing about, whaddaya know, the Lobby.
- Call Back: Both the characters are based on the "Fluffy Guys" in Rejected, down to the Swedish christmas carols playing in the background.
- Captain Obvious: The second half of the beginning of The Animation Show.
- "MY HEAD IS NOW A GIANT EGG!"
- Department of Redundancy Department: The erudite character tends to do this a bit. It's especially prominent in the beginning segment.
"The Animation Show is the greatest animation show ever created by human beings. Only the most animated animation film animations make it into the Animation Show."
- Frickin' Laser Beams: The scene with the Giant Eyeball.
- As well as the robot battle at the very end.
- Funny Background Event: in the ending song to the beginning segment, the erudite character (who has long legs and one hand bigger than the other) is running back and forth, on fire.
- Go Mad From the Revelation: The result of wearing 3-D glasses: some horrifying hallucinations followed by screaming, "IT'S LIKE I CAN TOUCH YOU!"
- Half Dressed Cartoon Blobby Cloud Thing: "But I'm not wearing any pants." "ME NEITHER!"
- Hypocritical Humor:
Left Fluffy Guy: An animated film is not just a random series of mindless, self-indulgent violent cartoon images meant only to be enjoyed by young children and people with mental handicaps, but as a serious, valid art media all unto itself, in which the artist is free to explore the purity of the film medium down to each and every single frame! The animated arts are-
Right Fluffy Guy: ROBOTS!
(over a minute of Fluffy Guys getting mauled by robots)
- Mushroom Samba/Nightmare Fuel: The third dimension. At the end of the sequence, one of the characters is holding a giant lollipop shouting nonsense as Swedish Christmas music plays in the background. Then the lollipop becomes a swarm of spiders which begin to eat the character.
- Offer Void in Nebraska: "3-D Glasses may not be available in all areas!"
- Robot War: "ROBOTS!"
- Tank Goodness: Complete with an autocannon on top.
- Techno Babble: In the second segment, one of the characters asks the other about 'the third dimension', prompting a verbose response that ends with "The very face of god!"
- Tin Can Robot: The enemy robots.