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A website created in 1999 featuring satirical music videos animated using cut-outs of photographs. The site attained fame in 2004 when its video "This Land", which featured then-president George W. Bush and John Kerry, became a huge viral hit. Since then, they have released at least one current-events parody a year in the same style.
Their cartoons can be viewed here.
This site contains examples of:
- An Aesop: Most of their videos are simple satire, but "What We Call the News" and "Big Box Mart" have very explicit Aesops about the impact of yellow journalism and volume retail stores, respectively. They even address the news networks and stores in the second person.
- Arson, Murder, and Jaywalking: There are quite a few of these examples in the year-in-review episodes, but they mostly have to go to "2011, Buh-Bye!" A few examples are:
- This verse:
- A verse which could be either this or Bread, Eggs, Milk, Squick:
The S&P blew up our rating.
The jobs market stayed in a slump. (A slump!)
The debt ceiling had us debating,
While Weiner just tweeted his junk.
- Another verse:
There were Occupy Wall Street protesters,
And folks who will surely be missed.
- And here's one more verse:
Quakes! Crimes! New signs!
- Art Shift: In "What We Call the News", characters (except the old-timey anchors) talk by having their heads pop apart at the jawline (similar to babies and Canadians on South Park) instead of just having movable jaws. This was done to emphasize their "talking head" status.
- Also, the 2010 year in review uses puppets instead of the usual animation.
- Clip Art Animation
- Filk Song: Most of the songs are parodies of popular folk songs, from "This Land Is Your Land" by Woodie Guthrie to "The Times, They Are a-Changin'" by Bob Dylan.
- Ink Suit Actor: The Weird Al Yankovic videos, in which Al appears as Taylor Hicks and Jack White.
- Iris Out: The held open variant occurs at the end of "This Land"
- List Song: All the year-in-review songs.
- Patter Song: Some, especially "2-0-5".
- Predatory Business: "Big Box Mart" is a heavy Take That at this.
- Red Oni, Blue Oni: Bush and Kerry are presented this way in "This Land".
- Rhyming with Itself: The Christmas song "Santa Claus" has one, combined with a Last-Second Word Swap:
Santa: I'm running out of dough,
The bills ain't getting paid.
[camera cuts to Santa in bed with Ma Claus] I can't remember when,
The last time I got... [[[Beat]], camera cuts back to Santa grabbing dollar bills] paid!
- Running Gag: Bill Clinton doing some lascivious activity and his wife Hilary slapping him for it.
- Sensitive Guy and Manly Man: "It's Time for some Campaigning" has McCain riding a tank, and Obama hopping around on a unicorn.
- Sliding Scale of Idealism Versus Cynicism - Their "Year In Review" videos pretty much repeat Humans Are Bastards. Over and over again.
- Thankfully, the cycle's been broken for the 2009 Review, which doesn't claim Humans Are Bastards.
- And the 2007 review has about half its song dedicated to the positive things that happened that year.
- Strawman News Media / 24-Hour News Networks: Satirized in "What We Call the News."
- Strawman Political: Nicely averted. They don't seem to favor one side over the other, and mock both sides equally. Of course, they mock whoever is in power, so they were just as ready to parody Obama as they were Bush.
- Subverted Rhyme Every Occasion: Done with "The Year 2008 in Review", sung to the tune of "Miss Susie". One example:
Baby Year 2008: Barrack [sic] defeated Johnny
So long to the far-right.
Now McCain has many houses,
But none of them are...
White men got passed over,
From Wasilla she was plucked;
When the maverick tapped a hockey mom
The press said, "What the..."
Truck bombs in Islamabad;
Bill Gates up and quit.
Putin stuck his chest out,
Told the Georgians to eat...
Ships were seized by pirates,
Ike and Gustav hit,
Johnny's honey had a baby,
But he said it wasn't...
HIIIIISSS-tory's now littered
With more famines, floods and wars.
If there's one thing I am grateful for,
It's that this job's now YOOOOUUUURS!
- The Theme Park Version: Each year in review song is, essentially, the theme park version of that year.
- We Didn't Start the Billy Joel Parodies: Done for their 2007 year in review.