Mike Judge is a deeper guy than you might have thought. Thats the only way to explain why The Animation Show 4, the latest in a series of independent animation anthologies the Beavis and Butt-head auteur curates by his lonesome, is so unexpectedly sophisticated, showing off an international flavor and streaked with underground, ironic humor. While animation shorts, by nature, often evoke that whole B&B primary process thing (they are, after all, the product of a highly technical art by one guy twiddling all the knobs), theyre also the territory of the kinds of visual surprises and quirky humor you wont find anywhere else. Animation Show 4 meets those standards easily, throwing daunted coffin-bearers, road-pariah Russian rabbits, paintball video games, crotch-biting sloups, pissing firehouse dogs and pick-up-stick spaghetti into the collections 82-minute pot. The whole thing gets the artsy seal of approval, but I suspect the Great Cornholio would also approve.
The Animation Show 4 opens today at Starz FilmCenter in the Tivoli for a week-long run; go to www.starzfilmcenter.com or call 303-820-3456.
July 25-Aug. 7, 2008