Anomaly Appraisal: The External World
Embedded above is 17 minutes of perhaps the most insane, random and almost gut-wrenching animation I’ve seen so far this year. Warning: it’s definitely NSFW and contains plenty of adult themes, although the film addresses that point oh so adroitly somewhere in the middle.
This is not necessarily a film for the faint-hearted. There are plenty of scene that one might conclude were included only for their shock value. While that may be true, those same scenes have to be viewed in the context of the whole film, and then they will most likely get a laugh.
The film is loaded with pop-culture references (video games, TV shows, etc.) although they only support the action that’s actually going on. In stark contrast to OReilly’s previous film, Please Say Something, there is little, if any, invitation for the audience to connect with the characters, who are never given a chance to develop.
Some don’t like this aspect of the film, but I was perfectly fine with it. It’s almost like you are flicking the channels while watching TV. If you are not intimately familiar with the characters on the screen, then you are much less likely to care about them, and I think this is what David was aiming for.
The External World is full of David’s wit, which is just as sharp as his animating skills. There are tons of side jokes, background gags and of course, the actions of the sardonic characters themselves. Besides the pop-culture references, there are plenty of animation references, including cartoons of the 1930s (in particular Felix the Cat, of whom David is an avowed fan). Of course, these are not mere references but modern interpretations thereof.
Overall, there’s not much more I can say about this fantastic film. It is well worth watching and it has seemed like an age for it to finally make it to the internet. David is offering a HD version for download for 4 euros, which is hardly breaking the bank to own such a great short, and it supports the man too.
With The External World, David OReilly has proven that he is a filmmaker with considerable skill (and if my twitter feed is any proof, has a heck of a following in the animation community and beyond).