Freak out!

One of the ways to success in any endeavor is to have a good idea of what you're dealing with. Animation lends itself to exaggerations of form to begin with, and 3D modelling only serves to muddle up the distinction.

The Freak embraces the unreality of animation not only by exaggerating out of proportion its world and characters, but by embracing it as a theme. Was this intentional? I can't say, but that's why it worked for me.

The Freak lives in a slightly futuristic - or at least exaggerated - world, much like this one, but somehow resembling what the Nerf company would come up with. This place is populated with round-headed, big-eyed folk in almost a Republican version of an Alien suburbia.

The Freak, himself (itself?), is more of a snaggle-toothed version of E.T., punked up a bit, and none too smart. The authorities here identify him as some kind of undesirable, try to incarcerate him, but through that irrepressible spirit, yearning to be free, things go a little haywire, The Freak gets broadcast over television, and suddenly becomes a media darling and fashion trend setter, whereupon everybody starts going out snaggletoothed, punked up, and none too smart.

So The Freak is really a social commentary on two subjects - society's traditional treatment of those who are different, and then the media's treatment of people (typically "different" themselves) as marketable quantities. There's not a lot of depth to be plumbed in a six minute short, but the dialogueless approach is clever and the animation seductively pulls us into the world of The Freak.

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