Expertly programmed by Mike Judge and Don Hertzfeldt, the second go-round of “The Animation Show” features 12 films from five countries. Among the best is Oscar nominee Guard Dog, in which a deranged canine fantasizes about threats to its owner from apparently harmless sources. Another paranoiac vision, the Australian Ward 13 follows an accident victim’s attempt to escape from a demented hospital through a maze of bad-acid imagery. Other highlights include a pair of Canadian entries, the Faustian The Man With No Shadow and the lyrical When the Day Breaks, a tale of urban interconnectedness played out by anthropomorphic farm animals. Closing the program on an enigmatic note is Hertzfeldt’s own The Meaning of Life, a minimalist epic that conjures its cosmic vision from crudely drawn stick figures and a Tchaikovsky soundtrack.
This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on March 1, 2005