Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Review: Spike & Mike's Festival of Animation 30th Anniversary

When we first arrived at MCA La Jolla, it was unsettling to see so many kids around.  Expecting the Sick & Twisted version of Spike and Mike's iconic festival, we were unprepared for so many rugrats outside the venue.  In fact, I was sure they were all just walking back to their cars from the church across the street.  Alas, when we actually looked at our programs to realise that the event was advertised as being for ages 10+, we knew the festival would not be nearly sick & twisted enough.  That being said, however, if you consider violent cartoons and the entire audience being stoned off their faces to be too sick and twisted for your kids, I would recommend leaving them at home.     What was expected was that the festival countained animated shorts which spanned Spike & Mike's 30-year history as well as some new gems.  Spike came onstage before the first segment and gave a touching speech, thanking San Diego specifically for the support throughout the years.
Most of the first segment were new pieces, some highlights being a visually amazing award-winning animation called Loom (I literally had a hard time remembering that this wasn't animation), an interesting and artistic hommage to old video games called Pixels and another fun hipsterish series called Animator vs. Animation (anyone who's used SuperPaint before will love this). 
The second segment was mostly older works that had previously appeared at the festival, most of which I wasn't a huge fan.  The festival ended with an award-winning Pixard short that I dare not mention because it's too commercial and cutsie for this blog.  Google it if you want to see it.
Overall, this event was a bit underwhelming for me and my friends, but that may just be because we were expecting the Sick & Twisted festival.  The show has been held over until 4/13, so if you'd like to check it out, click on the "Spkie & Mike's" link above.

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