Rock-a-Doodle

He’s a rebel with a cause.

Animator Don Bluth broke with Disney when he felt the company was straying from Walt’s vision, and has gone on to have a steady career as an outsider fighting for a certain style in family films.

Along the way, he’s birthed the never-ending Land Before Time series, All Dogs Go to Heaven, and Anastasia, among others.

One of my favorites is this tale of a Glen Campbell-voiced rooster who becomes an Elvis-style music star, before returning to fight off the diabolical plans of the dastardly Duke of Owls.

It rocks the house down.

 

Wild Love

Um, yeah, so probably not for the kiddos.

Come to this gnarly man vs. animal slugfest with the right attitude and it’s frequently hilarious.

Don’t, and you’ll probably be the one huddled over in the corner, whispering, “What is wrong with you?”

A lot, apparently.

I don’t want to spoil things, especially for a film which is just a zippy seven minutes, so let’s just set the table like so — a human couple make an error in the woods, and come to regret it. Big time.

Go, enjoy … then prepare your angry emails.

 

The Peanut Vendor

And I shall never sleep again.

This two-minute burst of nightmare fuel, concocted in 1933, was way ahead of its time, at least in terms of technical achievement.

But yeegads, someone should have taken a second run at designing the star of the show.

The singing, dancing Lord of Hell … I mean, the monkey … is a pop-eyed beast who might have been more at home in a slasher-fest.

Instead, he’s out there boppin’ along with a swaying palm tree, trying to force us to buy his peanuts before we go to sleep.

Or else!!!

 

A Wish For Wings That Work

You just want to hug him.

Has there ever been a more-likeable comic strip character than Opus?

The pudgy lil’ penguin has been a huge part of my life, from his ’80s heyday in the panels of Bloom County to all the side projects author Berke Breathed has put out in the years since.

This 1991 TV special, which follows Opus as he seeks a way to take to the skies above, is simple, sweet, yet also full of oddball jokes.

Whether you’re an old-school fan or a newbie, it’s a pretty dang good way to kill 23 minutes.

 

100,000 Acres of Pine

Something wicked this way crawls.

The woods get eerie in this beautifully-rendered, and very-creepy, short animated film about a park ranger trying to solve the disappearance of her brother.

Using fragments of audio tapes he left behind as her inspiration, our plucky heroine ventures ever deeper into the land from which no one returns.

Ignoring the warnings of others, who tell her that some things should just be left alone, she is dying for an answer.

Let’s hope whatever might be lurking out there in the forest doesn’t take her up on her offer.