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Underground Short Films

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Underground Short Films
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Before badly-made Newgrounds animations, Elsagate, and modern Public Service Announcements, there were those shorts...


Underground Short Films are a term for series of adult animated short films that are supposed to be a parody of other media. Examples include Mickey Mouse in Vietnam, Escalation, Bambi Meets Godzilla, Bring Me the Head of Charlie Brown, and Super Lolicon Fortress. Three of them have a style of monochromatic drawing, the other two are in color.

Plot

Mickey Mouse in Vietnam features Mickey walking until he comes across a giant poster that says "Join the Army and See the World", Mickey then dresses up as a soldier and goes to Vietnam via boat in order to fight in the then-ongoing Vietnam War. However, a few seconds after arriving in Vietnam, Mickey gets shot in the head, dying instantly.

Escalation begins with a countdown from 10 and a drumbeat, skipping over the number 7 and with each numeral getting larger in size as the countdown progresses. A dove of peace flies upside down and backwards, with X marks over its eyes as if it were dead. Then a giant statue of the head of Lyndon B. Johnson is slowly wheeled into view, while the melody of the "Battle Hymn of the Republic" plays. One of the statue's ears is shaped as a dollar sign. Actor Paul Frees imitates Johnson's voice reading the lyrics, later joined by a choir, with each instance of the word "truth" being bleeped out with a cuckoo sound. As the song goes on, Johnson's nose slowly starts to rise in phallic fashion. When fully erect, the nose begins to shake and then violently explodes as images of the Playboy Bunny, bare breasts, hot dogs, copious amounts of meat, Billy Graham, John Wayne, Doris Day, Coca-Cola, beer, Aunt Jemima, Lassie, Superman, Little Orphan Annie, S&H Green Stamps and cigarettes flash on the screen in rapid succession amidst images and sounds of explosions, followed by a similarly rapid succession of military decoration, ending on the Purple Heart (the medal for those wounded or killed in combat) as a single clock chime is heard. The cartoon fades out by having the statue crack into pieces.

Bambi Meets Godzilla has no plot whatsoever, it mainly consists of the opening credits. After the credits, Bambi gets crushed by Godzilla's foot.

Bring Me the Head of Charlie Brown consists of the Peanuts gang trying to kill Charlie after The Great Pumpkin puts a bounty on the former's head. However, after multiple assassination attempts, Charlie kills the Peanuts gang by shooting them. A few montages then are shown, one of them features Mickey getting hit on the head by a lead pipe.

Super Lolicon Fortress is where huge robots are taking over the city. Minky Momo and the other astronomers are tracking the locations of the robots. And then here comes a red and blue robot who is coming to save the day. The green haired girl with red goggles then launches the war planes. And the evil planes are crashing into each other. And the girl is somehow driving the plane up on a building wall?? And for some strange reason, the red and blue robot bizarrely turned into and revealed to be Angie Girl. And Angie then shoots the robots with her gun. And then another robot turned into another girl using the same logic. And then Angie and the other girl kept shooting the robots 'til one jade colored penguin-like robot died. And then one robot somehow turned into a giant man. And the giant destroys the buildings. Then Minky Momo pushes the button and then Angie Girl becomes a giant. And the giant shoots missiles at Angie. Then Angie finishes the giant off with her super explosive punch. And then Angie felt upset in the sunset.

Why All of Them (Intentionally?) Suck

NOTE: These shorts are likely made as jokes and intentionally made to be bad.

In General

  1. While "Escalation" and "Bring Me the Head of Charlie Brown" both have passable animation, "Mickey Mouse in Vietnam", "Bambi Meets Godzilla", and "Super Lolicon Fortress" have extremely lazy animation, as they look like they were made in the 1910s with a very limited budget.
  2. The animation itself is not only awful (aside of "Escalation" and "Bring Me the Head of Charlie Brown"), three out of the five shorts have no color in them other than just being black-and-white.
  3. Like Popee the Performer, all of them add stuff that has nothing to do with Disney, Lyndon B. Johnson, Peanuts, and Angie Girl, such as violence.
  4. All of them are very insulting, offensive, devious, mean-spirited and disrespectful to Disney, Lyndon B. Johnson, Bambi, Godzilla, Peanuts, Angie Girl, Minky Momo, and Macross fans and creators in every way.
  5. With the exception of "Escalation", they try to be like older cartoons, but yet, they make the animation look like it was made from a screen projector than an actual camera.
  6. Horrible writing and production values.
  7. Tons of disturbing imagery added in all of the five.
  8. "Escalation" and "Super Lolicon Fortress" both have uncensored nudity! Thankfully only in the public bath scene for "Super Lolicon Fortress".

"Mickey Mouse in Vietnam" (1968)

  1. As already mentioned before, the ending is extremely violent, nonsensical and creepy, the ending is basically Mickey getting shot dead after arriving in Vietnam.
  2. The title, "Mickey Mouse in Vietnam", sounds more likely a Vietnam War propaganda cartoon than anything ever desired or asked for (though that's understandable, due to America being involved in Vietnam War at the time).
  3. The smile Mickey has in the scene where the camera zooms up to his dead body is extremely disturbing.
  4. Sloppy animation that feels more like a Vyond video than anything.

"Escalation" (1968)

  1. Out of all of the shorts, it is the only one to not mock cartoons, but rather former U.S. president, Lyndon B. Johnson.
  2. After the nose explodes, you see random imagery of stuff while at the same time, explosions.

"Bambi Meets Godzilla" (1969)

  1. Misleading title: The film barely features Godzilla at all, and when he does appear, only his foot is shown.
  2. The entire film is just one scene of Bambi eating grass before being crushed by Godzilla, which feels like filler until we see Bambi dead.
  3. Just like the aforementioned Mickey Mouse in Vietnam, the animation is very sloppy that it barely qualifies as animation at all.

"Bring Me the Head of Charlie Brown" (1986)

  1. Out of all the shorts in the article, this is the most violent and vulgar of them all.
  2. Everyone is at their worst just because they wanted to kill Charlie Brown when he did absolutely nothing wrong to any single one of them. It's not like he betrayed any of them. Sure, the short claims that they only tried to kill him for the money the great pumpkin was offering a buttload of cash, but still.
  3. The infamous scene where Snoopy bites Charlie Brown's hand off, while tons of blood gushes out.
  4. The aforementioned and the most infamous scene in not just this short, but the rest of the short films mentioned in this article is where the scene in which Charlie Brown kills all of the Peanuts gang.
    • Before that, Snoopy got SHOT by the Red Baron!
  5. The face Mickey pulls after getting clobbered with a lead pipe is uncomfortable and creepy to look at.
  6. The voice actors sound NOTHING like the original voices of the characters, and it sounds like they were all voice acted by only 1 person. Heck, even the first 4 seasons of Fireman Sam had all the voices of the characters voiced by the creator! That was only one man! The show would even come out 1 year after that film was released! Talk about embarrassing.
  7. Blondie and Dagwood, Mickey Mouse, Rocky Balboa, Popeye and even Godzilla make cameos for absolutely no reason.
  8. The gagging/choking sound that Charlie Brown makes when Linus strangles him with his security blanket is extremely unsettling to hear (though the sound effect is from the Monty Python skit "Farewell to John Denver")
  9. During the scene where Charlie Brown kills his friends, Charlie Brown was seen killing Mexicans and Nazis, which could come off as offensive to not only Mexicans, but also Jews, victims & survivors of the holocaust, and possibly Germans.
  10. The looks of "Bring Me the Head of Charlie Brown" are not just violent, but also uncomfortable, unfunny, vile, cruel, over the top, horrifying, and scarring. If you watch it once, then see what we all mean.
  11. Last but not least, the title of this short is EXTREMELY mean-spirited and also misleading, as it's demanding someone to bring Charlie Brown's head as if they want him decapitated, when it actually never happened.

"Super Lolicon Fortress" (1980s????/1990s????/early 2000s????)

  1. It used other companies' characters like Angie Girl, Minky Momo, Macross etc. without permission.
  2. Like the aforementioned Bring Me The Head of Charlie Brown, the characters sounds NOTHING like their original counterparts.
  3. It also features useless live-action toy clips that are somewhat fake advertisements.
  4. Lazy animation, much like the animation in Mickey Mouse in Vietnam and Bambi Meets Godzilla.
    • Speaking of laziness, the parody short of Angie Girl in this film has TOTALLY unoriginal background music because it's a classic soundtrack from the golden age, proving how lazy the creator is.
  5. The music for the first credits (in the black background) is a Minky Momo soundtrack, which is also stolen as well.
  6. It also featured a post-skit that also parodied Angie Girl herself. Its parody intro is stupid because it featured Angie falling out from her horse. The art style also looks a bit weird and clumsy compared to the original 1977 Angie Girl anime.
  7. Why is Angie kissing a huge stack of dominos at the end!?
  8. Since when did Angie even have weapons when she didn't in her 1977 anime!?
  9. An "Alta" and "Toshiba" sign appeared, which is also copyright infringement.
  10. The design of the man at the beginning looks hideous.

Redeeming Qualities

  1. As already mentioned above, both Escalation and Bring Me the Head of Charlie Brown both have animation that ranges from decent to passable. Bring Me the Head of Charlie Brown does a good job matching the style of the Peanuts comics as well.
    • Escalation is the best looking of the shorts, as it is not only in color (with Super Lolicon Fortress), but also has cleaner animation than the others. This is because the film was independently done by Ward Kimball, one of Disney's Nine Old Men.
  1. The live-action toy segments in Super Lolicon Fortress are kind of cool (depending on your view).
  2. Bambi Meets Godzilla is arguably the least bad of the bunch as it isn't as gruesome as the other shorts since the only use of graphic content is Bambi being crushed, which thankfully has no blood at all.
    • The credits, while taking a majority of the film, also have a good joke due to all of the short film being made by a single person (Marv Newland) and at one point it shows "Marv Newland being produced by his parents".
  3. Bring Me the Head of Charlie Brown has few funny moments such as the kite-eating tree tipping over and falling on Charlie Brown.
    • "Schroder, where's your piano?" WHAM!
  4. Somehow you can tell they're not meant to be taken seriously, as they were possibly meant to be bad on purpose.
  5. The voice acting in Bring Me the Head of Charlie Brown is so intentionally awful to listen to that it is worth a laugh.
  6. Pretty nice art style for Super Lolicon Fortress that it actually resembles an actual anime.
  7. Angie Girl's design is still cute, along with the other girls.
  8. The music for Super Lolicon Fortress, especially for the first credits, is really catchy, nostalgic, and heartwarming.

Trivia

  • Mickey Mouse in Vietnam won an award at the International Short Film Festival Oberhausen in 1970.
  • Super Lolicon Fortress is the only one of those films that's anime.
  • The gradual enlargement of Johnson's nose brings up images of Pinocchio, whose nose grew longer whenever he lied. Kimball worked on the 1940 Disney adaptation of Pinocchio.
  • Bambi Meets Godzilla got ranked at the the 38th place in the 50 Greatest Cartoons book.
  • Bring Me the Head of Charlie Brown was directed by Jim Reardon, who would later become a director and storyboard consultant for The Simpsons and one of the co-writers for Pixar's WALL-E.
  • Mickey Mouse in Vietnam was directed by Whitney Lee Savage (father of Adam Savage, a host of Mythbusters) and produced by Milton Glaser (designer of the I ❤️ NY logo).
  • As of today, Super Lolicon Fortress is so obscure that it's even the only one out of the four that didn't have a page on Wikipedia.

Videos

Mickey Mouse in Vietnam (1968)
Escalation (1968)
Bambi Meets Godzilla (1969)
Bring Me the Head of Charlie Brown (1986)
Super Lolicon Fortress (19??/200?)

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