Friday, July 24, 2020

Spike & Mike: Animation Outlaws Review: An Animated Look At Some Animated Animators

Release date: July 15, 2020
Running time: 67 minutes

Spike & Mike: Animation Outlaws is an interview style documentary film about two hippie friends who set out to create a first of its kind animation festival and end up helping to start the rise of the animation industry and launch the careers of the artist and directors who run it.  It is really a remarkable story, that these two passionate animators were able to start a recognized festival that gave money, exposure, and a platform to so many up and coming animators.  The film has interviews with many people whose lives were touched by this pair, and it is really fun to see during this relatively short documentary..  

The main selling point of this film is the fantastic animation and the talent behind it.  The film showcases much of the animation that the pair were known to promote.  Some of these are very well known and some are far more obscure.  But they are all original and interesting to watch.  And the cameos that are featured in the documentary are a joy to see.  The film features some amazing animators and celebrities, from Seth Green, to Weird Al, to Mike Judge, the film is a who's who of famous animators.  And the animation itself is a joy to watch.  There are so many clips of obscure, obscene, and shocking animation that anyone who is interested in this area will have a ton to see.  And there is so much showcased that you are bound to find something that is new or interesting.  

And the documentary does a great job of showcasing what Spike and Mike did for the animation community.  Many of these famous names got their start doing these festivals.  Spike and Mike would often pay to promote lesser known animators, and pay to take their work to the next level such as by colorizing it.  Spike and Mike would also promote animators despite race, locale, or gender.  One interviewee made a point of stating that the pair would promote female animators when not many people were.  If there is a criticism with this documentary, it that there is not enough backstory on the famous animators themselves.  I feel like you get glimpses of their personalities and stage personas, but not enough backstory to really get a sense of who they were.  And the film definitely had the space for it as the documentary is a relatively short 67 minutes long.  More on Spike and Mike and more animation examples would have been fine by me.  But when your criticism of a documentary is that you just wanted more, that is usually a good sign.

Spike & Mike: Animation Outlaws is an animated documentary that highlights some amazing animators and animation, and what these two did for the overall community.

Watch it.
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