We Recommend: Your Friday Freebies
Junkee-endorsed bits and bobs to make your weekend better. Featuring a longform piece on a cartoon show, a terrible dance troupe, cats smooshed with owls and more.
Video: ‘The Reject The Recession Dancers‘, on Sunrise
Recommended by: Ben Jenkins
With all the talk of the looming deficit, and grim recommendations pouring out of the Commission of Audit like so many face-melting ghosts from the Arc of the Covenant, it’s easy to get despondent about the state of the economy.
It’s important to remember, though, that we’ve been through this before when things looked a lot worse. Back in 2009 as the world was grappling with the GFC, Actual Economist and Morning Talking Person David Koch was concerned that Australia was going to worry itself into another recession, and came up with an idea to ensure the nation stayed positive.
Enter from all sides the Reject The Recession Dancers and the most wonderful, surreal 50 seconds of television ever produced in Australia. They did not return.
Important Tutorial: ‘How To Make Thin Hamster’
Recommended by: Steph Harmon
The concept is excellent and the hamster does get sensationally flat, but the real winner here is the translator.
Tumblr: Disney characters as Pacific Rim jaeger Pilots
Recommended by: Jaymz Clements (‘The Walking Dead’s Shocking Finale, And What It Means For Next Season‘)
Considering the dearth of actually interesting characters in Guillermo del Toro’s Pacific Rim (as sad as Charlie ‘Jax’ Hunnam eyes can be, it didn’t mean he was remotely interesting as a character), it would’ve made the movie roughly 400 times better had they used character approximations from Disney movies as inspiration. A Native American woman and an English explorer guy! A tough Mongolian lass and Eddie Murphy! Who’d say no to a petite girl and a big, beefy guy who could barely articulate words? (Oh, wait. Huh. Pacific Rim totally ripped off Beauty & the Beast.)
Hell, it didn’t even necessarily need to be Disney movies. I would’ve put all the money I have in the world (so, $42) on the Jaeger piloted by Ripley and Newt. Those Kaiju wouldn’t stood a chance against the Aliens dream team.
I, for one, am now waiting for the Lilo & Stitch-based Pacific Rim tie-in TV series. It’d be a hell of a lot better than whatever Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D is meant to be.
Article: It’s Adventure Time By Maria Bustillos
Recommended by: James Robert Douglas (‘The Best Action Films Don’t Come From Hollywood‘)
This longform piece on Cartoon Network’s cross-generational cult oddity Adventure Time manages to be both a tidy bit of cultural reportage, and a serious inside look at the creative possibilities of animation today.
Published by The Awl, but housed solo on a tumblr-driven web page, it’s also an inventive example of the current possibilities for digital publishing.
Video: The One That Made Us Ask “If A Dog Made You Breakfast Would You Eat It?”
Recommended by: Eliza Cussen
Yes. Yes we would. In this four minutes of glory we see Jesse, the world’s most convenient Jack Russell help his owners shop for groceries, send letters and make tea. He not only thinks he’s people, but he’s better than most of my housemates.
Meowls: Smushing Together Cats And Owls
Recommended by: Elizabeth Flux
It was only a matter of time before people started finding all the cute things the web had to offer and start smushing them together into some kind of strange, new age cockatrice.
Thus ‘Meowls’ were born. Featuring the body of an owl with the head of a cat, they are disquietingly adorable. If ‘kawaii’ existed in pictorial form, this would be it.
Meowls have been quietly a thing for a while, if Reddit is anything to go by. So far it looks like no one has made one with Grumpy Cat, which explains why the internet remains unbroken.
Recommended by: Katie Booth (‘And None For You Glen Coco: He Didn’t Even Get Paid For His Mean Girls Role‘)
It’s easy to forget how much visual effects can enhance a film. The aesthetic delight of Wes Anderson’s most recent film, The Grand Budapest Hotel, is another example of his distinctive style of cinema.
But just how much he owes this to the fine-tuning of Look Effects, the VFX team behind the film, can only be seen in this video breakdown of the tricks applied in post production. And the results are amazing.