Why Watch? In 1988, Pixar’s Tin Toy won the Oscar for Best Animated Short. The studio’s history after that is well known, but one of the shorts that it beat out for gold was just about as symbolic as you could ask for. Technological Threat, from Brian Jennings and Bill Kroyer, was a blend of rudimentary computer animation and hand-drawn traditional that told the story of computers taking over all the artist jobs. It predicted the future the very year that it started coming to pass.
The movie itself is an homage to Tex Avery-style cartoons, with dogs in suits trying desperately to draw while burdened by exhaustion, sneezing fits, and a need to stay hydrated. The robots, of course, don’t face the same problems, and as the room fills up with them, one dog fights back.
Of course, unlike the story, there was no beating the tide of computer animation, making this a bizarre historical object and a hand-drawn crystal ball. Plus, it was nice of them to thank Brad Bird in the credits.
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