Frisky Dingo Season One Review

The Series

Cartoons are for kids, right? Or if they are not, they please that part of us adults which is forever wetting the bed and looking up swear words in the dictionary. The presence of animated series and whole cartoon channels for adults I believe is a symbol of our adolescences extending through our working lives back into second nappy time. Like the Rolling Stones gigging well past their evening cocoa, cartoons for adults perpetuate the notion that we are still young at heart.

Paradoxically, things like South Park and Family Guy allow us to be older selves at the same time. We get to enjoy swearing, intimations of perversity and a large satellite dish appearing out of Cartman's ass. Compare this with real kids who only get pooping noises from the likes of Pingu. Frisky Dingo gives immature grown-ups lots of swearing(mostly bleeped), violence and dismemberment too. Like South Park, it enjoys being a little bit ropey in the animation stakes, and it approaches the adult viewer by taking the childhood staples of superheroes and making them crappy adults with mundane problems just like the spectator.
Unlike South Park, Frisky Dingo is only taking the michael. There is no serious satirical purpose as it builds on surreal situations by re-integrating them within everyday frames of reference to mine the humour of the contrast. In this respect, the supervillain has a "problem child" and there is a running gag about buying pickles. The supposedly heroic and evil are brought down to earth continually by their adult weaknesses - cash flow, libido and complete idiocy - and the generic struggle between the poles of good and bad is parodied into meaninglessness.

Well say what you like about fighting for truth, apple pie and the American way of life, but it is at least a focus and the thirteen eleven minute long episodes here could learn a lot from this as they meander off in countless directions. The lack of a consistent satirical position means that the gags come from all angles, but often the circuitousness of the set-ups left me longing for the brevity and consistency that would be offered by a stronger narrative backbone or a fixed purpose.
Being short form, the episodes lend themselves to further inconsistency with inspiration leading to great individual shows such as the radio active ant cliffhanger. More often than not though, the episodes try too hard to fill the time with zaniness or rely on tired situational comedy that is more My Two Dads than cutting edge animation for the child inside.

Because everyone is some kind of dick, a lot relies on the story to hold it all together, and if that doesn't come off then the gags have to do the job of entertainment glue. Sadly, the gags fail in this role because they are frequently silly and reliant only on the fact that everyone is some kind of dick.
With self acknowledged waffle to pad the job out and a tendency for ideas to be aborted halfway, the worst episodes come when the padding is most obvious and the inspirational deficit unavoidable. The best of the work is when set-ups pay off with genius conclusions and the highpoint for me was the rabbit fighting which is part pastiche of films like the Rambo trilogy and the Deer Hunter and part almost Dadaist visual humour.

This first season is a mixed bag and often seems like a one-off viral that has been stretched to fill nearly two and a half hours. Viewed in one sitting, this stretched quality is hammered home and perhaps the ideal way to experience the series is to dip in and out. It is quite adolescent and perhaps comic book fans will appreciate the parodies, but Frisky Dingo is more patchy mutt than Crufts winner.

Transfer and Sound

Bearing the same running time as the R1 disc and boasting more combing and motion shake that a St Vitus dance sufferers convention on a pedalo in the middle of the Atlantic, this looks very weak indeed. Black levels are greyer than they should be, and for a series which has very little in the way of rapid movement the amount of artefacts and eye ache is best shown in the screen shot below. You are advised to not stare at the image for too long.
It is very probably a standards conversion and those of you with multi region players should look elsewhere. The single stereo sound option is perfectly serviceable though and there is little here to trouble your system or give it much of a workout. There are hard of hearing subs available.

Discs and Special Features

This is a dual layer region 2 disc with no extras of any nature. The menu is static character art from the series with basic options available.


Summary

Frisky Dingo is very occasionally inspired, but far too infrequently. This HMV exclusive disk has a poor transfer and the region one disc is likely to be a better option for those who enjoy the series more than myself

Film
6 out of 10
Video
4 out of 10
Audio
6 out of 10
Extras
0 out of 10
Overall

5

out of 10

Last updated: 15/05/2018 07:00:50

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