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Celebrating B Movies, Cult Films, and Indie Classics.

Cool World (1992)

by  |  May 11th, 2011  |  Animation

Over the years there has been many forms of Animation that have been popular, some of these being, Anime, Manga, CGI, Your basic comic books (Which in and of themselves can be construed as the most basic form of Animation…) With that said though, there is one style of Animation that although being done periodically since the earliest Animated works, has still not gained a tremendous amount of notoriety even though it has been around for over a century!

What is it? Well simply put, it is Live Action/Animation movies.  Now you might be wondering what Live Action/Animation is…

Live Action Animation is the act of inserting some semblance of the real world in to an animated forum (Such as inserting Bob Hoskins in to the animated world that is displayed in Who Framed Roger Rabbit) and the reverse is also true (As in the example of Warner Bros 'Looney Toons' being inserted in to the real world with Michael Jordan.)

With that said though, the 1990's began an era that show cased a different type of animated cartoon, that were similar to the graphic novels (I,e. more adult themed comics.) Now I myself never had much of an opportunity to watch this stuff, I have seen a lot of the stuff that was based on these more graphic novels (such as The Crow)

With that said, the piece that got me interested in things like the more graphic of the comic book series, as well as the more graphic animated movies and television shows is, Cool World (1992):

Written by: Michael Grais (Lakeshore Drive) and Mark Victor (Marked For Death) and Directed by: Ralph Bakshi (Babe, He Calls Me) and starring Gabriel Byrne (Perrier's Bounty), Brad Pitt (The Tree Of Life) and Kim Basinger (Charlie St. Cloud)

Animation can tell the story of a World different from our own world, in which everything is drawn and the laws that govern our own world don't apply to this world (Clinical enough for ya?) Irregardless it is true, and for the most part we tend to show this animated world to our children who have found this world to be both entertaining, and some times can set children on their path…

2 Kids Watching Cartoons

Well folks, Cool World is one of those types of Scenarios (Although you probably won't wanna show this world to your children till they are a lot older…) You see Cool World takes a literal interpretation of the Animated World being a universe separate from the real world.  The thing about Cool World is that this is not your standard Looney Toon/Disney Toon World…

Cool World is an Animated World in which Drinking and Debauchery rein supreme, a world in which just about anything goes.  As a matter of fact the only law that seems to be universally accepted by just about every one in Cool World is the fact that neither Doodle (Cartoon) or Noid (Normal Human) are allowed to have sex with each other, or else the fabric of reality in both the real World and in Cool World will begin to merge and can ultimately end up destroying both!

The only person that doesn't seem to really care about this is a Doodle by the name of Holly Would (Basinger)…

Holly Would (Voiced by: Jenine Jennings)

With that in mind, the movie starts off in 1945…

In the real World, World War 2 has just ended and soldiers are returning home to their lives and their families.

This is the case with Frank Harris…

Frank Harris (Pitt) with one of the Toons

Frank Harris is a soldier who has come home from the War to start his life anew in his home town of Las Vegas, Nevada, he is a happy go lucky guy who is excited to be home and to visit with his mother. When they get home, his mother starts making a meal for them.  During this time an excited Frank comes out to the kitchen and persuades his mother to go for a ride with him on the Motorcycle that he won in a game in Italy during the War.  Now of course they are having a great old time on the road, with the wind whipping through their hair, life is going great for them…

This of course is until a drunk couple speed out of a local gambling hall and plows straight in to both Frank and his mother! This of course sets off a deep depression in Frank that ultimate results in shell shock for him…

Now during the time that the cops an

d the ambulance personnel are there taking care of the scene, Frank is pulled out of the real World and in to the Toon world of Cool World!

You see, there is a Doodle (Cartoon) Scientist by the name of Dr. Vincent Whiskers (Voiced by: Maurice LaMarche.) Now this scientist has known about the real world for a long time, and has wanted to explore the real world for a long time.  So he creates a special glowing spike (This spike is basically the key between both Cool World, and The Real World.)

With that said, Frank has become the first real person to travel to the Animated World of Cool World.  This of course fascinates Dr. Whiskers who proceeds to lead the barely lucid Frank down a long hall way so that they can talk…

Cut  to 47 years later… The year is 1992…

The setting is a prison cell.  In this prison cell is an animator by the name of Jack Deebs.  You see ole Jack is in prison for killing a man that he had caught his wife cheating on him with (A good idea for a movie?) Anyway, Jack is also the creator of a very popular Comic Book series by the name of Cool World (Yes it is the Cool World that Frank went to, but Jack did not create it.)

Of course it is not fully explained how Jack came to the inspiration to create the Cool World comic book series (My theory, and this is to some degree backed up by the movie itself, is that Jack, while in prison, had a dream that landed him in Cool World, and that was the inspiration for his story.  The reason that I say this is because real World people can visit Cool World through their dreams now…)

Jack Deebs (Byrne) as he is sitting in his cell drawing.

With that said, during Jack's last night in prison, he is for the first time physically transported to Cool World, where for the first time he meets Holly Would and her gang.  Since Holly is determined to get out of Cool World, she begins physically to make her intentions toward Jack known (Of course at this point Jack is pretty certain that he is dreaming.) Real quickly after this though, Jack is dropped violently back in to the Real World, and his prison cell.

After this first meeting, Frank (who never left Cool World) goes to meet with Holly Would about the incident…

Now with Jack released from Prison, he is back home and is sitting at his writing table, when he is yet again transferred to Cool World, again. During this next visit he is transferred by Holly's gang to Holly's club, where in Holly seduce him in to wanting and needing her…

Holly Would seducing Jack in to doing her bidding.

Now it is up to Detective Frank Harris, and his partner Nails (Voiced by: Charles Adler) to stop Holly and her plans to become a real girl, before the fabric of the universe is torn to shreds!

Harris with his partner Nails.

What I loved about this movie, and what I truly do believe makes this a truly Awesome B Movie is as follows:

1. I thought the cast in this movie was fan-FREAKIN-tastic, I mean everyone from Brad Pitt (This was the first movie that I ever saw him in) as Detective Frank Harris of the Cool World PD to Maurice LaMarche (A man whose voice I grew up listening to with such cartoons as Animaniacs, Pinky & The Brain and later Futurama) as the voice of Dr. Whiskers, all just did a fantastic job in my opinion!

2. The next thing that I wanted to say is that I am still to this day impressed with the Animation/Live Action cross over of this movie, I mean I actually in my opinion think that Cool World may be the most well thought out, and visually stunning Animation/Live Action cross over that I have ever seen!

3. I also gotta say that I really like the story line, I mean this movie helped to create a life long interest in B Movies/Grindhouse films and other such out of the norm/non-blockbuster type of movies for me!

4. As weird as this may sound, the next thing that I really have to say about this movie that I really liked, is the promotional campaign that the studio did for this movie upon it's release, I mean the slogan was so catchy that I can remember it to this day,
“Holly Would if she could …And She Will”

As a side note though, this movie is probably not one that I would recommend letting young children watch, I mean being similar in context to a graphic novel, it does have some, somewhat Graphic content that probably is not suitable for young kids…

But for the adults out there, if your looking for a truly fun, some what different good time in an Animated movie, then I highly recommend checking this one out!  It is a fun one.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GACDzexAdV0

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Nathan Strack

About

I am a huge Horror/B-Movie/Grindhouse movie fan! Rather it be Writing/Acting/Directing or just watching one I love it all!

The Animated Shorts of UPA (1940s-1960s)
Forever Young (1992)
Guncrazy (1992)

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