The Rocketship Reel

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The Rocketship Reel

Under the supervision of Marv Newland, a filmmaker most famous for his animated short-subject Bambi Meets Godzilla, the Vancouver-based animation studio International Rocketship has produced a number of near-classic animation-festival staples. Twelve samples of its output, most from the '80s, are collected on The Rocketship Reel, including such familiar titles as the extraordinarily gory Lupo The Butcher and the short, cute Dog Brain. Unfortunately, the best-known material also provides most of the tape's highlights. Animjam, a collaboration featuring 22 animators, is interesting, and Black Hula makes a sharp point, but most of the other shorts are strictly second-rate. With some judicious fast-forwarding, The Rocketship Reel is a compelling collection, but those interested in animated shorts are better off renting one of the Spike And Mike or International Tournee Of Animation collections, which will contain a wider variety of material—and probably some Rocketship stuff as well.