Spike and Mike is the fark.com of animation festivals: lots of quick takes, about 20 percent of them worth a click-through. Mostly, they focus on the grotesque and disgusting, although this year’s fest seems to have toned down the dependence on vomit and dismemberment a bit. Still, I wouldn’t buy a lot of popcorn and Goobers to eat while watching this. Some of the cartoons are really funny, like the obligatory parody of School House Rock wherein little Johnny learns about his first boner. Others are just your standard fare. I mean, haven’t we seen enough Bill Plympton cartoons by now? They’re all the same. You could actually cut them up into 20-second long segments, mix them all together, and re-release them and no one would know the difference. There’s also some unexpected stuff, like a cartoon by the evil French. It is, not surprisingly, boring and pretentious, which are not exactly trademarks of the Spike and Mike regime. The biggest difference between this year’s festival and the earlier ones, though, is the general look of the cartoons. In the old days, they all had the same hand-drawn look. Now they all have the same computer animated look. Still, there’s nothing I can say to stop true Spike and Mike fans from going to see this, and if you’re among that number, then let me just add the magic words “new No Neck Joe cartoon!” 


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