2022-04-16 The Mail Newspapers

A Lesson in Dedication

A Lesson in Dedication

The Absurd, Surreal, Metaphysical, and Fractured Destiny of Cerebus the Aardvark

Genre: Animation
Year Released: 2021
Runtime: 1h 10m
Director(s): Oliver Simonsen
Writer(s): Oliver Simonsen, Dave Sim (based on comics by)
Cast: John Di Crosta, Yuell Newsome, Stephen Mendel
Where To Watch: For free on Tubi, Plex, Xumo, Just 99 cents on Vimeo on Demand

A little about this project to start with, it’s based on the Canadian comic book "Cerebus the Aardvark," which ran for over 300 issues. This film took 14 years to make and had the help of 200 people. This was a completely independent, no-budget film (so no crowdfunding), and it’s the definition of a passion project. 

So I don’t like to give independent projects a star rating as I do regular films; I don’t think it's fair to them. I make some exceptions, but in general, I know this is something that I couldn’t do, and I think it’s incredible. I think projects like this deserve all the credit in the world; I’ve reviewed a lot of short films and do the same thing. This is a feature-length film, though, showing a level of dedication that I can’t imagine.

I would be a hypocrite if I didn’t give my thoughts here. I mean no disrespect to the creators, but I would be cheating myself and the readers if I didn’t share the positives and negatives. I’ll start with the positives; Cerebus looked incredible; while I haven’t read the comics the film is based on, I did some digging and believe that Simonsen nailed the design. I would say nearly 100% faithful to the look and feel of the hand-drawn versions. Now the negatives, while Cerebus looked terrific, the humans in the film were rough, to say the least (think BEAST WARS if you’ve seen that series.) This is probably more to do with when and how the film was made than the abilities of those behind it.

I would be curious to hear someone's thoughts on the film who was a follower of the comic series. Dave Sims (the artist of the original comic line) gave his blessing to this project after turning down the likes of George Lucas and other studios as well. I think that says a lot about what people can see in the passion involved in something like this. I would be curious if they got the proper funding then how a film would turn out. If this series ever gets a larger studio adaptation, I would like to see Simonsen somehow involved. It’s only fair that someone who dedicated such a larger portion of their life is rewarded in some fashion.

If you check this out, please drop me a line or comment and tell me what you think about it.

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