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ANGRYKID.COM
Online animation gets pissed

BY KATE COHEN

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If Wallace and Gromit are the darlings of the Aardman animation family, and the hens of Chicken Run their charming first cousins, then Angry Kid, a Web exclusive character created by that kooky animation factory across the pond, is the bad seed who would not be welcomed at Aardman family gatherings. But the Kid seems to be doing alright on his own. Besides appearing in Spike and Mike’s Sick and Twisted Festival of Animation, the foul-mouthed British brat is also terrorizing the Internet at www.angrykid.com. For anyone unfamiliar with this red-haired, pre-teen menace, a word of warning: it might be best to hold off on lunch before watching his films.

To date, there are 19 Angry Kid episodes, all of which are available in the archive section of the Web site. Each segment spans between one and two minutes, and in that brief time, the Kid tackles one of life’s simple details – be it brushing his teeth, demonstrating bicycle heroics, or riding in the backseat of his family’s car. Although the final outcome is often unpredictable, Angry Kid’s nagging curiosity can always be expected to get him in a gory mess of trouble. The toothbrush ends up wedged inside his enormous mouth; the backseat of the car becomes the setting for excessive nosebleeds, profuse cussing, and domestic violence. And if an episode begins with the Kid riding his bicycle, there’s a good chance that the short will end with him off of his “chopper,” a heap of exposed bones and twisted metal.

Angry Kid’s animators keep the films fresh by incorporating recurring characters, like the Kid’s demonic younger sister and a tiny, fiendishly feisty dog. Both successfully torment the Kid on his journey through adolescence. The site also features two interactive games: “Bored Game,” which has Angry Kid sounding out his favorite “nasty” words for his little sister and “Choir Boy Game,” a memory activity where we get to hear the Kid sing – sort of. But the animated shorts are definitely the site’s main draw, as they further solidify the Web as a place for everything and everyone – including a hero who self-administers hickeys, snots onto his sister’s hand, and waves his mum’s vibrator around like a light saber.

Issue Date: March 26, 2001