368. The Substitute – Dusan Vukotic

song-of-the-prairie

SUMMARY: A man goes on a trip to the beach where everything turns out to be inflatable.

WHY IT’S HERE: ‘The Substitute’ (aka ‘Ersatz’ or ‘Surogat’) is a Yugoslavian film featuring a little triangular man who lives in a world where everything he needs is inflatable, from sunbeds and food to human beings and scenery. It’s a very odd but captivatingly absurd cartoon with a strong UPA influence and an amusing line in slapstick. After ‘Moonbird’ and ‘Munro’ won the previous two years Oscars and pushed more experimental animation to the forefront of public consciousness, ‘The Substitute’ emphatically continued this trend by beating three Warner Bros. shorts and one Disney. All four of these shorts were well below par, especially when compared with the lively invention of ‘The Substitute’, which flew the flag for the modern approach among the fading stars of the traditional theatrical animated short.

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