722. The Wolf Man – Tim Hope

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SUMMARY: A scientist in a secluded woodland observatory falls in love with the moon and unleashes a wild side that is in sharp contrast with his usual serenity.

WHY IT’S HERE: An immediate cult hit and a favourite for broadcast on late night Channel 4, British animator Tim Hope’s extraordinary ‘The Wolf Man’ is the sort of short animation that stays with you long after you’ve seen it and surely lead to sleepless nights for many of those viewers seeing it at 1am like I first did. Alluringly strange and creepy yet also hysterically funny in its combination of poetic and ludicrous language and the sudden violent shift from serene to anarchically visceral, ‘The Wolf Man’ is instantly identifiable as a product of the late-90s/early 2000s when troubling surrealist comedy was coming into fashion with shows like Chris Morris’s ‘Jam’. It’s no surprise to learn that Hope himself used to perform in a comedy team with ‘The Mighty Boosh’s Julian Barratt, whose creations Old Gregg and The Crack Fox provide similar comedic chills. ‘The Wolf Man’ has an incredible look to it, as Hope makes a 3D universe from simple 2D cutout images, while actor and composer Waen Shepherd is perfect as the voice of the scientist. ‘The Wolf Man’ ultimately plays as an amazingly evocative crumbling of a fragile mind in isolation.

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