914.The Cow Who Wanted to Be a Hamburger – Bill Plympton

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SUMMARY: A calf who yearns to be made into a burger after seeing a billboard for the Happy Burger learns the grim realities of how they are made.

WHY IT’S HERE: Bill Plympton’s ‘The Cow Who Wanted to Be a Hamburger’ puts a grim twist on children’s fables. Plympton presents his bizarre little tale in the style of a picture book, with boldly rendered characters and bright colours. When the calf finds he is too underweight to be considered worthy of processing into meat, we get a short training montage which is perhaps the funniest thing in the film. The rest of the story is played fairly straight, albeit with full awareness of its ludicrous premise. The moment when the delighted calf realises what becoming a burger actually means is genuinely frightening and involving, while the ending wraps things up in a neat and not-too-grisly fashion, at least for the main characters. Plympton adds a nice touch by indicating the production crew’s eating habits next to their names in the final credits.

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