Genius Party

Title:Genius Party
Keywords: , , , , ,
Notables: Animation - Studio 4°C
Genius Party is an anthology of seven short animated films. While Studio 4°C did the animation for the entire movie, each short was directed by a different person with a different style and theme.

Genius Party (6min) - Atsuko Fukushima
Shanghai Dragon (20min) - Shoji Kawamori
Deathtic 4 (0min ?) - Shinji Kimura
Doorbell (14min) - Yuji Fukuyama
Limit Cycle (20min) - Hideki Futamura
Happy Machine (15min)- Masaaki Yuasa
Baby Blue (15min) - Shinichiro Watanabe

The complete movie is 105min long

Some screenings also included the French "Le manchot mélomane" directed by Nicolas de Crécy (however, this short film was not included in the first DVD release of the Genius Party film).

And a sequel/2nd movie was released the following year - see Genius Party Beyond
OverallArtAnimationCharacter Design MusicSeries StoryEpisode StoryReviewer
Rent Ggultra2764 [series:1883#1552]
Genius Party is another anthology film from Studio 4C depicting different stories and themes in seven shorts. Due to the format of this movie, I've decided not to rate the whole thing by numbers and instead just offer quick thoughts on each short within this anthology. Still, would at least recommend animation fans to check this out at least once to get their own experience out of seeing this. This aside, here are my thoughts on each of the shorts in Genius Party:

  1. Genius Party: An unusual short exploring a human in a bird-like mask eating sentient egg-like stones. Doesn't really have much of a plot as the weirdness of the visuals serve to introduce audiences to the anthology.
  2. Shanghai Dragon: One of the more creative shorts as a Chinese boy fights off a futuristic AI threat using advanced technology that allows his thoughts to come to life. The best animated short of the lot with the detailed designs of the alien technology and fluid movement during the invasion sequence as the boy and two human time travelers do battle with the enemy robots.
  3. Deathtic 4: Set in a world of zombies as a boy tries to return a living frog back to its own world. The crude visuals are fitting for the zombie world that this short is set in and the chase sequence with the boy and a ragtag team of so-called superheroes made for the animated highlight of the short.
  4. Doorbell: Multiple copies of a high school boy being around the city lead others to be confused over his existence. The animation here is nothing too out of the ordinary, but the storytelling is solid within the short's runtime as the boy tries to make sense over the misperceptions others are having over his presence.
  5. Limit Cycle: A salaryman stuck with endless work dabbles into an existential examination about humanity. Probably the weakest of the shorts for me as this one came off feeling a bit pretentious with what it was trying to dabble into and said existential dabbling pretty much making up the entirety of the short in a montage of various elements related to the human condition.
  6. Happy Machine: An infant discovers his nursery is fake and ventures out to a mysterious alien world. The infant's adventure outside his fake nursery is the main hook of this short as he encounters different alien life that support or hinder him as he explores the world he is on and the aliens have some unique designs in how they are drawn.
  7. Baby Blue: The more down-to-earth short exploring two high school students choosing to skip school and spend the day together. The story for this gradually becomes more bittersweet with a revelation that one of the students makes over his reasons for why he chose to spend the day with his close female friend. One element of the story that is surprising is that the boy is apparently in possession of a live grenade he stole years ago as a child, which does come into play later into the short. But setting aside that strange development, Baby Blue is probably the more relatable short for audiences within Genius Party.

Last updated Sunday, April 05 2020. Created Sunday, April 05 2020.
Unevaluated Stretch [series:1883#628]
I've only seen the first two of these. The six minute "Genius Party" looks like the director went to one of those parties, and afterwards animated a hallucination he experienced. I tried to make a little sense of it by narrating what I was seeing (since there is not a single line of dialogue--fansubs don't get much easier than this!). It went something like this: "A bird-man runs around looking for face-like globes that bury themselves into the ground, and sometimes exude a heart shaped thing, which the bird-man likes to eat". Needless to say, the effort didn't do much good. If I had carried on and at the end asked myself "and the point of it all is...?", I'd have been at a loss to offer an answer. Anything, that is, other than "enjoy some fanciful animation and be amused by the sheer weirdness".

Film number two, "Shanghai Dragon" made a good deal more sense and was fun to watch. A pathetic, runny-nosed kid at a run-down school finds himself suddenly thrust into a position of awesome importance. His only assets: imagination and creativity. it was a neat spin on the usual heroic tale, where it's generally sheer strength, courage, and determination which determine the victor. This story reminds us that other sorts of people with different talents exist as well. The thought occured to me that it would be fun if an entire series was made based on this premise.

Last updated Monday, April 06 2020. Created Monday, August 04 2008.

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