Luigi’s Day Out by Max G.

This animation is a dark take on the relationship between a pair of brothers from some of the most popular video games ever made. Luigi, who is often overshadowed by his brother Mario in the gaming world, is presented as a an exuberant goober’ish little brother. Falling victim to his older brother’s antics, Luigi finally has his moment to step out into the grim limelight.

As familiar as a “day of reckoning” story is, I believe that without a platform such as the internet, an animation like this would never have been accesable to such a large audience. Animations like this might have been considered too crude to have been released any other way. Places like Youtube allow artist to share their ideas and unique storylines, while blurring the line between mainstream and the obscure. Which I believe helps to expand the animation medium.

The character design is one of my favorite aspects of this animation. Each character has a consistent look with thick outlines and simple shading and highlights. Facial expressions and movement are exagerated with squash and stretch, but is more prominent in Luigi. In the first few moments of the animation you can see how he stands out from the rest of characters in the story. Luigi’s innocence is captured wonderfully through body movement, posture and facial expressions. Mario’s facial expressions and posture helps to paint a more sinister “bad boy” personality. Each character seems to have a unique personality, and the style of animation helps to bring them to life.

Throughout the animation, the story consistently merges real world aspects with the video game world. References to real world elements at times pulls the viewer away from the characters foundation in the game world. Hanging out against a wall near a pawn shop while wearing a “Korn” t-shirt adds a level of realism to the characters. By doing so, this helps to create a “real world” / “game world” familiarity within each scene. The viewing area of the scene often changes from perspective to orthographic to further reinforce the notion of real world and game world merging.

The music and sound effects create a balance between the game world and real world. Often the game sound effects are altered to reflect real world space. In this scene the sound of a large echoing chamber with the ominous game music helps to create the mood of the scene while also creating a sense of space. The echoing Bowser laugh playing in the distance gives an forewarning to what is about to happen and creates a feeling of another room.

The level of detail switches during times of intensity or when a significant part of the story takes place. This type of detail switching is reminiscent of the 90’s “Ren and Stimpy” cartoons, which often zoomed upclose to heighten the sense of realism within an object. Although in this animation the level of detail is not consistent with all objects in the scene. When you look at the details between Bowser and Luigi there is slight detail differences. Whereas the scene with Luigi’s mouth is open, Daisy’s hand looks almost out of place.

Overall I think this short exemplifies good animation because of the unique take on familiar characters, clear personality traits through expressions , interesting concepts of world merging, creative use of sound, and the 90’s style of animation. This was a “stumbled onto” animation which I thought was intricate and funny. An absurd parodic gem that found a home on the internet.