Tribeca ’03: Cane Toad (review)

Cane toads are an object lesson in not fooling with Mother Nature: Introduced into Australia in the hopes that they’d eat a pesky beetle that was destroying sugar cane crops, the toads instead became pests themselves. Now, David Clayton and Andrew Silke’s deliciously sick and twisted animated film gives these much maligned critters a voice of their own. Dazza, a beer-drinking bubba of a scaly cane toad, may be butt-ugly, but he’s got a heart of gold: His good mate Baz has gone missing, and poor Dazza can’t imagine what might have happened to him. He tries, though, leading us through the litany of hilariously awful fates that just may have befallen Baz, from an unfortunate encounter with a lawn mower to getting splattered across a highway and more. The animation is gorgeously nasty — cane toads are not pretty, and how they die is worse — and certainly accomplished enough to make the Pixar people sit up and take notice. The filmmakers promise that the film will be posted on its official site eventually, so go bookmark it.

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