Daily Archives: March 13, 2021

Hybrids (2017)

*. I think I’ve complained about CGI enough to allow myself to enjoy a beautifully animated environmental fable like Hybrids. And after all, isn’t its subject a perfect fit for such treatment, being the melding of industrial technology with nature? As Shakespeare had it in The Winter’s Tale, art is man’s nature anyway, so why not embrace Darwin’s bastards in the sea and on screen? We can find uses even for waste that are nevertheless creative and original.
*. Blue Planet meets WALL-E? That’s certainly one way of looking at it. Our evolutionary inheritors will be aquatic garbage-pail kids. Not, however, anthropomorphized cartoons. This isn’t Finding Nemo. These underwater creatures don’t sing and dance or even fall in love. They don’t speak or show much in the way of emotion. They just eat. Big fish eat little fish. And so it goes.

*. You can almost hear the voice of David Attenborough providing narration. If you know the BBC nature docs (like Blue Planet and Planet Earth) then you know how they’re really infinite, colourful variations on a basic theme. Life is acquiring and processing energy (eating) and reproduction (mating). There’s nothing else. In this case it’s all the first category as we’re just focused on the food chain. I suppose that turtle might be crawling onto the beach at the end to lay some eggs, but otherwise I had to wonder if there was any reproduction going on in this brave new world or if it was all just recycling now.
*. I’ve said I think the animation is beautiful and in keeping with the film’s theme. Garbage might not have looked this good since Tarkovsky dollied along a ditch in Stalker. And the creatures are wonderfully whimsical. I love the bottle-cap crabs and the turtle with a translucent pot lid for a shell. But they’re not merely cute. One possible source is the armoured fishy-looking things in some of Hieronymus Bosch’s paintings of hell (in the St. Anthony Triptych, for example, or the hell section of The Garden of Earthly Delights). The world without us (humans) isn’t a paradise but a junkyard, full of the crap we left behind. Though I’m guessing we’re still around too, in one form or another.
*. Then again, maybe we haven’t adapted. Maybe we’ve been entirely superseded. At least you can be sure we’re not making movies like Stalker anymore. The future will be animated.