Sunday, February 6, 2011

"Cat Shit One" (2010)

Starring Will Prescott and Tom Flynn
Directed by Kazuya Sasahara

Cat Shit One - THE ANIMATED SERIES - Blu-ray English EditionBased on the Japanese manga comic, "Cat Shit One" is a CG animated film that tells the story of a U.S. Army two-man recon team somewhere in the Middle East tasked with locating and rescuing a handful of hostages from enemy combatants.  Sergeant "Packy" Perkins (Will Prescott) leads the team, his partner is the nervous, somewhat cowardly Botasky (Tom Flynn).  They locate their "canaries," and witness one of them killed while arguing with HQ for air support and evac.  Unwilling to wait any longer, Packy decides to head down into the enemy camp himself to rescue the hostages, leaving Botasky behind to cover him with his sniper rifle.

Packy manages to rescue the hostages, but when HQ informs them that enemy reinforcements will arrive before the US evac and air support, he decides to stay behind and buy time for Botasky and the hostages to escape.  He orders Botasky not to come back for him, and begins laying traps.  But Botasky can't leave his friend and fellow soldier behind, and defies orders to go back into the enemy camp and rescue Packy.

What I haven't mentioned anywhere yet in this synopsis is that Packy and Botasky are rabbits.

Oh, and those enemy combatants?  Yeah, they're camels. 

Just let that sink in for a moment.  Look back up at that very "Call of Duty"-ish description, and think about it all happening with rabbits versus camels.  Machine guns, helicopters, sniper rifles, Claymore mines,  the works.  Suddenly, the whole idea takes on a level of comic badassery that's just surreal.  I'm still trying to wrap my head around it.  The whole thing is played completely straight, with a script and direction that could be swapped for real-live humans without losing anything. 

But there's a problem with "Cat Shit One," one that keeps me from recommending it wholeheartedly - it's only 22 minutes long.  It's billed as an animated series, but as far as I can tell, only one episode has been released.  You can watch it right now, in its entirety, for free on YouTube.  But it's also available on DVD and Blu-Ray with some special features.  I just don't think I can recommend spending $20 or $30, as fun as it is, for only about an hour's worth of content (if we include the advertised special features).  "Cat Shit One" is well-made and entertaining, despite the simple script and basic characters, but there's just not enough of it to justify the disc purchase.  If there were even a handful more episodes released on the disc, I'd urge you to jump at this.

The episode is available free on YouTube for only a couple weeks, so check it out while you can.  Hopefully there will be more "Cat Shit One" coming and another Blu-Ray release at a more reasonable price.