Gary Larson’s Tales From The Far Side

Gary Larson is an American cartoonist. He is the creator of The Far Side, a single-panel cartoon series that was syndicated internationally to over 1,900 newspapers for fifteen years. The series ended with Larson’s retirement on January 1, 1995. His twenty-three books of collected cartoons have combined sales of more than forty-five million copies.

Gary Larson’s Tales From the Far Side is an animated short film created in 1994 by Gary Larson, based on his The Far Side comic strip. It was first shown as a Halloween special on CBS television, and later it was awarded the Grand Prix at the Annecy International Animated Film Festival.

The film is loosely structured, jumping between several simple stories. Many of these situations use staple cliches of horror films, such as undead monsters and the dark and stormy night. The stories sometimes turn macabre, but are presented in a lighthearted fashion. They are mainly as those in the printed comic, including lots of background throwaway gags from well-known panels.

The characters and settings are all common to Larson’s work, such as aliens, anthropomorphic animals and other objects, and cowboys in the Old West. The art style is essentially the same as that of The Far Side, though the film necessarily adds animation and sound effects.

The animation was made in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, at director-animator Mary Newland’s International Rocketship Productions.

The film features an original music score by jazz guitarist Bill Frisell. Some of the compositions from the soundtrack are included on his 1996 album Quartet.

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