FilmCow is an animation studio headed up by Jason Steele. They are the creators of weekly shorts, both animated and infrequently live-action. Their most notable works include many animated series, including Charlie The Unicorn
, Llamas with Hats
, Marshmallow People
and Detective Heart of America
. and the longer animations The Cloak
and Spatula Madness
They are also behind various other many one-shots and three planned feature-length films: An animated film based on Spatula Madness which was never finished*
; A live-action film named Nick: The Feature Film
, a mockumentary about a film director who is perhaps too obsessed with a regular man named Nick, and records an entire day in his life; and their most recent: A film based on the Detective Heart of America
series that was Kickstartered and is slated for release in 2014.
Their website can be found here
, their YouTube
, and their second channel here
Tropes that appear in their videos include:
- A God Am I: In "cupcake pals", one of the cupcakes climbs on top of a refrigerator and declares that now he is god.
- All There in the Manual: George's wife, with the exception the first seconds of "The Animal", is only referred to as "woman" in the videos, but the playlist for the series reveals her name to be Angela.
- Alternate Character Interpretation: "It's Aladdin!" portrays Aladdin as a deceitful Jerkass who only cares about sleeping with Jasmine.
- Likewise, "It's Super Mario" portrays Mario as a racist, murderous maniac.
- Art Shift: The "It's..." series (so far including "It's Aladdin!", "It's Cake Boss!" and "It's Super Mario!") has noticeably worse art in comparison to the standard fare videos that are posted on the channel.
- Ass Shove: Chris is on the receiving end of one of these thanks to a huge sword flying from the sky, courtesy of Rob's artistic impression of the end of "Nick: The Feature Film".
- Big Bad: Dad Cop 2 has Mister Kill/The Chief of Police.
- Big Eater: Star Catfish from "Charlie the Yannicorn", who is constantly hungry and thinking about food. Ends up being a Chekhov's Gun when he ends up saving the day by eating the ghost king.
- Black Comedy: A lot of the site's humor involves things that are normally played for utter horror by other people.
- Black Comedy Rape: "Bino The Elephant."
- Blatant Lies:
- At the beginning of "Chris Draws a Cartoon", Jason says that he wrote something that wasn't too difficult for Chris (who has never drawn before) to handle. Cue the characters describing the highly detailed Scenery Porn around them, forcing Chris to work very hard on just about every scene.
- Wizard horse is not using Google glasses to take pictures of you without pants on... Ok, glass, zoom in...
- "I am Zulwey, God of mercy. You have broken one of Zulwey's twelve tenets of mercy, prepare for merciless destruction."
- Bolt of Divine Retribution: Cupcake Jesus in "cupcake pals". He is totally fine with the three cupcakes being atheists, but when they keep rubbing it in his face he puts one of them in the blender.
- Blood Knight: Carl from the Llamas sketches to a disturbing degree. He eats faces just to let you know.
- Bread, Eggs, Milk, Squick: "Ferrets" is a gradual example of this, as Harold slowly realizes how unhinged his friend is during the latter's List Song.
- Bullet Catch: In "Detective Heart of America 2"
The Baby: I just caught your bullet with my gun, no big d!
- Bunny-Ears Lawyer: Booboo in "Business Cats" is an exceptional accountant. He is also phenomenally creepy.
- But for Me, It Was Tuesday: Why should Doctor Fabulous remember who Zorg is? He battles a thousand alien scumbags every week!
- Cartoonland Time: Taken to ridiculous lengths in the "Ghost House" series. In 2, Beth gets pregnant with the protagonist's children, and then gives birth to them the next day. By Day 29, the protagonist is apparently a grandfather.
- Catch Phrase:
- The Baby from "Detective Heart of America 2" has "I'm just a stupid baby!"
- The recent "Ghost House" videos have the narrator make some revelation about the situation he's in and say "Oh shiiiiit!..."
- Cloud Cuckoo Land: The skits tend to be in places where.......things happen. Like going to Candy Mountain and having your kidney's stolen. Or having a sentient, communist hating, Cloak and a disembodied, singing, head and spine talk about the sweet milk from the breasts of Freedom. Save for a select, completely frazzled few, virtually everyone in the skits are crazy to some extent.
- The Cuckoolander Was Right: Amongst his insane and downright creepy outbursts, Dennis from The Magical Realm of Horseman says a few very insightful things.
Dennis: (In response to one of Horseman's egotistical rants) One day, the universe will collapse into entropy and even Shakespeare and Coca-Cola won't be remembered. So what chance do you have?
Horseman: Oh for God's sake, Dennis, stop Holocausting my party.
- Cloud Cuckoolander: Nick could have been this in Nick: The Feature Film, but Rob plays into this trope much more. That is, until Chris shows up and blows him out of the water in regards to craziness, and Chris ends up being the resident Cuckoolander.
- Cluster F-Bomb: The entirety of the Cracklin' Oat Bran commercial.
- Combat Pragmatist: The titular eagle in the "Detetctive Heart of America" series. In the first video, he pulls out a gun and shoots Pinocchio in the face and in the second he attempts the same on The Baby and when that proves unsuccessful, he stamps him down with a boot.
- Disney Acid Sequence: "Charlie the Unicorn" has one Once per Episode.
- Disproportionate Retribution: Zulway, God of Mercy's judgements always involve mercilessly exploding the perpetrator, no matter the offense. Such offenses include disagreeing with Zulway on which ice cream flavor is best.
- Eagle Land: "Detective Heart of America" exists to parody this.
- Evolving Credits: "Detective Heart of America".
Credits: (Episode 1): Detective Heart of America, he saved the day! Took out his fuckin' gun and blew Pinocchio away! AMERICA!
Credits: (Episode 2): Detective Heart of America, he saved the day! Took out a big ol' boot and beat that baby in the face! He's going to jail!
- Exactly What It Says on the Tin: Hit It With A Car, where Chris Alex hits everyday objects with a Cadillac Eldorado.
- Fantastic Racism: In "Stanly and the Pineapple", the pineapple and the orange are this.
Cucumber: "I have to go to heaven now. See y'all!" *dies*
Pineapple: "He's not going to heaven."
Orange: "Cucumbers have wicked souls."
- For Science!: Dr. Z's reason for doing just about anything in "Bino the Elephant".
- Fundamentally Funny Fruit: The entire premise of both "Stanley and the Pineapple" and "Fraternity of Fruit Members".
- Gainax Ending:
- "Marshmallow People 2".
- "Marshmallow People 3" even more so...
- Every episode of Dark Midnight.
- Go Madfromthe Revelation: One of the puppet creatures when he finds out that Biscoff Spread is made of cookies.
- Happy Ending: Spatula Madness
- Mystery of the Missing Emerald Necklace, aside from being the only part of the Westington Manor trilogy where the elephant detective does not die, ends with the mystery being solved and the culprit finally being caught and arrested, abeit in the most anticlimatic way imaginable.
- The Hedonist: Both of the Marshmallow People. Becomes a plot point in the second video when they realize that nothing they do fulfills them, and they try to make up for everything they've done.
- House Rules: Chris's version of Monopoly in Nick: The Feature Film appears to be entirely made up of these.
- Hollywood Atheist: The cupcake pals.
- I Am Not Shazam: Subverted in Dad Cop 2. The protagonist's name is Dad Cop 2.
- I Ate WHAT?: "The Walrus Song".
- Informed Attribute: Pretty much everything that Angela says about the animal/dinosaur/alien/robber. No matter what she says about it, from what we see it's pretty much just standing/floating there doing nothing but meowing occasionally.
- Innocent Innuendo: The late night visitors in "Socksual Innuendo" insist that their double entendres are unintentional, but the protagonist is not convinced.
- Jerkass: Horseman. Dear Zulway, God of Mercy, Horseman. The Marshmallow People too.
- Karmic Twist Ending: Nick: The Feature Film features one: Robert can't bring himself to allow Chris to end up as the hero of the film, so he gives his "artistic rendition" of what happened as the film's ending, and ends up putting Chris through the most insufferable pain possible.
- Kickthe Dog: "Mr. Happy Face" is just a scene about a happy face murdering a child's dog and later the child itself. The YouTube description points out that everybody seems to be upset about the dog being stabbed to death and forget the kid completly.
- Lame Pun Reaction: Yannicorn groans when Star Catfish, when told that there's nowhere around to get a pot pie, says that he feels like he's going to pot cry.
- Mood Whiplash: "OMG BISCOFF SPREAD" begins as what seems like an advertisement for the spread, but quickly devolves into a nightmarish descent into madness over said foodstuff's contents.
- The Movie: "Detective Heart of America" is getting one in 2014.
- My God, What Have I Done?: Zulway God of Mercy self destructs when he realises just how unmerciful he himself is.
- My Rules Are Not Your Rules: The rules to Chris's game of Monopoly in Nick: The Feature Film appear to be this. He ends up giving Robert the two worst properties in the game and a grand total of three dollars.
- Mundane Made Awesome: Hit It With A Car. Chris Alex rams a shiny yellow Cadillac Eldorado into everyday objects, and he cannot be more excited. Contrasting this is Nick Alex, who looks at things more objectively.
- Narrating the Obvious: The random cop from "The Cloak" stating that he's a cop and upholds a variety of laws and edicts.
- Ninja Pirate Zombie Robot: the Device from the Dark Midnight episode of the same name reveals that the reason Rebecca killed Tim was because she found out he was secretly an alien and also a ghost. slightly deconstructed when she questions a couple Plot Holes the reveal of the latter brings up.
- One Steve Limit: Averted. There are two characters named Angela. The girl from The Magical Realm of Horse Man and "woman", George's wife (see All There in the Manual).
- Orifice Invasion: To Bino The Elephant. Courtesy of a sentient flower. In Hell.
- Shocking Swerve: Played For Comedy in every episode of Dark Midnight... Twice.
- Parody Commercial: The OMG CRACKLIN' OAT BRAN and OMG BISCOFF SPREAD are these. Fannie and Earl begins as a usual skit but suddenly turns into a commercial for Pizza Hut by a singing "spook".
- Pastiche: Many of the live action videos...
- Politically Incorrect Villain: In "Ferrets", the brown ferret sings to the grey ferret (Harold) about things that make him happy. In this song the brown ferret reveals that he thinks the Holocaust was a lie and that he supports Eugenics.
- Precision F-Strike: In the final scene of Professor Toothy.
- Possibly the first they ever did is at the end of Detective Mittens. Early cartoons in general had little to no harsh language.
- Pre-Mortem One-Liner: From Dad Cop 2:
Chief: You're off the case! Dad Cop 2
: Oh yeah? Well you're... Bang
! Dad Cop 2
: Off the face!
- Also attempted by Mister Kill/The Chief of Police in the end of the same video:
Mister Kill: That's right, Dad Cop 2. It's now time for you... To Dad.. Cop... DIE!
- Reality Ensues: In "A Serious Business Meeting", Johnson breaks into song about how Tom's advertising proposal is "totally gay". Johnson is promptly fired.
- Retired Monster: In "A Murder has Occurred", the detective investigating the murder casually remarks that he was once in prison for war crimes.
- Roaring Rampageof Revenge: After the fraternity of fruit members loses half its members to a sniper, they become a fraternity of fruit revenge. The next scene shows the leader Garry (an apple) with a scar across his eye, a hook for a hand, and another scar on his cheek. We don't see the actual roaring rampage but we are told that they made their way from the mountains of India to an abandoned warehouse in Equator, and as Garry says "the trail stops here" that somewhat implies a roaring rampage.
- Scenery Porn: Chris is forced to do this several times in "Chris Draws a Cartoon". Eventually he gets fed up with it.
- Scream Discretion Shot: In "Bino the Elephant", when the flower from hell is crawling up Bino's urethra. We instead see Dr. Z listening to Bino's screams via their communicators.
- Soundtrack Dissonance: Bino the Elephant's title theme, aside from being ridiculously catchy for a song that plays over a video of an elephant being dropped into hell, features a sound clip of children cheering at three moments which coincide with when Bino gets trapped in hell, Bino catching fire, and Bino being impaled on spikes.
- Stealth Parody: Hit It With A Car is a stealth Affectionate Parody of the destruction genre of YouTube videos such as Will It Blend? and Is It A Good Idea To Microwave This. They even featured Blendtec blenders in one episode. Of course people don't get the joke and often request crazy things for them to hit with a car including another car.
- Stylistic Suck: The "Detective Heart of America" videos have shades of this.
- The charlie teh unicron series when compared to Charlie the Unicorn.
- "Wizard of the West" is another example.
- Subverted Kids Show: Sort of. Any cartoon that starts off innocent and especially when it's Tastes Like Diabetes is guaranteed to become totally horrifying toward the middle. The shorts that start off bizare odd maintain a subtle creepiness (such as "In This Box").
- Surreal Humor: Oh, very.
- Take That:
- Steele made an entire cartoon attacking Chris Brown; it even used some of the man's own words against him.
- People expected his John McCain cartoon to be this, but it turned out to just be a nonsensical, surreal cartoon that happened to star the politician. In the Filmcow DVD commentary, Jason Steele even emphasized that the cartoon wasn't supposed to have any political agenda or message; he just liked how McCain always said "my friends" and thought it would be funny to base a cartoon off of that quirk.
- charlie teh unicron a rather crudely drawn and animated Charlie the Unicorn pastiche, was most likely aimed at people who kept requesting new episodes of the latter.
- The Mystery of the Missing Silver Pendant is one against George Zimmerman.
- ''Ghost Dad 2: The Reckoning" has a short one at Bill Cosby.
: I can't be a ghost dad! I hate that movie
and Bill Cosby is a rapist!
- "Spatula Madness" has an entire song ripping on France. The protagonist of the movie, Edward, even says "I'm sure France would be nice if they killed off all the French".
- Spatula Madness also has one against Scientology. At one point he has to fight off a group of well dedicated Scientologists.
Protagonist: You're Not a Religion you're a Pyramid Scheme!
- Talking Animal: A great number of the cartoons.
- Telefrag: Bino accidentally kills Dr. Z's wife this way.
- Tempting Fate: Done intentionally by the guy being bothered in "Professor Toothy" in order to get Professor Toothy to show up so that he can attack him.
- The Genie Knows Jack Nicholson: "It's Aladdin!" parodies this, the genie only knows how to do impersonations of celebrities who won't exist for another thousand years.
- Tomato in the Mirror: Parodied in the "Ghost House" series. The twist at the end of 1 is that he's been dead all along and is one of the ghosts, and the twist in 6 is that he's not. He's been deluding himself the whole time into thinking he was, when actually he was in a Cracker Barrel.
- Trademark Favorite Food: George in "The Animal", "Jurassic Park 5", "Prometheus 2", and "The Robber" is making eggs at the start of each episode. Naturally, he never gets to eat them.
- Trigger Happy:
- George Zimmerman in "The Mystery of the Missing Silver Pendant".
- The eponymous character from Dad Cop 2. He even ends up shooting the Chief of Police.
- Twist Ending: Played for Laughs as a Running Gag with the ending of every episode of "Ghost House", always accompanied by an "Oh shiiiiiit!...":
- 1: The protagonist of the series is, himself, a ghost.
- 2: Beth's ghost babies are the protagonist's children.
- 3: The protagonist isn't a ghost and never was.
- 4: The protagonist gets infected with Zach's BTD.
- 5: The "ghost house" is not, and never was, a ghost house - it's actually a Cracker Barrel restaurant.
- 6: The head chef at the Cracker Barrel is the protagonist's half-horse grandson.
- Unusual Euphemism: Doctor Fabulous gives us "Oh sweet fancy Moses, what is that?!"
- Unfortunate Implications: In "It's Super Mario!", Toad points out the racism in Mario's rather poor imitation of an Italian, comparing it to "putting on a bad Chinese accent and yelling 'fried rice' a bunch." Then...
Mario can do Chinese! Toad: No, no, please don't - (Mario turns into a more "Chinese" version of himself) Chinese!Mario:
It's-a-me, Mari-roh! Toad:
- Villain Song: Make Me Smile from "Ferrets"
- Visual Pun: The Mystery of the the Missing Emerald Necklace has the culprit immediately surrendering to the elephant detective, and then they just stand there silently and awkwardly as they wait for the police to arrive. The obvious question would be why the culprit would steal all those treasures and then give up, but it's not mentioned because they're not talking about the elephant in the room.
- Weaksauce Weakness: Professor Toothy naturally gets horribly burned by sugar.
- Well-Intentioned Extremist: The Big Bad of Spatula Madness.
- Wham Line:
: HELP ME, JESUS PUT ME IN THE FUCKING BLENDER!
Tim: I've been feeding you walrus meat.
- "OMG BISCOFF SPREAD" has one that isn't really that shocking, but is treated as such by the puppets:
Puppet 2 (describing the foodstuff) It's made out of fucking cookies!
Ferret: Everybody knows the holocaust was a lie, so let's sing about the things we like and don't be shy...!
Harold: Wait, what was that about the holocaust?
- "Obama's Terrible Secret":
: I know your favourite Pokémon
is... Mr. Mime!
- "Nick: The Feature Film", just when things are starting to look up for Chris:
Rob: Chris smiled the biggest smile of his life, a face made from pure sparkling bliss. And then a huge sword came flying out of nowhere and plunged right up his ass.
Buddy: My wife's birthday's coming up. I'd thought I'd surprise her with something special. A CAKE! It's her favorite flavor too! In fact it's the same cake I've surprised her with for every birthday and anniversary since we've been together. One year she said she didn't want anymore cakes, so I locked her in the cellar for a while.