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Broken Saints (2001-2003) is an original web animation series in twenty-four chapters. It was created over the course of two years by writer Brooke Burgess, artist Andrew West, and programmer/Flash wiz Ian Kirby, featuring music composed by Burgess' cousin Tobias Tinker. The format is a hybrid of comic and animation formats, and is referred to by Burgess frequently as "cinematic literature". As in comics, characters remain mostly in static poses and dialogue is depicted in speech balloons, but there are a number of times when movement is used within 'panels', and the series frequently uses background music and sound effects to add to the overall cinematic effect.The story focuses on four strangers from "the quiet corners of the globe", each from a wildly-different background and worldview than the others, who all receive similar traumatizing visions of impending doom and are drawn to the same place in search of answers. Along the way, they face their inner demons and learn about The Power of Love.The story is told in twenty-four chapters, with many chapters frequently sub-divided into multiple acts. The total running time for the series is ten and a half hours. The series was released on DVD with added voiceovers, plus bonus features and commentaries, by Twentieth Century Fox in 2006. Among the voice cast are Janyse Jaud, Kirby Morrow, Michael Dobson, David Kaye, and Scott McNeil.Brooke Burgess has stated frequently that some of his biggest influences in the conception of Broken Saints were David Lynch (specifically Twin Peaks), Terry Gilliam, The Prisoner, and Watchmen, all of which are referenced frequently over the course of the series.This series has a character sheet.The series in its entirety can be viewed here.Best not to look at the spoilers here. Most of them relate to the last few chapters.
Animesque: The influence of anime in the art of this series was more obvious in the early version of the first episodes, before the Animation Bump, with those episodes being redone in a more realistic style. However, the anime influence was still noticeable.
Art Evolution: A very drastic one. In the DVD release, the first twelve episodes were completely redone to match the quality of the second half.
Artistic License – Biology: Gabriel's "Walking on Coals" stunt was probably played up for dramatic purposes, as short walks on hot charcoals don't usually cause great harm (although firewalking can still cause serious burns, and relaxing and mentally preparing oneself before talking the walk can help with blood flow and in minimizing damage to the feet.)
Author Tract: Brooke Burgess makes no effort to hide the fact that the series' inspiration was his changing worldview around the turn of the millennium.
Book Ends: Each chapter opens with an animation and ends with the same animation being played in reverse. For the entire series there is Shandala's opening speech, the island Lomalagi, and the shot of the two planets which are now blue instead of red.
Break the Cutie: Shandala. The entire execution of Lear's plan relies on Shandala being nurtured and loved in a utopian environment all her life, and then promptly subjected to this treatment.
Creator Cameo: Brooke Burgess voices Gabriel, which is considerably more than a cameo, but this is played straighter with Andrew West, who plays a street tough; Ian Kirby, who plays a Canadian soldier; and Tobias Tinker, who plays a bum.
Crucified Hero Shot: At the end of the second act from chapter 19, Shandala is found by other main characters in this position inside Mars' club. In the Grand Finale of the series, she also appears in this way.
Dream Sequence: Multiple times. Most notable, Acts 2 through 5 of Chapter 20 pretty much consist simply of revealingflashbacks told in this fashion, culminating in a final vision that spiritually unites the four heroes and awakens Shandala from her psuedo-comatose state.
Elemental Powers: Subverted in that the four heroes do not actually have the ability to control said elements so much as the elements reflect their personalities. The connection comes from the spiritual analogy in the collective dream vision sequence epiphany thing of Chapter 20, Act 5.
Oran's friend Hassan might better qualify for Stuffed into the Fridge status, since he was killed primarily to show just what horrible evil dicks Lt. Charles and Lt. Bravado were, and to spur Oran into action against them.