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Web Animation / Babushka: the Movie

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Babushka: the Movie is an animatic web video by Morci Animations, an Argentinian artist and animator known for making animatics based on the musical Hamilton. The video depicts a famous round of Among Us with proximity chat played by a group of streamers in late 2020, with most of the players being members of the streaming/online content group "Offline TV and Friends" or the e-sports brand 100 Thieves. The players in this particular round are Valkyrae, Sykkuno, Jacksepticeye, Corpse Husband, Disguised Toast, Fuslie, TinaKitten, QuarterJade, Masayoshi, and BrookeAB.

The round begins with Sykkuno and Valkyrae/Rae as the impostors, but in the middle of a long stretch of streaming, the players aren't focused purely on the game; Toast and Fuslie/Leslie are hiding in a corner putting together a restaurant order and Sykkuno needs to take a bathroom break. So while Masayoshi/John, Brooke, and QuarterJade/Jodi go about doing their tasks and exploring the ship, Rae and a group of crewmates including Tina, Jack, and Corpse gather around to protect Sykkuno while he's away from the game. During this break, Rae explains how in the previous round of play, Sykkuno had been an impostor and revealed this fact to her, and the two had worked out a Trigger Phrase of "babushka" that she would use when she wanted Sykkuno to kill on her behalf.

As luck would have it, Sykkuno returns from his bathroom break at exactly the right time to hear Rae say "babushka" and mistakes it for a legitimate use of the code word, so without hesitation, he kills Tina, the closest crewmate. While Jack and Corpse are paralyzed with laughter over the unlikely happening, a shocked and shaken Rae recovers enough to kill Jack, then calls in a favor that Corpse owes her to get him to stay put and not report the bodies. With that set, a frantic and somewhat panicky Rae and Sykkuno set off, looking to kill enough players to win the game before their guilt can be exposed, knowing that either someone stumbling upon the grisly scene in the launch pad or even a meeting being called (which would show that Jack and Tina are dead) will probably be enough to expose them.

Morci's video can be found here, most of it is based on video of the round published by Valkyrae, which can be seen here. Morci's video contains just over 650 individual frames/illustrations, making it a true labor of love.

This Web Animation contains examples of:

  • Actually Pretty Funny: Jack laughs hysterically when Tina and then himself are killed by Sykkuno and Rae. Later when Tina protests and asks how it's fair that they got killed by the impostors after protecting one of them, Jack admits that it's not fair, but it's definitely funny.
  • Ambiguously Human:
    • While most characters seem like normal humans, Corpse, who has never revealed his face in real life is depicted with his normal avatar (that has a partial human face either mixed with a demonic rabbit, or below a mask of such a creature, along with various other unusual/inhuman traits like red eyes) and expressive cat ears. Considering that the story takes place aboard a futuristic spaceship, it's certainly not impossible that Corpse would be, in the universe of the video, a non-human or half-human crew member.
    • Toast is depicted as a Horned Humanoid due to the character design he was using for the game.
  • Art Shift: The art becomes much more detailed than normal and does a close-up on Corpse's face early in the video when he decides to test Rae by saying "Babushka" after seemingly becoming suspicious of her.
  • The Bad Guy Wins: After leaving the launch pad, it only takes a few minutes for Valkyrae and Sykkuno to wipe out the scattered crew.
  • Bad Cop/Incompetent Cop: John decides to roleplay as a cop because his character is dressed as one. He plays the cop as being a not too bright and somewhat obstructive bully with a hick accent who self-importantly gives Brooke and Jodi a hard time, while missing the real killers until seconds before his death. After his death, he breaks down and confesses to Jodi, who is berating him for being "the worst cop in existence" that he's just a mall cop. That said, he's quick to notice how suspicious it is that Rae and Sykkuno are walking from the oxygen control instead of fixing it, loudly says something about it so that any nearby crew could hear (unfortunately for him, there isn't any other crew nearby), and instinctively knows that Rae is going to kill him. He just can't act in time to do anything about it.
  • Bishie Sparkle:
    • Sykkuno gets these at two points during the video. Both are somewhat ironic due to the less than innocent circumstances; the first comes when he's first leaving the launch pad with Rae and gives Corpse a thumbs up while holding a bloody knife after murdering Tina. The second time comes when he encounters Brooke and tricks her into accompanying him to the isolated greenhouse, where he kills her in the middle of playing innocent.
    • Corpse also has a moment with sparkles at the start of the video.
    • Brooke also has a moment or two with sparkles around her, which goes along with the video portraying her as an upbeat heart of the crew.
  • Brief Accent Imitation: John roleplays as a cop with a southern US accent. At one point, while talking to him, Jodi briefly uses her own version of a southern accent.
  • Curse Cut Short: Jodi returns to the launch pad and sees a scene of horror, with Jack and Tina's bodies lying there while Rae and Corpse stand nearby. She starts to speak and gets as far as saying "What the f–" before Rae kills her.note 
  • Delicious Distraction: Toast and Leslie spend the entire round putting together an order from a sushi restaurant. In real life, this went on even longer, as they continued putting together the order well after the round was over.
  • Dies Differently in Adaptation: In Among Us, victims killed by an impostor will see a quick scene of the impostor killing them in various ways. None of the deaths shown in Morci's video match the scenes that the streamers saw in their playthrough. For example, both Tina and Brooke are stabbed in the back by Sykkuno in Morci's video, while both of them saw a scene of Sykkuno's character breaking their neck in the game.
  • Downer Ending: That happy and friendly bunch at the beginning of the video? They get wiped out just a few minutes later. The only known survivor who isn't an impostor is left apparently deeply traumatized by the whole thing.
    Corpse: All my friends are dead.
  • Dramatic Irony: A group of cremates volunteer to gather around and protect Sykkuno to keep from getting killed by an impostor while he's AFK. Sykkuno is an impostor.
  • Dwindling Party: After killing Tina and Jack seconds apart, Rae and Sykkuno kill Jodi, John, and Brooke one by one. Rae then kills Toast to end the game.
  • Even Evil Has Loved Ones: Valkyrae's character may be a ruthless alien impostor killing crewmate after crewmate, but she genuinely expresses concern for Corpse and frantically asks him if he's okay when she returns to the launch pad. She also never even considers turning on him and killing him, even though nothing could stop her from doing so.
  • Evil Makes You Monstrous: As Rae and Sykkuno rack up victims, they start to look more inhuman and either alien or demonic. Before making any kills and after their first, both look normal. After making their second kills, both briefly gain Black Eyes of Evil complete with Hellish Pupils — Sykkuno's eyes also briefly glow red in the dark just before his second kill, although their eyes go back to normal after just a moment. Rae permanently gets black eyes, and some frames seem to indicate that she might have fangs after her third kill. (It's also the first time either impostor uses a non-human way to kill, as a tongue appears out of her torso and impales John.) Whether this would have escalated further isn't shown, as her fourth kill, Toast, is the last one needed to end the round and win the game for the impostors.
  • The Farmer and the Viper: Tina is one of several crewmates who volunteer to surround and protect Sykkuno. He kills her without hesitation when he comes back from his break and hears the Trigger Phrase.
  • Final Girl: Technically, Fuslie/Leslie is the last crewmate who isn't cooperating with the impostors left alive, but that's simply because the impostors only need one more kill to win the game and Toast was a slightly closer target.
  • Freeze-Frame Bonus: Some of the individual frames are only onscreen for a second or two, or only have small difference compared to the frames that proceed or follow it. It's entirely possible to only spot some subtle bonus content in the art after repeated viewings, or after happening to pause the video at just the right moment.
  • Helpless with Laughter: Corpse and Jack are both absolutely paralyzed by laughter when Sykkuno kills Tina. Jack continues laughing through and after his own murder by Rae. Corpse, meanwhile, is depicted as collapsing to the ground writhing in laughter, with a helpful little sign next to him says "dying" just in case you missed how hard he's laughing.
  • Heroic BSoD: The last shot of the video is a clearly traumatized Corpse Husband sitting with Rae and Sykkuno beside him, looking straight ahead with a Thousand-Yard Stare, and saying, "All my friends are dead."
  • Horned Humanoid: The otherwise completely human-appearing Disguised Toast has horns that curl back from his head. Leslie has a head decoration which might appear to be horns, but they're actually candy canes, as the game that the video is based on was played close to Christmas. This is also the reason why Brooke has the brightly colored lights in her hair.)
  • I Owe You My Life: Valkyrae gets Corpse to agree to stay put and not inform on them by repeatedly saying, "You owe me, Corpse!" Within the confines of Morci's video, this is never explained, although the first lines spoken in the video were Corpse apologizing to Rae and her reassuring him by saying, "It's okay, it's okay. You can make it up to me, right, Corpse?"note 
  • Infodump: Rae helpfully fills in both other players/characters and the audience on the significance of her and Sykkuno using the term "babushka". It's absolutely perfect for story-telling purposes, as otherwise non-fans wouldn't know why the word "babushka" has any meaning for them, but it actually happened exactly that way because Rae and Sykkuno had only cooked it up in the previous round of play.
  • Killed Mid-Sentence: Jodi is killed before she can even finish saying "What the f–" when she walks back into the launch pad and sees Jack and Tina dead while Rae and Corpse are standing near the bodies.
  • Killer Cop: Jodi briefly worries about John being this as they go off to do tasks together.
  • Mugging the Monster: Having no idea that Sykkuno is an impostor, Toast basically pushes him out of the room where he and Leslie are putting together their food order, completely unaware that Sykkuno could kill him at any moment and there's nothing Toast could do about it.
  • Mythology Gag:
    • Ever since a fellow streamer said that Valkyrae was probably the shortest person in their group of friends, it became a long-time running gag to tease Valkyrae for her petite height. (Although in reality, she is only a little shorter than average height for a woman in the U.S.) In the video, whenever Rae shares the screen with someone else, she is much shorter than them, including Tina, who is also fairly petite in real life. For reference, here's the two of them in real life versus in Morci's video.
    • Disguised Toast has a well-earned reputation for being (or at least acting like) an Insufferable Genius and making very shrewd deductions in Among Us and strategy games. As such, even though he's been shut away from all the action and has literally no way to know what is going on, he gets a thought bubble saying "I knew it" as Rae kills him.
    • Sykkuno is frequently called a shy anime boy come to life, so it's no wonder he gets the most Bishie Sparkle moments.
    • The ghosts of killed crewmates match the appearance of the various streamers in real life rather than that of their characters. This includes more casual attire and different hair-styles.
  • Nervous Wreck: Valkyrae spends most of the video as this, apparently certain that at any moment, she and Sykkuno will be revealed as the impostors. As such, she has a tendency to scream, stutter nervously, and overreacts to unexpected stimuli.
  • Oh, Crap!: Most of the players have one either just before they're killed or, if caught by surprise, at the moment it happens. There are also a few others, like Rae's reaction to Corpse testing out the code word or Sykkuno actually killing at the worst possible moment.
  • Overzealous Underling: Valkyrae did not intend to give Sykkuno a kill order, and would never have done so under those circumstances since she had every reason to believe it would lead to them being caught immediately, as there wasn't any way to silence all the witnesses. However, he thought that she did give a kill order, and didn't bother to assess the situation for himself or to find a way to covertly double check with her to make sure that she really did mean it before he acted and killed Tina. Fortunately for the impostors, despite how improbable it seemed, it worked out for them.
  • The Pollyanna: Brooke is portrayed as one, as Morci's animation shows her constantly smiling and upbeat as she talks to other players/characters.
  • Psycho Knife Nut: Knives are the weapon of choice for both impostors as they run around the ship attempting to kill everyone else, and in nearly all of their kills they are depicted as using knives.
  • Real Life Writes the Plot: In a fictional show, if a character just happened to give an Infodump just before it became relevant and accidentally used a Trigger Phrase at just the right time for a partner to overhear it, mistake it for a legitimate use, and act on it at a critical time, it'd get written off as Contrived Coincidence. Here, it happened perfectly naturally, and radically changed the course of how a normal Among Us round with these streamers generally goes.
  • Real-Person Cameo: Crossed with Real-Person Epilogue. After the entire video thus far has been in Morci's animatic style, the real footage of Valkyrae and Sykkuno is briefly used right when the round ends, capturing their reaction to the end of the game.
  • Reflexive Response: Not in the animation itself, but in the preceding round where the "babushka" kill word originated. A common impostor strategy in Among Us is the "double kill", where if two impostors are alone with two crewmates, said crewmates can be killed in quick succession before one can report the other's body. So, when Rae first used the code word to make Sykkuno kill, Corpse happened to be in a nearby vent, saw Sykkuno kill with a second crewmate (Rae) in the room, and instinctively went for the double kill despite having been in on Sykkuno and Rae's arrangement. This is why Corpse is apologizing to Rae at the start of the video and she says he can make it up to her, which he does in the video by not reporting the bodies that Rae and Sykkuno leave stacked around him.
  • Sharp-Dressed Man: While everyone else (aside from John, who wears his police uniform) is wearing their space suit or overalls, Toast is dressed in a business suit and tie.
  • Squee: Fuslie's reaction to Toast telling her he's not setting a price limit for the sushi dinner he's buying her.
  • Surprisingly Creepy Moment:
    • Most of the video is fairly lighthearted despite the subject matter. Rae killing John, however, is depicted as genuinely creepy. When John passes by her, a quiet, chilling musical cue comes on, Rae uses, for the only time in the video, an inhuman means of killing, just before she kills him she says, "Quiet, John," in a calm and coldblooded manner, and then we get a close up of her leaning in (with her face covered in John's blood), to whisper, "Quiet, John," again, this time to his dead and unresponsive body.
    • Sykkuno's murder of Brooke has similar vibes, mostly because Sykkuno dials up feigning innocence and earnestness and then seamlessly and instantly switches over to killing Brooke with no warning. Morci's art depicting him covered in blood with a wide Slasher Smile right after stabbing Brooke in the back doesn't help either.
  • Unusually Uninteresting Sight: Unlike in the game, Morci's animation depicts the impostors as having blood all over their clothes and sometimes themselves as a result of their murders. None of the crew notice the bloodstains or think to question it.
  • What Happened to the Mouse?: Although the impostors are shown after the slaughter along with Corpse, Leslie's fate is not known for certain, although the reasonable conclusion would be that she was killed right after Toast.
  • You Owe Me: After circumstances force Rae to out herself as an impostor in front of Corpse, she gets him not to reveal her status or report Jack's body (whom she had just killed right in front of Corpse) by citing this.note 
    Rae: Corpse, you owe me. You owe me, Corpse!
  • You Will Be Spared: Neither Rae or Sykkuno ever even seem to consider harming Corpse, even though it would be easier than going after everyone else on the ship and a sure way to keep him from informing on them. (Although it's no surprise to fans who know about the close bonds between the three of them.)