- "A Film about love and regicide"— How the Youtube description describes this short.
A strange and very, very surreal short created by Felix Colgrave. The short takes place over the course of a few days, where The Double King travels across the land looking for any crowns, even if it means killing innocent people.
Rest assured that the following synopsis does not, and could never adequately describe or explain this short.
The short begins as a king sets out to visit Agustus the Agreeable, the king of rats. But Agustus is too agreeable, and the visiting monarch quickly wraps his enormous hands around the Ratking's head, squeezing free his skull. The new king claims the ratking's crown, placing it atop his own crown. And thus does Agustus die, and thus begins the reign of the Double King.
Envoys of the Rat Kingdom are dispatched to the Double King's palace, but are met with indifference bordering on contempt by the Double King; he supplies them with a rattrap complete with a piece of fine cheese. The envoy are unmoved, and remain outside to await their audience. They will be waiting for some time.
Far away, an ill-advised nibble on a nearby branch causes the crown of Goat Queen Daisy VII to fall from her head, landing on a cloud below and christening Stratomonarchus, King of Clouds. Stratomonarchus rains on a pumpkin patch, elevating to monarchy one of the gourds, Lady Gertrude of Squash. Her reign is short lived, as the Double King rushes in and smashes her, claiming her vine-crown for his own. He is now... The Triple King?
Alas, no, as vegetable matter makes a poor crown. It soon wilts, and attracts flies, including their becrowned Lord. Their attempt to carry off the wilted crown of Lady Gertrude during breakfast draws the Double King's ire, and he beheads the Lord of The Flies with his table knife. The crown of the Lord of the Flies is too small to be a proper crown, but it does make an adequate finger ring.
Elsewhere, the land shifts as a titanic snake wakes from her slumber. This is Harg, the Serpent Queen, but she is felled when the Double King climbs her and stabs her with his gigantic knives. He claims her crown for his own, stuffing himself into it, but the falling snake monarch nudges the crown and king with her tongue, sending him careening off the side of a cliff and into the ocean.
Meanwhile, Envoys of the Snake Kingdom approach the castle of the Double King to await an audience, behind envoys of the Fly, Gourd and Rat kingdoms. Their waiting is patient but futile, for the Double King is in the ocean realm of King Ronald the Moist, whom the Double King hauls onto land to dethrone. But before the Double King can claim the crown, it is stolen by a crab.
In another land, the caterpillar people watch with a bittersweet pride as King Aldo of the Glade passes his crown to his sworn heir, Queen Aldine of the Glade. Then, by ancient tradition, the failing body of their former king is placed on his leaf bier and passed onto the lake, where he undergoes a magnificent transformation. The new butterfly Aldo flies off to take his place with his ancestors, but is pursued by the Double King in his flying egg, the Ovum Regia.
In the land of the Butterflies, the Double King accosts Aldo, but Aldo is no longer a king, so the Double King quickly loses interest, especially when he sees the realm of Olov the Mountain King, who is literally his kingdom. The Double King acquires a mobile fortress and assaults King Olov, who is unmoved by the Double King's attack, but also makes no attempt to prevent the Double King from scaling his facade and stealing into the forest beyond. The Double King's lust for power is deteriorating the Double King's already tenuous sanity, making him turn on the fortress which got him to his goal in the first place.
While exploring Olov's forest, he comes across the royal guard protecting the Mushroom Monarch Durt the Elder. The Double King seizes this crown quickly, but it's not the kind of crown he's accustomed to, so he is confused. Then he spies a cockatoo with regal plumage resembling a proper crown! But the cockatoo are not kings and they evade his grasp, until the Double King is lost and confused deep within Olov's forest. Bereft of new crowns to seize, he spies the Lord of the Flies' crown on his hand, and assuming he has found the King of Hands, lops off the finger this ring is on.
This was not a good idea.
Perhaps the Double King hallucinates as he bleeds out, and perhaps his blood feeds the surrounding flora, but soon the Double King lie dead on the ground. The attendants of Death claim him (without his crowns), and see him delivered to the afterlife. He awakens there in the underworld, where he is terrorized by the terrible denizens there and troubled by his lack of crown, but he follows a crown shaped sign assuming that this is where he must go to reclaim his crowns. It is not. Instead he finds himself at the Royal Banquet, attended by the fallen monarchs that he has killed. The only crown here is that of Agatha, Matriarch of Death. He makes several attempts to claim the crown, and Agatha is amused, at least until the Double King grows violent in his attempts to claim her crown. It isn't helped when the Double King folds his napkin into an ersatz crown but Agatha takes it from him. This drives the Double King into a rage, screaming and pounding on the table and generally making a nuisance of himself until Agatha finally gives the Double King her damned crown.
Pleased by this, the Double King rushes out of the banquet hall and to the gates of the Underworld, throwing himself out the gates and off the planet itself, to float randomly through the endless void.
Double King contains examples of:
- Acid-Trip Dimension: The whole world this animation is set in can be seen as one.
- Ambiguous Species: No telling what species the Double King is, as only his eyes and hands are visible under his robe.
- Ambition Is Evil: The titular Double King kills every other king for power. Or probably because he just liked their crowns.
- Bad Boss: The Double King attacks Olov with an immense mobile fortress. However, the moment the Double King manages to get into Olov's "crown", he turns a musket on the fortress and forces it to back off.
- Butt-Monkey: Harg the Serpent Queen. The poor girl keeps getting repeatedly stabbed in the head by Double King.
- Chariot Pulled by Cats:
- Cool Crown: Every king has one, and the Double King wants them all for himself.
- Dark Is Not Evil: Agatha, the ruler of the Underworld, doesn't seem to be an unpleasant person, despite being a giant skeleton. In fact, she's the first to happily welcome the Double King to their gigantic afterlife feast.
- Do Not Taunt Cthulhu: Agatha is perfectly fine with the King repeatedly stampeding across the table in an attempt to reach her crown. But once he punches her in the eye, she immediately stops taking his shit, nearly crushing him in one hand and throwing him into his seat.
- Dem Bones: As mentioned above, Agatha.
- The Determinator: Nothing, and I mean NOTHING, will stop The Double King from reaching his goal.
- Did You Just Punch Out Cthulhu?: Double King quickly punches Agatha in the face when she refuses to give him her crown, which is then followed by...
- Did You Just Scam Cthulhu?: After numerous failed attempts thanks to Agatha's Mind over Matter powers, and then having his own napkin crown taken away, Double King throws such a loud and irritating tantrum that Agatha is forced to shut him up by plonking her giant crown on him. This is exactly what he wanted and he immediately runs outta there.
- Easily Forgiven: None of the king and queens show any anger towards the Double King for killing them out of selfish reasons. They even let him join their afterlife feast!
- Evil Is Petty: The Double King slew other kings and queens in many ways, and uses all of his resources available, just so he could get their crowns. Theres no big plan.
- Fate Worse than Death: Implied when The Double King flees the Underworld with Agatha's crown only to fall and drift into space for probably all eternity. Considering he ultimately got what he wanted and already descended into absolute madness, this trope could be inverted.
- Fingore: After arriving at the mountain and realizing that pretty much everything there has a crown, Double King loses his sanity and cuts off his own finger (forgetting it's a crown he'd already taken). He dies from the blood loss.
- Genius Loci: Olov, the Mountain King, not only rules a mountain, he is the mountain. His subjects? The denizens of the jungle covering his surface.
- To a larger extent, the entire world.
- Gratuitous Latin:
- The Double King's egg shaped airship is named the "Ovum Regia", or Royal Egg.
- Stratomonarchus, or Cloud Monarch.
- Greed: The Double King's only motivation is to collect crowns of any sort. The easiest way to earn his ire is to take crowns from him or prevent him from getting a new one, and he will murder without hesitation to get a crown from someone. He will also lose interest in anything that doesn't immediately lead to getting a new crown.
- Halfway Plot Switch
- The first third involves the Double King attempting to steal more crowns to further his royal stats.
- The second third focuses on the Double King's dwindling sanity and eventual death.
- The last part has the Double King in the afterlife where he meets all the kings and queens that he killed throughout the short.
- Humble Goal: While it initially looks like the Double King is a megalomaniacal regicidal despot, all he really wants is crowns. Lots of them, at any cost, but still.
- Jerkass: The Double King.
- Jerk with a Heart of Jerk: Becomes this by the end of the short.
- Karmic Death: The Double King gets this, though even after death he still desperately tries to collect crowns.
- Manchild: The Double King again. If his Villainous Breakdown is anything to go by.
- Nightmare Face: The Double King, during his screaming tantrum, suddenly reveals that most of his body under his robe is actually a gigantic, fanged maw with two little eyes on top.
- No Ending: After getting Agatha's crown, Double King happily runs away, leaves the afterlife and jumps off of the planet into an endless void. What happens to him after this is unknown.
- No Name Given: Due to the short having no dialogue whatsoever, every character's name other than the Double King is left nameless. The credits however reveal all the king and queen names which are in order of appearance:
- The (Double) King
- Ratking Augustus the Agreeable
- Queen Daisy VII
- Lady Gertrud of Squash
- Lord of the Flies
- Harg the Serpent Queen
- King Ronald the Moist
- (Outgoing) King Aldo of the Glade
- (Incoming) Queen Aldine of the Glade
- Olov the Mountain King
- Durt the Elder
- A cockatoo (not royal)
- Agatha, Matriarch of Death
- Pyrrhic Villainy: Double King manages to kill all the other kings and rule over most of the races, but then kills himself in a fit of insanity. When he finally manages to get Agatha's crown, he runs out of the underworld and leaps into the empty void of space — in the end, he becomes the ultimate king, but has nothing and nowhere to rule over and can't do much other than float in space.
- Random Events Plot: Only connected by the common thread of the Double King collecting more crowns. According to Felix, this is because the entire thing was mostly plotted as he was animating it, starting with the opening shot and evolving from there.
- Sanity Slippage: Double King slowly loses his sanity while exploring Olov's crown.
- Schmuck Bait: The Double King leaves a rattrap out for the Rat Kingdom envoys. One actually tries to get the bait before he is held back by one of his companions.
- Skewed Priorities: Double King is not at all shocked or scared when he sees the monsters of the underworld and finds out that he's dead. However, when he finds out that his crown wasn't brought with him, he immediately freaks out.
- Stealth Pun: Some of the characters' names are very punny. Case in point: Olov the Mountain King
- Surreal Humor: The majority of the short.
- Sympathy for the Devil: All the deceased kings and queens in the afterlife beg Agatha to give the Double King her crown when he throws a tantrum... This is likely less due to sympathy of him and more because his tantrum is really loud and obnoxious and giving him the crown will at least shut him up.
- The Usurper: Subverted. The subjects of the various kingdoms assume that the Double King is their new ruler (having murdered their previous kings and taken their crowns) and send envoys to his castle, but the Double King has no interest in actually ruling anything; all he wants are the crowns.
- Villainous Breakdown: When Agatha decides to steal the Double King's napkin-crown, he immediately loses his cool and starts screaming like a child while banging on the table. Ironically, this makes Agatha shut him up by placing her crown on him — which is exactly what he wanted.
- Villain Protagonist: Double King.
- We Hardly Knew Ye: Most kings and queens get very little screen-time. This is mainly due to all of them being quickly killed by the Double King.