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Western Animation / Balablok

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Balablok is a 1972 animated short film (7 1/2 minutes) directed by Břetislav Pojar, produced by the National Film Board of Canada.

The story takes place in a world populated by geometrical shapes. Rectangular solids with lines for arms and legs and happy faces for, well, faces, stroll around chatting and doffing their tops to each other. Everything seems happy and pleasant, until two rectangular solids meet—a sphere. The two rectangles bully the sphere, until the sphere comes back with his two sphere buddies. Bad things ensue.


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  • An Aesop: War is irrational and destructive, and people should not put too much importance on surface appearance.
  • The Bully: The first two rectangles that pick on the sphere are, bouncing it around like a ball. Of course the sphere turns the tables, it and its buddies turning the two rectangles into dice, and the Escalating War is underway.
  • Combining Mecha: The rectangles can stack themselves to form a sort of war cube.
  • Escalating War: Starts with two rectangles picking on a sphere. Ends with a massive war between the rectangles and spheres with quite a lot of damage.
  • Everyone Knows Morse: The shapes speak to each other in Simlish, but when it's time to summon reinforcements for the war, each turn back and send Morse code signals out of their mouths.
  • Here We Go Again!: The rectangles and the spheres have achieved peace by beaten themselves into look-alike polygons. All is happy again... and then a triangle walks by.
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  • Limited Animation: The characters are all simple shapes with smiley faces and sticks for arms and legs. The backgrounds are very simple as well, mostly a color wash with a few details here and there.
  • Living Polyhedron: The characters are rectangular blocks and spheres with faces, arms and legs.
  • Speaking Simlish: The characters only speak gibberish.
  • Thick-Line Animation: The characters are all drawn with bold lines.
  • Whatever Happened to the Mouse?: The opening to the film shows that up in the clouds there are mountains and elaborate castles and airships floating around, things which absolutely do not go with the simple geometric shapes seen at ground level. This is never followed up on.
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