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Western Animation / Charade

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Charade is a 1984 cartoon written and directed by John Minnis.

In this four-minute animated short, a man appears in a White Void Room, playing charades. His partners, who are off-screen, prove completely unable to guess the various movies the man is trying to demonstrate, even as his clues become more and more elaborate and obvious. The man gets frustrated, and he gets even more frustrated when a second man tries the game and the other players guess his movies instantly off of opaque, meaningless clues.

Charade was an Oscar-winning student film made by Minnis pretty much single-handedly during a single term at Sheridan College in Canada (and as of The New '10s, the only student film to win one). It has no connection to the famous Audrey Hepburn-Cary Grant film Charade.



  • Deadpan Snarker: One particularly snarky guesser says stuff like "Here comes Sir John Gielgud" after the man comes back to try again.
  • Hammerspace: Where the man gets his many elaborate props, like a Superman costume.
  • Mooning: The enraged man finally resorts to mooning his audience—and they keep guessing. ("The Black Hole?")
  • Obfuscating Stupidity: It's hinted that the people guessing aren't really that obtuse but are deliberately screwing with the man. When the other man tries, they guess all his films immediately. The title, "Charade" rather than "Charades", also hints that the guessers are not as dumb as they sound.
  • Parlor Games: Charades, with some particularly obtuse guessers.
  • The Rival: The other Charades player, who gets the guessers to figure out his movies from random nonsense, like when they correctly guess Lawrence of Arabia from his random ballet pose. After the first man goes to great lengths to demonstrate Superman—putting on the costume in a phone booth, actually firing a bullet and then catching it to demonstrate "faster than a speeding bullet"—the other player simply takes off his glasses, and the audience gets it.
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  • Toilet Humor: Right at the end the man farts, and one of the guessers says "Gone with the Wind!"
  • White Void Room: The background for the animation. Sometimes the White Void Room can change into water, as when the man demonstrates Jaws.
  • Viewers Are Geniuses: Who seen The Eggplant That Ate San Diego or Tentacles, the infamous Jaws ripoff?.
  • Viewers Are Morons: In-universe; we the viewers already know the three films.

Example of: