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Western Animation / Face Like a Frog

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A very surreal animated short by Sally Cruikshank (the same animator behind Quasi at the Quackadero). It's about a frog named Max who is enticed by a female frog named Gluey into entering a haunted house. Or something.

It has a score by Danny Elfman and Oingo Boingo. It can be seen in its entirety here.

This short contains examples of:

  • Afterlife Express: The basement contains a train to Hell... but it makes a stop at Miami Beach.
  • Ambiguously Evil: The lizard who sings "Don't Go Into the Basement." He does a lot of evil-looking grins and other behaviors suggesting that he's up to something, and the song has all the creepy flair of a typical Villain Song... but he doesn't seem to do anything evil other than tell Max to stay out of the basement, and then say uh-uh at the end, when Max and Gluey go into the basement and take the train to Miami Beach.
  • Banister Slide:
    • Max and Gluey start doing this at one point, though the stairs disappear and the banister very quickly just becomes a squiggle in space...
    • Later on, the lizard sings about this in "Don't Go Into the Basement":
      Oh, you might think
      That it's really cool
      To ride down the banister like some darned fool
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  • The Cameo: As mentioned below, Anita and Snozzi from the Quasi shorts are also passengers on the subway.
  • Continuity Nod: Anita from Cruikshank's previous shorts Quasi at the Quackadero and Make Me Psychic makes a cameo at the end of the film.
  • Creepy Basement: An entire song is dedicated to how you must never go into it, but we never really find out why. The fact that it apparently has a subway that goes to Hell may have something to do with it, though.
  • Creepy Jazz Music: The soundtrack was done by Oingo Boingo, and it adds to the surreal imagery throughout the short. The music is especially jazzy in the number "Don't Go in the Basement", which is sung by a creepy lizard-like creature who seems to be wearing a suit.
  • Deranged Animation: Holy balls.
  • Eldritch Location: The whole world Max occupies seems to be one.
  • The Fashionista: Gluey likes to change her clothes, a lot.
    • "I have to change" "Don't change"
  • Fingore: During "Don't Go Into the Basement", when the lizard tries to press the elevator button for the basement, a bird bites his finger off.
  • Furry Confusion: Gluey, an anthropomorphic frog, has a small, non-sentient alligator for a pet.
  • Gainax Ending: And beginning, and middle.
  • Going Commando: "And I'm not wearing underwear!"
  • Haunted House: The central location of the short.
  • Ink-Suit Actor: The lizard who sings "Don't Go in the Basement" sports fiery red hair like Danny Elfman.
  • Lizard Folk: A chameleon-like one sings a song instructing Max to avoid the basement.
  • Mind Screw: Duh.
  • Ms. Fanservice: Gluey parodies this.
  • Never Smile at a Crocodile: Gluey keeps one as a pet.
  • Nothing Is Scarier: The lizard never explains why you shouldn't go into the basement.
  • Only in Florida: Apparently, Miami Beach is on the same subway line as Hell.
  • Only Sane Man: Max... to a point.
  • Punny Name: Played with when it comes to Gluey as after introducing herself to Max he says "I'll stick with you."
  • Violation of Common Sense: The short ends with Max being convinced to board a subway with Gluey that is going to Hell... solely because it has a stop at Miami Beach.
  • Warning Song: When Max tries to go into the Haunted House's basement (because the door says there's a phone down there, and he wants to call someone), a lizard man comes out of nowhere and sings the number "Don't Go Into the Basement", which is all about the lizard ordering Max to stay out of the basement for vague reasons. At the end, we learn that the basement contains a train to Hell.
  • Witch Classic: One of the house's residents is a short frog dressed like one of these.


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