Feast is a 2014 CGI short cartoon from Disney Animation Studios, directed by Patrick Osborne.
It tells the story of a stray Boston Terrier who gets taken in by an amiable junk-food junkie named James and given the name Winston, and follows their relationship (and the owner's relationship with a foodie waitress named Kirby) through the meals they share.
Feast makes use of the Meander digital animation software used in Disney's 2012 short Paperman that combines CGI characters and environments with hand-drawn textures, though this time, it's in full color.
This cartoon contains examples of the following tropes:
- Apathetic Pet: Winston. He initially sees James as nothing more than a way to get meals, and this is symbolized by having James be The Faceless. Part of his Character Development is realizing how much James really means to him.
- Artistic License Animal Care: Obviously, dogs shouldn't be eating the kinds of things Winston eats here (which include things like cupcakes, pizza, nachos, pasta... you get the idea), and certainly not in such copious amounts. The end credits do have a disclaimer that makes a note of it, but only briefly. At least Winston seems to lead a very active lifestyle to help make up for his eating habits.
- Babies Ever After: After James and Kirby get married, they have a son and, later, a daughter, which helps start the flow of delicious food again.
- Big Eater: If a real dog ate as much as Winston, they would probably end up seriously obese, if not dead. James appears to be one of the "Fat" variety.
- Canine Confusion: Winston the Boston Terrier eats massive amounts of human food, but he never gets sick at any point.
- Character Development:
- At first, Winston just sees humans as nameless, faceless providers of food, so neither he nor the audience looks closely at the humans' faces. After he realizes how unhappy James is without Kirby, both Winston and the audience start looking more closely at the humans' faces, showing how much he has come to care about them.
- James learns to like exercising and eating something green every now and then and Kirby eventually learns to lighten up about the food.
- Cold Turkeys Are Everywhere: A temporary one. When Winston runs through a restaurant while trying to find Kirby (via the sprig of parsley), lots of tasty food is dropped in his path in the process. He successfully resists the temptation to eat any of it and finds Kirby.
- Color Motif: Green for Kirby. She always wears green buckle shoes.
- Comfort Food: During the Second-Act Breakup, James goes straight for the ice cream and waffles, and goes back to eating spaghetti, mac & cheese, and pizza.
- Eat the Camera: This is done twice, with the camera zooming into Winston's mouth when he's about to catch falling food. The first time it's during a football game on TV and James and his friend knock over a table full of junk food in excitement. The second time is near the end, when James's baby throws a meatball to Winston.
- The Faceless: James and Kirby's faces generally show up out-of-focus, outside of blink-and-you-miss-it shots, until midway through the third act. Though this is justified as all the shots are focused on the dog which is much smaller than them.
- Food Porn: Oh, yes.
- Freudian Excuse: Winston is introduced as a hungry stray who had to eat food wrappers before he was found by James, which explains why he's so food-driven. Sadly Truth in Television for many former strays.
- Friend Versus Lover: Winston isn't happy when Kirby tries to improve both their eating habits, and the flow of junk food turns into Brussels sprouts.
- From Stray to Pet: The story begins with James finding the main character Winston as a puppy on the streets.
- He Cleans Up Nicely: James is a big slab of a guy who loves food and is actually quite handsome once he starts eating better and dressing nicer.
- Heartbreak and Ice Cream: Gender-inverted. James, after Kirby breaks up with him, goes straight for the ice cream. At first, Winston embraces this, since it means he can eat junk food again, but then he realizes how unhappy James really is.
- Huge Guy, Tiny Girl: James is noticeably bigger than Kirby. Kinda makes sense, considering James's diet.
- Innocently Insensitive: Shortly after James and Kirby's breakup, the former resorts to assuaging his heartbreak with ice cream and junk food. Winston, who's been unhappy over eating dog food instead of human food, proceeds to so happily gorge himself on his usual favorite foods in wake of his owner's misery, unaware these are his owner's darkest days. It isnt until he sees James wistfully gazing at a parsley sprig that he realises that somethings seriously wrong.
- Jealous Pet: Winston the dog isn't happy when his owner's new girlfriend tries to improve both their eating habits, and the flow of junk food Winston is used to turns into Brussels sprouts.
- Karmic Jackpot: Winston gives up a return to his yummy-food lifestyle to get James back together with Kirby, willingly going back to dry dog food. Only to find that James and Kirby's renewed relationship leads to two children who love sharing their food with Winston.
- Logo Joke: The Disney castle is on a plate, and the arc is a line of ketchup.
- Meaningful Background Event: If you focus less on Winston and more on his owner and his girlfriend, you'll see different stages of the relationship between them.
- Middle Child Syndrome: James and Kirby both mention having an older sister and a younger brother on their first date. Kirby even refers to this trope by name.
- Mime and Music-Only Cartoon: Without upping the volume, getting headphones or turning on the subtitles, it's nigh-impossible to notice, let alone make out, most of the dialogue.
- Mood Whiplash: The short is fairly light-hearted for the most part, but then we go from a happy background relationship with James and Kirby to an argument that ends badly, with Kirby slamming the door. Cue James dealing with it horribly.
- Perma-Stubble: James has this but it's only noticeable once Winston starts taking a closer look at his human companions. By then it's become a Beard of Sorrow.
- Second-Act Breakup: A little over halfway through the cartoon, James goes through a nasty break-up with Kirby. Thanks to Winston, they get back together again.
- Shower of Angst: We see James taking one, barely visible - though certainly audible - in the background, in a single shot after the Second-Act Breakup.
- Stock "Yuck!": Winston is a dog who will eat pretty much any human food his owner throws at him. When James' girlfriend tries to get Winston to eat 'healthy' foods like brussel sprouts, he doesn't take to it. It could be justified as dogs are carnivorous (or omnivores with a lean towards meat, depending on who you ask) but it's likely they were going for this trope.
- Sweet and Sour Grapes: After realizing how sad James is, Winston eventually sacrifices his restored supply of junk food to get James and Kirby back together. But they eventually have children, and Winston gets more junk food then ever!
- Symbolism: The audience hardly sees James or Kirby's face, giving a sense of how self-centered Winston is and how solely focused on food he is. This is brought home when Winston savors eating human food once more, all while James grieves over his break-up with Kirby. When Winston finally sees James' (unhappy) face for the first time in the story, it marks the moment he becomes more self-aware of the people in his life. From this moment on, Winston (and the audience) see more of James and Kirby's faces, signifying he's more involved in their lives.