- "But although fire is imprisoned, and can be put to work by flicking a switch, it still can't be trusted, and is constantly waiting for a chance to escape".
Hot Stuff is 1971 Animated Short directed by Zlatko Grgic and written by Don Arioli. Produced by the National Film Board of Canada on the behalf of the Dominion Fire Commission to promote fire safety, the nine minute short tells the history of fire: how it was discovered by man and how its uses were explored, as well as shows the catastrophic consequences for being careless with it.
The film garnered seven international awards, including Best Educational Film Award at the World Festival of Animated Films in Croatia and a Canadian Film Award for Arioli for best non-feature screenplay.
See it on the NFB's Youtube channel here.
Hot Stuff provides examples of the following tropes:
- Affectionate Nickname: Ralph's wife has a tendency to call him 'Poopsie', with him yelling at her not to call him that.
- Always Chaotic Evil: In this short, fire is shown as a force that can't be trusted and will gleefully destroy everything if it is allowed to. To drive the point home, the fire takes on the form of a creepy, evil grinning demon at the end of the film.
- Black Comedy: The short treats the concept of a city, planet, and even an entire universe burning with a disturbing amount of humor.
- Bookends: The film starts and ends with the entire universe burning.
- Comes Great Responsibility: The whole short is about emphasizing the importance of fire safety.
- Deadpan Snarker: The snake and the cat.
- Decoy Protagonist: It seemed that the caveman who was given the fire was the protagonist of the short, but then he dies midway through the short. The actual protagonist is an idiotic jerk who causes The End of the World as We Know It.
- The Discovery of Fire: The cartoon opens with the first caveman suffering from the freezing cold until the gods took pity on him and gave him fire.Caveman: I think I'll call it the 'wheel'!
- Domestic Appliance Disaster: Ralph and his wife set their house, and eventually the world, on fire by overloading an outlet, leaving an iron on, and shoving a fork into a toaster.
- Everyone Dies: While it's not shown onscreen, it's pretty obvious that everyone on Earth and in the universe in general didn't survive the burning of the universe.
- Hair-Trigger Temper: Ralph is shown to have No Indoor Voice when addressing his wife and is impatient over matters like bread toasting and coffee brewing to get back to his show on television. It was this temper that lead him to the idiotic thing like jamming a fork in a toaster.
- Jerkass: Ralph, the husband. He snaps at his wife whenever she calls him a pet name, he shouts most of the time, ignores his cat's requests to be fed, is terribly impatient, and caused the entire universe to catch on fire again.
- No Name Given:
- The caveman's name is never mentioned, though given that he has a pet snake and his wife is named Eve, he might well be named "Adam".
- The name of Ralph's wife is never given either.
- Noodle Incident: Apparently, the caveman had listened to the god who gave him fire in an earlier instant. Whatever happened, his wife was distrustful of the voice.
- Oh, No... Not Again!: The gods get peeved when mankind's carelessness causes the entire universe to burn again.
- On One Condition: The gods gave man fire under the condition that they not be careless with it, as it will devour everything if given the chance. While the original owner of fire respects this condition, a couple of moronic people in the distant future don't.
- Passing the Torch: A quite literal version. The first man to possess fire passed it onto future generations on his deathbed.
- Set the World on Fire: Not just the world, but the entire universe.
- Skewed Priorities: When the living room is burning, the cat comments that he might wait for a mouse to get cooked.
- Sneeze of Doom: The caveman was so freezing cold that his sneezes shook the entire earth.
- Stay in the Kitchen: When the caveman's wife tries to talk him out of listening to the voice, his snake tells her to "go back to [her] apple turnovers".
- Time Passes Montage: Following the death of the first man and him subsequently passing on fire, it's shown how mankind evolved through the ages and the many new uses for fire that were discovered.
- Too Dumb to Live:
- Ralph and his wife. They overload an outlet, leave a cigarette and hot iron burning, and Ralph even sticks a fork into a toaster. Is it any wonder they caused such a massive fire?
- Likewise their cat, instead of running out of the house when it catches fire, sticks around in the hope of finding a roasted mouse. Very likely ended up as the first fire casualty.
- Villain Protagonist: Ralph, the husband. While he's not outright evil, he is an impatient jerk who ends causing the entire universe to catch on fire again.