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Western Animation / How To Avoid Friendship

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How to Avoid Friendship is an animated short film (6 minutes) from 1964, directed by Gene Deitch.

The film is a faux-instructional video for, well, how to avoid friendship. The story shows a man made uncomfortable by all the people who come bothering him, wanting to talk, when all the man wants is to be left alone. The film then provides instruction on how to avoid making friends with people, with advice on how to deal with the person who talks to you at the bar, the person who wants to sit and eat with you, the person who greets you on the street, and the person who comes to your house uninvited.


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Tropes:

  • Blank Stare: One tactic to avoid conversation. If someone wants to talk to you at a bar, simply stare at them blankly, while smiling, never blinking. Eventually they will get unnerved and go away.
  • Hates Everyone Equally: The protagonist, being someone who generally wants to avoid everyone and be alone. The narrator gives him advice on how to do that.
  • I'm a Humanitarian: The movie's advice on how to deal with the "Mind if I join you" types who sit down at your restaurant table is to pretend you are a cannibal. After you put sauce on their hand and try to eat it, the other person will go away.
  • Instructional Film: A parody in which a narrator gives advice on how to avoid people who want to make friends.
  • Interactive Narrator: At the end the narrator greets the protagonist of the film, suggesting they go out together for drinks. After the protagonist responds with a Blank Stare and unnerving smile, the narrator becomes unnerved and gives up.
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  • Limited Animation: Simple drawings against plain featureless backgrounds.
  • Narrator: British character actor Arthur Treacher as the narrator of the film, giving advice on ways to avoid people.
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