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Western Animation / Hunger (1974)

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Hunger is a 1974 animated short film by Peter Foldes, produced by the National Film Board of Canada.

It is a simple moral fable about gluttony, told without words. A businessman is shown in his office, popping snacks as he talks on the phone. Quitting time comes, the man leaves his office, and he stops at a deli, where he gets more food. He then goes to a restaurant, where he eats more. And more. He apparently succeeds in getting the sexy waitress to leave with him, so they stop for more food and go to the man's apartment, where he eats more. And more. And more, and still more.

Hunger was made using experimental computer animation technology. It was the first computer-animated short to be nominated for an Oscar.


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Tropes:

  • Allegory: The businessman represents the affluent First World nations who greedily consume food and natural resources at the expense of the impoverished Third World nations who are represented by the starving people.
  • An Aesop: Don't be a glutton!
  • Big Eater: The man first starts getting carried away when he stops at a restaurant for dinner after having already eaten at a deli. Then he starts swallowing roast piglets and fish whole. Formerly rail thin, he starts growing much much fatter. Then at home he keeps eating, and getting fatter and fatter and fatter...
  • By the Lights of Their Eyes: How the starving people in Hell first appear, as eyes in the darkness.
  • Deranged Animation: It starts in the opening scene when the man is talking on the telephone at his desk. When the second telephone on his desk rings, the man grows a second head to talk on the second phone as well. Scenes and characters are constantly morphing into each other and changing—when the man and woman leave the restaurant they morph into the car. Then near the end when the man is really taking his gluttony to the next level at home, he starts growing many, many more arms and mouths to eat with.
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  • Fan Disservice: The businessman spends much of the last five minutes nude, by which point he is severely overweight. As he is descending into hell, there is even a brief shot of his wang.
  • Gainax Ending: Does the man have a nightmare in which he goes to hell and is eaten by starving people? Or does he actually die, go to hell, and get eaten by starving people?
  • Jabba Table Manners: The man shovels entire roast pigs in his mouth.
  • Laser-Guided Karma: The man has a nightmare in which he descends to Hell and is eaten by a mass of desperate starving people. Either that, or he actually does die and descend to Hell and get eaten.
  • Sexy Silhouette: Provided by the waitress, who starts dancing in sexy silhouette after dinner at home with the man. However, after they embrace she transforms into a pile of pots and pans, and never appears again, indicating that she might have been a figment of the man's imagination.
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