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Western Animation / La Salla

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La Salla is a 1996 animated short film directed by Richard Condie, and produced by the National Film Board of Canada.

A bizarre man sits in a bizarre room and does bizarre things. He has a little cannon, which he uses to fire toy cows into a painting of a rural pasture—why not? He also makes bizarre wind-up toys, like a bottle with eyes and a mouth that babbles random nonsense, a fish on wheels, and a toy airplane that actually flies, with the toy pilot inside screaming nonstop. And if that isn't weird enough, the whole cartoon is a parody of opera, with the man singing in Italian.

The man's doorbell, which is a demon's head that holds out an apple because why not, rings. The man comes to the door and opens it, and his head is knocked clean off. That doesn't stop the head from singing, however.

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Tropes:

  • Affectionate Parody: Of opera, with a man singing in Italian (the credits list Jay Brazeau as "Baritone"). The man sets his wind-up fish on wheels rolling around, then sings "I love to push my fish."
  • The Comically Serious: Part of the humor is how the man is singing in grand dramatic opera style about absolute nonsense. The man's body manages to find the toy cannon again, and fires off another toy cow, which lodges in the nose of the man's severed head. Naturally that's followed by the man passionately singing "Moments ago I had everything, but now there's a cow in my nose."
  • Cranium Chase: The man's body lumbers around the room, looking for the head.
  • Cuckoo Clock Gag: The man has a weird clock in his room, a clock with all the numbers jumbled together at the bottom. When it chimes the hour, a tiny version of the man falls out, only to be somehow replaced by another version of the man inside the clock.
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  • Deranged Animation: Very deranged. The weird toys, the man's bizarre room with a demon head for a doorbell, the man's head continuing to sing as it rolls around the room...in one scene the man occupies himself by poking a finger at his own giant bulbous nose, which sometimes rolls around like water, and sometimes collapses back into the man's head before popping out again.
  • Expressive Hair: The few, long hairs on the man's head express his mood, like when they stand up in surprise at the sound of the doorbell.
  • For the Evulz: The hand, actually a skeleton hand and forearm, which reaches through the doorway and punches the man's head right off of his shoulders. Why?
  • Here We Go Again!: The ending is a Proscenium Reveal which shows a larger man in an identical room playing with the small man in the box. Then the doorbell rings again in the larger man's room. Roll credits.
  • Losing Your Head: The man's head is knocked off his shoulders. The latter portion of the cartoon consists of the man's head, rolling around, ineffectually trying to get back to its body, singing about its plight all the while.
  • Mythology Gag: The screaming pilot in the toy wind-up plane uses the same scream effect found in Condie's earlier, iconic short "The Big Snit".
  • P.O.V. Cam: One shot is a POV shot from the perspective of the man's head, with the camera tilting wildly as the head rolls around the floor.
  • Proscenium Reveal: The ending reveals that the man is actually a tiny man inside a tiny box, with another man, identical to the tiny man and in a room identical to the tiny box, watching from above and tilting the room around for his own amusement.
  • Sphere Eyes: The man has oval-shaped eyes, which consists of solid ovals that sit on top of his face, with black dots for pupils.
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