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Western Animation / Samson and Sally

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A mildly obscure movie, animated in Denmark in 1984, Samson And Sally is a Coming of Age Story centering around a young, white sperm whale named Samson. He and his herd live their lives in the Arctic Ocean, eating octopuses, hiding from the Iron Beasts (whaling ships) who hunt them, and dealing with the destruction that mankind wreaks on their ocean. Shortly after a run-in with one Iron Beast, the herd comes across an orphaned whale named Sally, who they take in. The two young whales grow closer, eventually leading to a Falling-in-Love Montage. Shortly afterwards, Samson leaves the herd to search for his hero, the legendary white whale, Moby-Dick. Based on the much darker novel "The Song of the Whales" by Bent Haller.

This film provides examples of:

  • After the End: It's implied throughout the movie that mankind is on its last leg and has stopped trying to protect the environment.
  • All Myths Are True: Though they might not be quite how they're described. Moby Dick is an old, decrepit whale, living in Atlantis, which is apparently a sunken New York City.
  • Artistic License – Biology:
    • Samson’s sneezing. Whales can’t sneeze because they consciously take each breath. And it was through the mouth, underwater. Whales’ lungs don’t connect to the mouth and respiration is all via the blowhole. Plus he’d drown if he sneezed underwater, since he’d be taking water into his lungs.
    • Samson and Moby Dick are shown sleeping deep underwater and snoring. Like the above sneezing, real whales wouldn’t snore and couldn’t do so underwater or they’d drown. Also, whales sleep at the water’s surface, turning off half their brains at a time while the awake half keeps them taking breaths regularly
    • The whales have teeth in both jaws but sperm whales only have teeth in the lower jaw.
    • Sperm whale pods are matriarchal, led by a female. Adult males form their own groups. So the adult whales should all have been female.
    • The turtle who shows Samson the entrance to the hidden city does a 180 turn inside her shell,sticking her head out the hole her tail was in before. Real turtles’ shells are fused to the spine.
    • Of course the walking, drumming walruses are the most obvious, but they can be chalked up to it being a cartoon, as can a few of the south seas creatures.
  • Art-Style Dissonance: On and off. For the most part the style is appropriate to the story, but the characters will also make exaggerated movements more reminiscent of a Saturday morning cartoon. Between that and a number of odd scenes, it's safe to say that this movie had some pretty strange art direction
  • Babies Ever After: The last scene of the movie shows adult Samson and Sally defending their baby from killer whales.
  • Badass Boast: Samson claims to be able to destroy an iron beast with a single strike from his tail.
  • Bird-Poop Gag: The seagull pooping on the whaling captain, which got cut from the English dub.
  • Bittersweet Ending: Overall, the film has a happy ending for Samson, who ends up with a family of his own. But he feels let down by his idol who wasn't able to help him, and it's implied humanity is done for.
  • Broken Pedestal: Samson does indeed find Moby Dick and is disappointed that his idol is old and tired and unable to help except to provide some sage advice.
  • Carnivores Are Mean: Downplayed. The main character is a sperm whale, which are active hunters, although mainly of small fish and cephalopods, and they aren't depicted as being mean. Killer Whales are treated more like ravenous monsters than animals, although they are more than willing to hunt whales themselves.
  • Cartoon Whale: While an otherwise-savvy movie about the lives of sperm whales, the art style simplifies them into having rounded, teardrop-shaped bodies with no dorsal fins, and they can appear as a bluish-black color, albino white, and some sort of black-and-white variant. While piebald whales can technically exist, it's rarely to neatly-organized, easily-repeatable patterns like the white mask-like facial markings over Sally's and Samson's pod leader's face.
  • Coming of Age Story
  • Deadpan Snarker: The seagull, though he means well and helps Samson escape a whaler. He even provides some sage advice mixed in with the snark.
    Samson: I miss [Sally] so much! I wonder if I'll ever see her again.
    Seagull: I'm sure you won't... unless you keep your eyes and ears open!
  • Did They or Didn't They?: Samson and Sally's Falling-in-Love Montage involves lots of cuddling, nipping, and tail pulling, and ends with Sally pushing Samson behind a rock. A heart drifts up from behind the rock and proceeds to swell larger and larger, beating faster and faster, before finally bursting. The next scene opens on a sunny day, a blissfully sleeping Sally, and a knowing-eyed Samson.
  • Does Not Like Spam: Initially, Samson hates eating octopuses. It ends up being a phase, though.
  • Falling-in-Love Montage
  • Feeling Their Age: By the time Samson meets him, Moby Dick is now an elderly and decrepit whale who can no longer even hunt octopuses.
  • Green Aesop: It's pretty apparent. Along with the usual 'save the whales' aesop, we get one about the environment.
  • Hong Kong Dub: The English dub, in several scenes.
  • Humans Are Bastards: Over the movie, the whales have to deal with two oil spills, radiation dumping, and whalers.
  • Humans Are Cthulhu: They're also one of the only things that can kill a whale.
  • Humans Are Morons: As said by Moby Dick, "Mankind is not vicious, mankind is stupid!"
  • How the Mighty Have Fallen: In his youth, Moby Dick could destroy a whaling ship with one blow of his tail, and he was revered by other whales. By the time Samson meets him, however, old age has taken its toll on the once powerful whale, who is now senile and unable to hunt octopuses, asking Samson to go find the octopuses for him.
  • Let's Meet the Meat: During the BLAM, one of the walruses comes across a can of sardines, who dance down his arm and dive into his mouth.
  • Mood Whiplash: Samson's mother death is juxtaposed directly with Samson and Sally's Falling-in-Love Montage.
  • No Name Given: Samson, Sally, and Moby Dick are the only characters whose names are mentioned.
  • Parental Abandonment: Both of Sally's parents are dead before the movie begins, and Samson's mother dies in the movie.
  • Plucky Comic Relief: The Seagull, also a Deadpan Snarker
  • Reasonable Authority Figure: The pod's leader (presumably Samson's father, though this is never confirmed) speaks in a stern, no-nonsense tone most of the time, but everything he says and does helps to ensure the pod's survival.
  • Ruins of the Modern Age: A sunken New York City. Doubles as Scenery Porn.
  • She's A Man In English: In the English dub, Samson's mother is given a deep, clearly male voice in her first scenes. This effectively turns her into a new, unnamed character whose relation to Samson is uncertain.
  • Spaghetti Kiss: Done with an octopus tentacle.
  • Sunken City: New York and others.
  • Underwater Ruins: The City Man Built, a.k.a. a Sunken New York, now inhabited by an elderly Moby Dick.
    • Altantis is given an offhand mention while the titular characters are exploring and see what they think may be ruins. The don't bother going for a closer look.