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Western Animation / Strange Invaders (2001)

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Strange Invaders is a 2001 animated short film (8 minutes) by Cordell Barker. It was produced by the National Film Board of Canada.

Roger and Doris are a married couple. They are childless and they wish for a baby. One night they wish on a shooting star—and that shooting star turns out to be a toddler, a human-seeming toddler who flies through the depths of space and right into their living room.

Roger and Doris are initially delighted. However, the child slowly starts acting weirder and weirder. It eats dog food from the dog bowl, and fish from the fish tank. It eats dinner plates. It begins to destroy the house, occasionally setting fires, drilling holes in the ceiling, generally wrecking things. And most disturbingly, it builds a communication device, pointed to space...

The NFB has it up on their Youtube channel. See it here.

No connection to feature film Strange Invaders.


  • Affectionate Nickname: Roger occasionally refers to Doris as "Wiggles", and Doris refers to Roger on two separate occasions as "Lumpy" and "Peanut", the latter of which the child adopts as part of its One-Word Vocabulary.
  • All Just a Dream: Roger wakes up and finds that the alien demon child was just a bad dream. It turns out that his wife is pregnant with human babies...but see Or Was It a Dream? below.
  • Credits Gag: The alien baby is called "It" in the credits.
  • Deranged Animation: A deeply crazy cartoon about an alien space baby that wreaks havoc in a couple's home.
  • Evil-Detecting Dog: The dog never trusts the child, barking at it, opening the door and gesturing outside when Roger and Doris wonder what to do with it.
  • Hemisphere Bias: Yep, that's North and South America visible as the star hurtles to Earth.
  • Knife Outline: When Roger falls down the stairs, some sharp objects left over from Peanut's cannibalizing everything tumble with him, and penetrate the floor around Roger's supine form, leaving him battered but uncut. Then comes the bowling ball. Crunch.
  • Knitting Pregnancy Announcement: Averted. Doris shows a pair of booties she's knitted, and Roger's delighted...then she shows him an identical second pair of booties. They're for the dog.
  • Line Boil: Done deliberately in the opening credits.
  • One-Word Vocabulary: When Roger and Doris are contemplating the toddler that just landed in their living room, Doris asks Roger, "What should we do, peanut?". The child then learns that word, "PEANUT!", and yells it. Many, many times. Eventually, it becomes a Madness Mantra for Roger.
  • Or Was It a Dream?: The closing image showing Doris pregnant with six babies that all bear a resemblance to the demon child is rather eerie.
  • Screw This, I'm Outta Here: Eventually, Doris has enough and leaves.
  • Skyward Scream: Roger does this during the montage of the child being destructive, yelling for the child to stop calling him "Peanut".
  • Staggered Zoom: On Roger when he opens a door to the child's room and finds out that it has made a communication device from the telescope and other electronic devices it has cannibalized.
  • Staircase Tumble: Roger has this happen to him near the end of the short as a result of him rushing downstairs after seeing the child's communication device. He gets his shoe caught in a fish skeleton, causing him to fall and collide with the stairs with such force that he breaks his arms, gets an elf's hat jammed up his butt, and causes all his teeth to fall out, leaving him immobilized. Luckily for Roger, it all turns out to be a dream.
  • Ugly Guy, Hot Wife: Downplayed. While Roger isn't much of a looker, Doris is only marginally better-looking in comparison.
  • Unreadably Fast Text: During the picture-taking scene, an extremely brief message shows up, written between one of the pictures of the child alone. "Cordell's kids are evil -> Dillon, Joshua + Jackson", right next to a message addressing the viewer not to pause the film. Doubles as a Freeze-Frame Bonus.