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Western Animation / The Hill Farm

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The Hill Farm is an animated short film (18 minutes) from 1989 directed by Mark Baker.

The setting is, well, a farm on a hill. The household consists of husband-and-wife farmers and their large, lazy farmhand. Roosters hump hens, pigs devour huge piles of food in a single bite, and occasionally the wife snaps a chicken's neck before having it for dinner. There's a bear nearby that is big enough to kill Godzilla, but it seems to pose little threat to the farm.

Two groups of interlopers disturb the peace of the farm. First there's a group of four tourists, who seem to be hippies (one strums a guitar). They intrude on the farm and bother the farmers before going into the wrong cave and disturbing the bear. Worse are the hunters in red coats, who come riding in on horseback on a fox hunt. After the poor fox is torn apart by dogs, the hunters wind up antagonizing the bear, threatening to bring its wrath down on the whole farm.



  • Attack of the 50-Foot Whatever: The bear is gigantic. It's bigger than the barn that all the humans and livestock hide in.
  • Bears Are Bad News: A bear the size of a battleship is certainly bad news. Interestingly the farmhand/shepherd is able to keep the monster bear from eating a sheep by swatting it on the nose with his shepherd's crook. But when one of the hunters wanders into the bear's cave and takes a shot at it, the bear comes out of the cave and menaces the farm.
  • Black Comedy: The wife casually snaps the neck of a chicken right after one of the tourists takes her picture. The tourist faints.
  • Cock-a-Doodle Dawn: It is a farm, after all...the rooster comes out of the barn attic and crows at the rising sun. Then it hops down to the ground and casually has sex with one of the hens.
  • Don't Go Into the Woods: Both the tourists and the hunters go wandering into the woods and eventually stumble into the giant bear's cave. The tourists irritate the bear by taking pictures but manage to make their escape. One of the hunters, on the other hand, fires his gun at the mega-bear and provokes it into attacking.
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  • Down on the Farm: Husband-and-wife farmers and their sleepy field hand tending to a flock of animals, while having to deal with tourists, group hunts, and a gigantic bear.
  • The Grand Hunt: A bunch of aristocrats come galloping into the farm, chasing a fox with hounds. After the dogs tear the fox to bits, the two servants release some birds into a cage for the aristocrats to shoot at. After the aristocrats apparently miss all the birds, one servant throws the other servant into the air and all the aristocrats shoot at him.
  • Limited Animation: The drawings are all deliberately crude and abstracted, resembling a child's sketches.
  • Neck Snap: A little Black Comedy when the chickens' antics are occasionally interrupted by the wife picking a chicken up and snapping its neck.
  • Silence Is Golden: Not a word of dialogue in the film. No musical score either.
  • A Storm Is Coming: Literally, as the farmer couple watches black clouds gather up on the horizon. Also metaphorically, as the first sounds of thunder coincide with the bear charging into the farm after it was antagonized by one of the hunters.
  • Thunder = Downpour: There's a little bit of a delay between the first claps of thunder and the rain, but when the rain comes it's a torrential downpour that appears instantly. The downpour saves the people and animals from the giant bear, but it also threatens to blow away the barn Wizard of Oz-style, until the storm ends just as instantly as it began.