A 30-minute animated film created by Richard Williams (in his film debut) in 1958, exploring philosophy without dialogue through the conflicts of three men who visit a little island.
Why so many spoiler tags? Well, let's just say this is a film that's full of surprises...
This short film provides examples of:
- Barbie Doll Anatomy: The three little men. Also, a couple of naked women appear with nipples but no visible genitalia.
- Chekhov's Gun: The way Truth is dressed when he comes to the island. It's easy to miss. Not so easy to miss is the armor Good is wearing.
- Comic Trio
- Deranged Animation: Williams gets very creative with the way his characters look and move.
- Fan Nickname: Since the three characters are nameless, they're sometimes referred to in reviews and analayses of the film as "Good", "Truth", and "Beauty" for the sake of convenience.
- The Fundamentalist: "Each of the three little men in this film has an idea .... BUT ONLY ONE"
- Good Is Not Nice: Good is easily the biggest jerk of the three characters.
- Implausible Fencing Powers: Beauty jumps over a bazooka shell, shish-ka-bobs Good's imaginary minions in a single stab, then uses their muskets as harp strings. AWESOME!
- Knight Templar: Good often dons elaborate armor and is not averse to using weapons - all in the name of good, of course.
- Limited Animation: Hard to believe, but Richard Williams, known today as a hardcore proponent of full animation, began his career working in the simple, stylized fashion typical of cartoons in the 1950s.
- Mime and Music-Only Cartoon: There is no spoken dialogue; title cards at the beginning explain the concept and identify the main characters.
- Mundane Made Awesome - Subverted in the climax with Truth and his chalkboard. At first you think it's playing this trope straight, but then the camera pans back and upwards, revealing... nope, not gonna spoil it.
- Naked People Are Funny: Upon arriving at the island, the three characters lose their clothes. Fortunately, there is nothing to see.
- One-Winged Angel: Beauty and Good in the climax. Also counts as a Shapeshifter Showdown, as they transform into giant, more fearsome and very sumo-esque forms as they get angrier at each other.
- Red Eyes, Take Warning: Beauty in his imaginary Nubian form becomes infuriated when his feathery hair gets taken from him by the red sumo Good, and his eyes turn pure red (the camera even closes right up to them).
- Rocket Punch: How this is pulled off must be seen to be believed.
- The Straight Man: Truth
- What Have I Done: Not spoken, but this is clearly Truth's reaction to his chalkboard turning into a giant atomic bomb.
- Your Mind Makes It Real