Skip to main content

Oscar's Oasis Rules!

The crew from Oscar's Oasis.

My children and their best friend have just introduced me to a cartoon show they all adore, Oscar's Oasis (available to stream on Netflix) - a French-South Korean series of very distinctive shorts that riff on the frenetic pace, ambience and non-verbal humor of Chuck Jones' classic Wile E. Coyote and Road Runner cartoons, but bring a whole new energy and contemporary rhythm to the always-chaotic and hilarious proceedings.

Oscar from Oscar's Oasis.

As in the Roadrunner cartoons, food (and water or other refreshment) is the focus here. The setting is a desert - drawn, as Wikipedia points out, from elements of the Sahara, Kalahari and North American deserts.

As Oscar the lizard struggles to find and consume desperately-needed vittles, he is thwarted - and very occasionally assisted for a brief time - by a chaotic, equally determined trio consisting of Popy, a fennec fox, Buck, a vulture, and Harchi, a hyena, whose communal vehicle - and sometimes weapon - of choice is an old shopping cart.

A wonderful source of inspiration: Chuck Jones' Wile E. Coyote and Road Runner.

The humor is entirely visual, perfectly-timed and - in a nice intertextual (to quote a friend:) nod to Road Runner - includes classic "suspended gravity" moments, in which various characters are momentarily frozen in mid-air, usually above a long fall from a cliff, just long enough to appreciate the horror of what lies below.

Chickens figure prominently in Oscar's Oasis - and they are BAAAD!

Beautifully produced by TeamTO and Tuba Entertainment, with a distinctive and highly pleasing style of 3D computer animation and a minimal, nicely-judged music track, Oscar's Oasis is well worth checking out. 

Although far more child-friendly than the truly wild and insane (but completely unforgettable) world of John Kricfalusi's inspired The Ren & Stimpy Show - which I loved in the 1990s - Oscar's humor reminds me of the zoned-out joy I experienced watching Ren and Stimpy (kind of like Laurel & Hardy on acid - with a little Peter Lorre thrown in), and although lizard tongues are stretched mercilessly and whole torsos burned to a frazzle, for once I have no hesitation letting our media-wary children watch and enjoy.

Ren & Stimpy - Happy Happy Joy Joy.


Popular posts from this blog

The High Tower Apartments and The Long Goodbye

Photograph by Dwayne Moser. This beautiful apartment complex in Los Angeles is called the Hightower or High Tower Complex (the High Tower name refers to the central elevator, I believe), and was designed in 1935-1936 by architect  Carl Kay - and made famous in 1973 by my favorite film, Robert Altman's The Long Goodbye (see Why I Love Robert Altman's The Long Goodbye ). Although Altman used the building as Philip Marlowe's apartment in his somewhat post-modern Long Goodbye (the film plays with references to Old Hollywood and opens and closes with the song, Hooray For Hollywood ), the building has another direct connection to Raymond Chandler. It was apparently the inspiration for Chandler in his book, The High Window (the first Chandler novel I ever read), in which Chandler describes the residence of Philip Marlowe as being on the cliffs above High Tower Drive in a building with a fancy elevator tower. (Thanks to the Society of Architectural Historians Southern

Thank You Sonora ER, Dr Trujillo and Dr Johnson.

Microphone stand designed by Hudson. Our eight year old son, Hudson, has been having severe abdominal pain over the past week to ten days, and this week we took him to see Dr Jennifer Neufeld-Trujillo , one of our regular pediatricians at the Forest Road Pediatric Clinic in Sonora, and also to ER at Sonora Regional Medical Center. We just want to say a big thank you to everyone - including all the very friendly and helpful staff at ER - for their care of and concern for Hudson, who is gradually starting to feel better. We would also like to make a special mention of Dr Lisa Johnson , who was on call tonight for Forest Road Pediatrics, and who had a long telephone conversation with me, in which she answered many questions with a depth of knowledge and experience that was both highly reassuring and informative, and who left us feeling confident that we are on the right path for the weekend - always a difficult time when your child is not feeling well. Hopefully, Hudson will cont

Please Sign Up For Email Updates To This Blog And My Writing Workshops

The Malteste Falcon, 1941. For those of you wishing to keep up to date on my writing workshops at the Central Sierra Arts Council , the most efficient way is to sign up in the "Follow This Blog By Email" box in the right sidebar beneath the Buddha. You will then receive an email update every time I post to the blog, including any changes in times or dates or other details of the workshops (although I shall try not to mix things around). I would also greatly appreciate it if you would "Like" this blog on Facebook , by clicking on the "Like" button also beneath the Buddha. This lets you follow the Facebook page associated with this wesbite, , which frequently has additional content not included in the blog. Blade Runner, 1982, courtesy of artist Gavin J Rothery. In the meantime, the first Writing Workshop of the New Year will be on Saturday January 21st 2012 , at the Central Sierra Arts Council, 193 S. Washington Str