Reviewed by: Luke Shaw

"A welcome piece of righteous fury with a distinctly Firthian twist."

For a certain generation of people, Newgrounds: a web portal for flash animations, was a vaguely subversive corner of the internet, full of fresh faced animators battling for attention with weird and wonderful shorts. For all the inevitable dross that made its way on there, the community always championed videos with real quality and substance. Chief amongst these were David Firth’s surreal and macabre toons. The otherworldly scenarios in Spoilsbury Toast Boy, Salad Fingers, the Sock series and various others, occupied a liminal reality full of violence, filth, and obtuse architecture that had appeal beyond the throwaway jokes in other animations.

As such they gained a sizeable fanbase, and this popularity saw Firth’s work appear on channel 4 and the BBC, often with a slightly heavier leaning towards criticism of the sociopolitical status quo. From these seeds comes his latest animation, Cream. A 10 minute short that according to Firth “is too short to sell but too long to give away” which screened at the 2017 Glasgow Film Festival before Umbilical World, a touched up collection of some of the director's most loved projects.

Cream itself is an animation made up of heavily doctored and animated photographs concerning the invention of the titular Cream: a miracle goo that can fix any problem, physical or internal, by reconfiguring molecules based what it calculates to be the logical fix. As its use over the world increases, death becomes reversible, the global food crisis is fixed, higher planes of consciousness are attainable and, in fact, all of life's ailments are solved when it is revealed you can simply just “Cream yourself happy!”

Somewhat inevitably, a shadowy cabal of oligarchs decide that universal happiness is not worth the obliteration of wealth, and begin a smear campaign via the tabloid press and mainstream media. Firth aims his sights squarely and uncompromisingly on the unshackled power of media corporations and our complicity in allowing them to line their own pockets whilst creating audacious and contradictory media narratives. It’s not as mind bending as previous shorts, but it’s defly animated (David states it took a year to complete), darkly comic, and a welcome piece of righteous fury with a distinctly Firthian twist.

Reviewed on: 17 Feb 2017
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Life's problems are resolved with the aid of a miraculous goo.

Director: David Firth

Year: 2016

Runtime: 10 minutes

Country: UK


Glasgow 2017

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