In a world where studios like Warner Bros and Disney are attempting to Thanos snap their cartoons and past animations from this reality, Lackadaisy is a welcome addition to a medium waiting on another renaissance.
Lackadaisy Pilot Review
A beautiful soliloquy in ode to the Mississippi River starts out what initially looks like a grave robbery.
What is the Lackadaisy Pilot About?
Given that Lackadaisy is set in prohibition-era Missouri, a bogus obituary entry let’s us know that the (false) grave is actually coordinates to some lackluster hootch. Immediately, shenanigans ensure where the anthropomorphic cats Rocky, Freckle, and Ivy are hunted down and stalked by a rival bootlegging gang.
I know it sounds like I just gave you the plot – but I didn’t.
In my latest reviews (some that haven’t been scheduled or released yet) I’ve been talking about the importance of showing, but not telling in a visual narrative. There were so many little nuggets and glimpses of story threads that made this 23-minute pilot feel like it was set in a living, breathing, and expansive world.
Lackadaisy Set in a Rich World
Freckle and Rocky talk to each other like they are childhood friends, and the ending credits shows a photograph of the two as children. Freckle seems to have a crush on Ivy and rushes to protect her during the shootout with Mordecai, while the speakeasy bartender Viktor seems to have some sort of jealousy or resentment toward their relationship.
Mitzi appears to be a recent widower and her husband must have run the Lackadaisy club.
Rocky’s gang obviously isn’t profitable to keep but judging by Rocky’s desperation of using dynamite during the shootout and his obviously fragile demeanor, Mitzi and her staff continue to employ them at a loss.
Wick seems to be the owner of the quarry worksite destroyed in the shootout, and after the credits seems astounded by Rocky’s vague description of the mayhem that took place.
I could keep going on and on, but seriously – this was a great watch. ☺
The voice acting was top notch and I even had to turn subtitles on to catch Serafine and Nico’s southern drawls. The animation was spectacular and the core story itself reminds me of the late 1920s – 1930s noir talkies I fell in love with during film school.
Animation is such an important medium and despite legacy corporations that have made their fortune utilizing this creative method of storytelling now rejecting it, I’m glad creator Tracy J. Butler and the good folks over at Iron Circus are attesting to the magic and power of a good story.
LACKADAISY is based on a comic series created by Tracy J. Butler. The short was directed by Fable Siegel, produced by Iron Circus Animation, and worked on by a crew of more than 160 artists around the world.
The Lackadaisy pilot can be viewed for free on YouTube.
You can read the LACKADAISY comics all the way back to 2008 (although existing since 2006!) for free on their website, Support Lackadaisyon Patreon for more projects in the future, and check out Iron Circus’s work via their website.
Did you watch LACKADAISY yourself on YouTube? Have you read the comics?
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☆ In Asian Spaces