A Doonesbury Special

A_Doonesbury_Special_Cast_1977-500x363Doonesbury fans will want to seek out this excellent animated short, which took an award at Cannes. It’s set during the strip’s early days, when the main characters were still living at Walden. (The characters, who have long since moved on, are now generally so miserable that if they ever watched this film, they’d kill themselves.) Main protagonist Mike Doonesbury sits on a couch with Mark Slackmeyer and bitches about the death of his youthful ideals. B.D. and Boopsie show up, and there’s a flashback to B.D.’s college-football days (yes, he does have trouble keeping the team’s attention in the huddle). Zonker goes snorkeling and sings much of his dialogue. Jimmy Thudpucker does a televised concert — the animation is most inspired in this segment — and performs painfully earnest top-40ish songs. Reverend Scot Sloane tries haplessly to stage a rock-opera Christmas play. Joanie Caucus is still at the day-care center, enlightening youngsters with quotes from Simone de Beauvoir. About the only character missing is Uncle Duke. Not exactly nonstop laughs, and the uninitiated may not get much out of it (though, as a fan of the strip, I have no idea how it’d play for newbies), but a must-see for Doonesbury cultists. Scripter and strip creator Garry Trudeau was also involved in 1983’s Doonesbury: A Musical and 1988’s Rap Master Ronnie, which don’t appear to be on video.

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