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Mike Barnard

Published February 23rd, 2008 | by Mike Barnard

Frisky Dingo Review

Classification: 15 Director: Adam Reed, Matt Thompson Rating: 4/5

Superheroes get super silly in Frisky Dingo, a cartoon soap opera which sees those fighting for justice and those seeking world domination placed in situations normally unseen in the classic comic book characters we all know and love. This animated [adult swim] series follows it’s usual mission statement of seeking out the humour in places we don’t normally see it while subtly touching on the aspects of artificial lives not seen. For Frisky Dingo that means a supervillain with an inferiority complex who can’t even get postcards threatening the world to its doom printed without a spelling error and a superhero so egotistical he doesn’t really care the murder of his parents pushed him into a life of crime because he is so successful with everyone. Yes, enter the alternative lives of superheroes.

Blurring the line between heroes and villains, the baddie of Frisky Dingo is undoubtedly the muscle-bound alien Killface. The monstrous grey being with red eyes is ready and willing to threaten the world to its doom, and he wants to do it right. Hence he orders a series of self-promotional postcards and appears on a chat show to push his message of menace to all. Yet, despite his plans, he falls foul of moral dilemmas such as getting the postcards printed with a spelling error reading “Welcome to you’re doom!” and seeking to complain to the printer who shows him the proof with the error in it. Killface is shocked, but doesn’t know how to respond as he can’t get his money back. Similarly, he appears on a talk who where he is used to help advertise a car more than his evil plans leading to another moment when he doesn’t know how to act. The only real threat to Killface apart from himself is the billionaire playboy Xander Crews who alter ego Awesome X has defeated every supervillain in town and proud of it –he wants to keep his robot army and the other expenses that go with being a superhero going despite the board of his rich company complaining. For him, keeping Killface is needed to help sell more Awesome X toys – an ambivalent position if ever there was one.

Surrounding these two main characters is a cast list at odds with their lives. Killface has a sexually-confused son Simon who will never follow in his footsteps and henchperson Sinn who he ripped an arm off for no reason. There is also Taqu’il who puts his name to anything – even condoms – and Phil, a man building Killface’s doomsday device the Annihilatrix, simply because he was hired to do so from Monster.com. Together, they get hopeless lost in petty rivalries and arguments no matter who you might think should be in control: Killface feels at odds with making Simon behave like he feels a boy should and Phil shows indifference for creating the one machine that will destroy the world. The humour on offer here, based on the problems superheroes might face in their day-to-day activities that you never see combined with personal dramas more akin to EastEnders or Neighbours, is full of neat observations and cleverly put together personal histories which make every 11-minute episode a short, but sweet, delight.


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