Notes on a Cryptozoo

Jonesing for a hand-drawn throwback?

Jones no further than Cryptozoo, the new bonanza of deadpan trip by Dash Shaw (My Entire High School Sinking Into the Sea), extraordinnaire of feature-length animation of old that’s anything but your old Disney affairs.

The movie’s basically the X-menpeople, with its narrative and aesthetic construction operating as mutantly as the characters (the Cryptozoo = the X-Mansion).

Befitting this glorious spectacle of hodgepodge, here are some loosely-connected thoughts (the connection between them: they’re all about and/or inspired by the movie, dummie):

When you need voice-actors to strike a surreally disassociated tone, you could do worse than off-Broadway stalwarts Thomas Jay Ryan and Emily Davis, BUT YOU COULDN’T DO BETTER (catch Emily ON Broadway this fall in Is This a Room)!


The moral of the story: Toss a perfectly-fine, merely half-smoked joint, and a unicorn will pierce your lover through the heart…and then you’ll kill a one-of-one mystical being who only wronged you as a trained response to their incarceration at the hands of your fellow, self-interested humans, igniting an inter-species war that devastates with carnage but ultimately liberates these innocent creatures.

wait what?


This scene, the movie’s first, homages the opening of Jaws; an intoxicated, stripped-to-their-skivvies couple fatally joy-ride into the pitch-black night…right into an unexpected, bloodthirsty predator.

AND, Michael Cera’s (brief) involvement odes to Janet Leigh in Psycho, a star whose celebrity boosts the surprise of their premature axing. 


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