No lie, last night’s “Adventure Time” episode may be the weirdest, most esoteric one yet: the Ice King downloads a computer virus into the world, and everything in the Land of Oooo begins to glitch like a 90’s video game. Jake and Finn traipse through the world’s source code, trying to fix it. Flying Lotus scores the ending theme. It’s beautifully disorienting, and it twitches with winky references in a way that’s bound to delight some and frustrate others.
The animator behind it is David OReilly, and if you’re friends with animation dorks, they probably can’t shut up about him. Here’s the thing: besides pioneering a frenzied glitch style, he weaves heartbreak into storytelling. Drop everything you’re doing now and watch “Please Say Something”:
It’s a seemingly simple cat-and-mouse tale that cycles through parallel outcomes of a breakup like a Robert Coover story. If you’ve ever been spurned, or felt guilty about hurting anyone you cared about, you’ll richly identify with both of them.
Back in 2008, OReilly posed as 9-year-old Youtube user called RANDYPETERS1 and uploaded cartoons seemingly doodled in MS Paint. The shorts were about an eight-legged cat on a quest to find his parents. They start out whimsical, but became darker and sadder with each episode, and the final scene suddenly explodes into lush orchestra and 3D. You can watch the whole thing here:
In short, Adventure Time gambled awesomely on David OReilly, and you should definitely keep up with what they’re doing.