When we got out of college, my buddy Josh Dolgin and I set out to make an eight-minute cartoon. We figured it would take us three months. The plan was to use the cartoon to get a TV show and become rich and famous. None of this came to pass.
Instead, we spent three years making a 45-minute weirdo sci-fi hiphop buddy film. We nearly lost our minds and our friendship in the process. The resulting cartoon (we were told) was too strange for TV and too long for film festivals. The whole thing amounted to nothing: a fiasco, a waste of time. Had we spent three years playing with Lego and poking each other in the gums, it would have been just as productive. We ended up selling a 25-minute cut of the thing to the CBC, who never aired it, and then we got as far away from each other as possible. Josh went on to international success as the Hiphop-Klezmer weirdo Socalled, and I became a public radio host.
The other week I watched 500 Pound Planet for the first time in five years. I was afraid it would make me cringe, but it didn't. I like our cartoon! It's messy and ambling, but I think it's got soul and does a pretty good job of capturing what our lives in Montreal were like at the time. Instead of feeling guilty about wasting three years making it, I now feel guilty at having abandoned it. Parents should treat their kids better than that, even if they're deformed. Especially if they're deformed.
So enough preamble. Here is part one of our bastard cartoon, 500 Pound Planet. I'll post the rest, a chapter a day over the week. Hope you like it, feedback welcome!