Bounty hunters, mutants, thrill seekers, rabid robots, tentacle creatures, cyborgs and space travellers, philosophical questions about human heritage, visits from other worlds, mysterious unanswered riddles, gloomy future views and human survival stories. If all this sounds like something for you so it's time to strap in again, for the second round of the short story series from Netflix Love, Death & Robots.
This season takes us once again on a phenomenally varied journey through time, space and our human soul. Here are stories that could be developed into feature films because they have so much passion, personality and heart behind both the animation and storytelling.
The favourites, then? Of course, I fell for Pop Squad, which takes place in a Blade Runner-scented world where immortality is set against the reproduction of humanity, and I fell in love with the ruthless world of Snow in the Desert, where bounty hunters, mutants and love meet on a delightfully violent Mad Max-type planet. I also appreciated the cute stop motion-animated (I think) Christmas story All Through The House, which I can see becoming an instant Christmas classic in the future. The best story of the volume, however, is Tim Miller's melancholy and thoughtful The Drowned Giant, which gives us a study of human greatness and insignificant existence when a naked giant is washed ashore.
Unfortunately, the magic ends too quickly. This is not really the fault of the short films per se, it's just that I, like a spoiled child on Christmas Eve, disappointingly count down the number of presents under the Christmas tree. "Eight episodes ?! It was 18 episodes last time", it sounded in my head, like Dudley in the first Harry Potter book. I want more! More anxiety, more incomparable adult animation from all over the world, more of everything! At the same time, however, I understand that this kind of animation takes its good time and sometimes it can still be nice with a smaller dose; quality should always go before quantity, it is said, and that fits in well with this well-made cluster of short films.
It is lovely to get through these dreamy, comical, disgusting and melancholic mini films. No, it may not be a new "The Witness" or "Zima Blue" in this collection, where I, for example, had expected more from Ice and Tall Grass, but here there is still something that appeals to everyone on some level. It is dark, depressing, violent and devastating, but also beautiful, fun, hopeful and human. When the only really negative thing I can say about Volume 2 is that that uncompromising rawness from the first volume feels somewhat subdued and that some stock-sound effects become a little too obvious in a number of short films, it is probably still obvious that Vol. 2 is worth seeing. Thus, the wait for Vol. 3 officially started and it already feels like an eternity...