The Search for Animal Chin (1987)

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The Search for Animal Chin (1987) Poster

The Bones Brigade travels around California, Nevada, and Hawaii to different skate spots in search of a wisened old man, Won Ton "Animal" Chin. The movie is of the old-school nomadic, ... See full summary »


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6 March 2011 | rory-spanton
9
| An epic skateboarding journey, and a great movie.
The Search For Animal Chin is a skateboarding movie, directed by Stacy Peralta, and starring members of The Bones Brigade, a globally popular skateboarding team who formed in the late 80's, and continued to dominate the skateboarding scene until the mid 90's. After releasing two prior videos, 'The Bones Brigade Video Show', and 'Future Primitive', Peralta wanted to make a movie that was less commercialized, but at the same time more ambitious, complete with a story, and acting.

The plot is as follows: The creator of skateboarding, an bearded Asian named 'Animal' Chin has gone missing, and the Bones Brigade, a group of young skaters, set out to find him. The plot is light on depth, but it conveys a general message about how skateboarding became by that time overblown and commercialized, and encourages skating for fun, not money or popularity. The dialogue is very loose and almost entirely improvised, with only a very vague script from surfing journalist Paul Gross. As well as that, the Bones Brigade members don't show much acting ability, and you can see that in some scenes that they are extremely tired and physically exhausted. Despite this, the humor works, in a very camp way, and a lot of the jokes are based around what the Bones Brigade members joked about off set in real life, so some skaters may be able to relate to the humor.

But the real star of the show however, is the skateboarding itself, which makes up the majority of the movie. The Bones Brigade and friends are on top form here, and show the very best of their talents. Especially notable is a young Tony Hawk, who proceeds to dominate the final sequence with amazing trick variety, and style to match. The filming also showcases talent, with some of the first moving camera shots in a skateboarding video (Stacy Peralta came up with this concept), which is now a mainstream staple of all skateboard videos.

In all, The Search For Animal Chin is a fun ride which isn't meant to be taken seriously, that also showcases some great skateboarding with an all star cast of riders. So leave your seriousness at the door, do a bunsen over the junsen, and give it a watch.

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