I am not a brand conscious person; for me, as long as the beverage tastes yummy, I don't care if Subway has made it or McDonalds. But for most people, brands do matter. A friend of mine won't wear shoes unless they are Reebok's or Nike's. My father bought an Apple I- Pad and an I-Touch for the family. I myself, though not too fastidious about brands, prefer buying Playstations rather X-box or Wii. For the corporate sectors, having a brand-name gives them an edge over others. In India, after all these years, Parle G remains extremely reasonable and popular among biscuits because of the homely brand name. I love 'Dark Fantasy' biscuits over 'Hide N' Seek' ones, but the latter is more recognized in the market. Horlicks noodles are tastier than Maggi noodles, I feel but my sister refuses to touch anything but Maggi. In short, Brand is Grand.
On the first viewing, many would be disoriented by the hype that Logorama has received. Even I was bemused, since the short is profane, violent, dispassionate and also a bit sexist. Pringles Hot and Sweet taps the Esso lady's butt and also passes crude remarks in the beginning. Ronald is a completely berserk Joker meets Alex from Clockwork Orange. Mr. Clean has been reduced to an effeminate zoo-keeper, while the famed Leo the Lion has been reduced to a big p***y. But I made a mistake of watching this right after reviewing Geri's Game, a luminous Pixar effort. Now you get why I was not crazy for this the first time. But watching it again today, I got an entirely different perception of the movie. Logorama was not made to sermonize, it was created to entertain and acknowledge the supremacy and influence of brands over modern man.
USA is probably more loaded with brands considering the market economy that it has adopted. The film is over-loaded with brands, with brand names on animals, apples, birds, buildings, cars, CDs, earthquake cracks, guns, hats, human beings, hoardings, motorbikes, roads, signage, tiles, tables, walkie-talkies, windows and even Orange juice! The principal characters include two puffy, fast-food loving officers, a nefarious Ronald McDonald, an Esso waitress and two bratty kids. The officers are to apprehend Ronald McDonald, who is an inveterate criminal who causes collateral damage to the city.
The animation is well-defined, with special attention paid only to the characters and things that matter, just like an advertisement. Some would complain that the environment is shoddily done, but Logorama does not intend to be Pixar; its only intention is to satirize the modernized society. Ronald is the most clearly drawn character, with dark and menacing eyes and voice and a foul, impulsive behavior. The two snotty children are spoilt, impish and materialistic, mooning in front of the lion and using cuss words. Much like the children of today. When one of the guys lies on the grass with the lady after an adventure, I thought it would have been a good idea to hand him a hand-held console to show how indifferent and self-involved today's children are.
The two fat officers begin a random conversation about zoos, thus linking the two children with the story. One of the officers sounds like Morgan Freeman from Nurse Betty or Samuel Jackson from Pulp Fiction and the other like John Travolta from PF, except these are cops. When the second cop goes to buy a snack and look at all the available options, there's a 'Yum!' sign behind the cop as his mouth waters. There are various other innovative ad references, including the surprising Nickelodeon logo, the hard-to-notice Xbox logo and the wittily used Viao logo.
The plot itself is cheesy and reminiscent of a 80s exploitation film, with the vulgar tone, the inane lines, the potty humor and the objectification of women by Pringles men! But everything adds to the zaniness that this movie is. The mindless action and the deus ex machina both are great references to the current fad among many teenagers, who have no liking for meaningful films.
The music in the film has probably been inspired by Stanley Kubrick's Dr Strangelove and is very mild and intentionally paradoxical compared to the rest of the film. It may be a reference to those goody-goody ads and films showing how perfect everyone's life is.
Logorama is a cogent short effectively conveyed in its convenient sixteen minutes. Just one advice- do not go for this after watching a Pixar film, or you'll be shocked and offended! My rating: 8.5/10