My Entire High School Sinking Into the Sea Screen 83 of 10 reviews

My Entire High School Sinking Into the Sea

2016

My Entire High School Sinking Into the Sea Poster
  • The movie is enlivened by the unlikely casting of actors such as Susan Sarandon, Maya Rudolph, and Reggie Watts in parts we aren’t used to hearing their voices in. The film is energized not only by the humorously melodramatic plot, but by Shaw’s thoughtful drawings.

  • Hilariously outrageous and aesthetically dazzling, it's movie heaven for... the insecure heroes, the jealous third-wheels, the redeemed bullies, the ones with a morbid sense of humor, acne survivors, those who can’t have meaningful conversations at parties, the deadpan comedians, the unorthodox artists, awkward romantics, popular girls with no friends, nerds who turned their passion into careers and all of us who were adrift teenagers trying to find a safe shore as adults.

  • A teen outcast's revenge fantasy made manifest, My Entire High School Sinking Into the Sea, with its lo-fi, collage-heavy squigglevision style, earns its epilepsy warning. And while Rudolph has been the MVP of bigger-budgeted animated films great (Big Hero 6), good (Turbo), and dire (The Nut Job), teaming her with Watts is an explosion of awesomeness that's only surprising insofar as nobody thought to do it before. Sinking Into the Sea is fun, but an hour of just Rudolph and Watts in

  • The whole thing buzzes with hand-drawn creativity that's precious in both the pop-cultural and material senses: Schwartzman's performance is of a piece with his work in Wes Anderson's films, while Shaw's animations snap from fearlessly cursory scribbles to seamless, fluid spurts of movement—drawing influence from the aggro-modernist “limited animation” of 1960s and '70s animes.

  • The movie’s flat animation style and purposefully crude character depictions are initially deceptive... As the picture continues, its brightly colored visuals grow ever more psychedelic and phantasmagoric. This makes the mode of narrative and humor — which I’ll call strained, half-curdled, self-regarding millennial whimsy — go down a little easier. The voice work, from a cast that also includes Jason Schwartzman and Lena Dunham, is very good, though not unexpected.

  • After a wave of Young Adult films that wear their vulnerability and sensitivity on their sleeves or, worse, their doomed heroines’ oxygen tanks (I’m looking at you, The Fault Is in Our Stars and If I Stay), My Entire High School Sinking into the Sea operates on regular moviegoers like spinach does on Popeye: its witty heartlessness activates a muscular sense of irony.

  • Frankly, it's refreshing to see an animation that isn't striving for profundity. MEHSSItS is content to run on character quirks and interpersonal dynamics, none of which are elaborated very much past the point of functionality. Still, this is squarely in the upper-middle of the quality spectrum. Sure, it's glib. But it's utterly harmless and genre-smart, and I can't wait to show it to my 11-year-old.

  • Diary of a Wimpy Kid meets The Poseidon Adventure meets South Park. Dash Shaw’s twisted animation looks at the carnage and chaos that ensues after our nerdy, status-obsessed protagonist’s school falls into the ocean. Funny, gross, and, yes, heartwarming — but in a funny, gross kind of way.

  • Shaw’s film shows more interest in comedically embracing action- and disaster-movie tropes than creating some kind of corny coming-of-age allegory regarding Dash and Assaf; the sheer number of violent deaths played for laughs is an indicator of a movie that doesn’t need to treat its characters with affection. This is a cartoon that knows it’s a cartoon.

  • It can be more or less described as Adult Swim with a greater sense of visual ambition. That’s the basic sense of humor pocket, with a stacked vocal cast (Jason Schwartzman, Reggie Watts, Lena Dunham, et al.) doing pretty much what you’d expect. The sense of humor just isn’t my bag: I’m just not the guy who thinks hearing a character with the sobriquet “Lunchlady Lorraine” having her name repeated dozens of time is infinitely hilarious.

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