"At death's approach, all creatures discover an aptitude for violence."
Anybody who's familiar with the Watchmen graphic novel will recognize the significance of the Tales of the Black Freighter. This was originally the comic-within-the-comic, having nothing much to do with the events of Watchmen, but offering a stark thematic parallel.
This animated feature translates that segment of the comic to accompany the Watchmen film (and if you watch the film's Ultimate Cut, this cartoon will be spliced into the main feature). On its own, the cartoon is short, bleak, and pretty gnarly. It runs pretty fast and it tells a heck of a story.
Following the Watchmen comic closely, this feature tells a very dark and violent story full of hideously ironic twists. The story is simple, but highly effective. It offers the bare minimum characterizations, but it digs deeply into the main character's psyche and madness to dig up strong themes of humanity's savagery; themes that are effectively echoed in the Watchmen film.
This feature uses pretty decent animation quality: movements are a little stiff and cheap, but it looks sharp, clean, and well-rendered. Voice-acting is not bad, and the writing is good. Designs for the characters and settings are good, and some scenes show good imagination. Music is alright.
Recommended for anybody interested in the Watchmen film.
4/5 (Entertainment: Good | Story: Good | Film: Good)
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