January 11, 2006



January 28th may be the start of Chinese New Year, but for me it's the release date of MCDULL: THE ALUMNI. You may not know McDull, but Hong Kong's favorite piglet is the star of two of Hong Kong's best post-97 movies: MY LIFE AS MCDULL (2001) and MCDULL: PRINCE DE LA BUN (2004).

McDull is a popular HKSAR children's character, a lovable loser of a piglet who perseveres with his sweet, deluded dreams in the face of near-constant failure. I picked up MY LIFE AS MCDULL entirely by accident and by the time it was over my tear ducts were aching and I was full of outrage. With its hyperactive visual mix of live action, CGI, cel animation, rough pencil sketches, and black and white archival footage, its pitch perfect voice acting and a series of musical numbers based on classical compositions (everything from the "Internationale" and "All Things Bright and Beautiful" to Bach) this animated musical was funny, moving and, at the risk of sounding cheesy, uplifting. How dare Disney pass off its pre-chewed cartoon musical burlesques as achievements in animation. This was the real deal.

MCDULL: PRINCE DE LA BUN was a weirder, and less successful flick. Bizarrely surreal, it focused on McDull's mother taking kindergarten-aged McDull for a picnic on her recently-purchased grave plot, and then jumped backwards in time to trace the life of McDull's dad, the Prince de la Bun, a man who never wanted to grow up and who left broken hearts and abandoned pigs in his wake. Ultimately it didn't hold together, or reach the heights of MY LIFE AS MCDULL, but it contains some of the most poignant animated images you'll ever see. Anyone who can watch a scene where McDull's dad comes across his imaginary playmate years later, now a down and out street person, and not feel something move inside their chest is probably an android and you should immediately confront your parents.

Now the third McDull movie is arriving this Chinese New Year and it's MCDULL: THE ALUMNI. The movie includes a generous dose of live action (that's the cast on the right) including actors like Sandra Ng, Anthony Wong, Alex Fong, Kelly Chen, Gigi Leung, Jan Lam, and Eric Tsang. Set in the International Financial Center in Hong Kong the movie kicks off when a gang of robbers breaks in to steal cash and winds up holding the staff and customers hostage. It turns out that everyone in the bank that day, unbeknownst to each other, all went to the same kindergarten and the movie dwells, in excruciating detail I'm sure, on how their childhood dreams of what they wanted to be when they grew up have all gone gruesomely awry.

It sounds like the most depressing children's movie ever made. I can't wait.

January 11, 2006 at 11:24 AM in News | Permalink


You want depressing - what about skinny Chris Doyle off to the right of the poster. Yikes! They got the pastiest white guy and he is the last person I wanted to see in shorts and a wifebeater tank top looking like he came from a Village People fan convention costume ball!

Posted by: Colin Geddes | Jan 11, 2006 9:03:45 PM

I thought that might be Chris Doyle but...he's so short! Is he really this tiny in real life?

Posted by: Grady Hendrix | Jan 12, 2006 6:25:25 AM

Grady, I thought you had seen Chris Doyle -- and all drunk at that -- in New York sometime back? Or was it Paul (who saw Chris Doyle, I mean!)? ;)

Posted by: YTSL | Jan 12, 2006 4:23:43 PM

I did see him falling down the stairs of a restaurant and loping about the streets of NYC and to me he looked like a taller gentleman than this. But that does look like his face on that actor. Where'd they get that body, though?

Posted by: Grady Hendrix | Jan 15, 2006 9:14:44 AM

Will this movies will be show in MALAYSIA CINEMA in this coming CNY?

Posted by: KWKELVEN | Jan 20, 2006 1:58:45 AM

Aaaah, another Malaysian who reads this BLOG???

Unfortunately, I doubt that MCDULL: THE ALUMNI will be shown in Malaysian cinemas. Just like MY LIFE AS MCDULL and MCDULL: PRINCE DE LA BUN weren't. :(

Posted by: YTSL | Jan 20, 2006 4:24:59 AM

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