IMDB Trivia for “Hoof-Town” (2002)

IMDB Trivia for “Hoof-Town” (2002)

One of Disney’s last traditionally animated (2-D) films, with the exception of all characters’ photorealistic CGI hands.

Ranked #5 on AFI’s 50 Most Based Movies.

A third act was completed, but cut from the final film.

Besides the nine credited screenwriters, several Disney senior managers were personally involved in rewrites well into the final week of production. This allegedly explains the otherwise incongruous exchange during the Blowhole Beach chase where Lilly and Mulligan say: “Fuck you, Brent.” “Fuck you, Christine.”

Nominated for the 2003 Best Animation or Musical Oscar, but lost to Dreamworks SKG’s “Captain Hookworm” (2002).

The first and, to date, only film produced in Disney’s proprietary 17:1 “Hyper Widescope” format. Following negative reaction in theaters, the film was heavily cropped for home video release, explaining why most action and dialogue take place offscreen.

Work on the film was fully rebooted and all prior work scrapped after one of the original directors failed to properly kowtow to chairman Jeffrey Katzenberg.

Princess Boneable was created specifically to add a new Disney Princess to the roster. She has no lines, but to date is the only Disney Princess to kick another character in the face without apparent provocation.

The running joke about Dr. Grooventein being back to “Teabag Iz’ey’s balls” was not scripted, but the result of clever audio editing around David Ogden Stiers’ constant improvisational muttering in the recording booth, often over other actors’ lines. No one named “Iz’ey” appears in the script, nor is Ogden Steirs known to have been officially hired for the film.

Body count: 56, and one undead boat.

According to co-co-Director Sam Marshall, Lilly Pikachu is not a fox but an Antarctic explorer from the human world in an elaborate, anatomically-correct costume.

Held the record for most co-directors on any Disney film at 18. (Soon bested by “Salmon” (2004) with 93.)

Most of the artists with traditional hand drawing skills were fired as production neared completion, often forcefully while still at work. See Goofs: Sudden vertical lines/characters disappearing.

The song “Suck My Kiss” was later recorded by the Red Hot Chili Peppers.

Produced under the title “Tuesday I’m Eating” as a lower cost “B” project alongside the  expected box office smash then titled “Hoof Town.” When the original “Hoof Town” performed poorly, the titles were switched to the confusion of most moviegoers, in order to chalk it up as a win on quarterly financial statements. (The original “Hoof Town” was later released on home video as “Monkey Spanks: Private Eye”.) This explains why neither a single hoofed animal nor a town appear in the film.

Drew the ire of many Conservative Christian parents’ groups for being a movie.

Feature film debut of singer Sasha Turpworth. Turpworth was discovered at a dick sucking contest in Miami Beach, FL.

As a result of contractual obligations and poor timing, the requisite Broadway adaptation opened the same day as the theatrical release, resulting in an infinite recursion of royalty payments between the two Disney divisions. Still ongoing to this day, these payments make it both the highest grossing and greatest financial loss of any Disney film.

First bulimic character in a Disney animated movie. (“Herbie: Fully Loaded” was a live-action film.)

Foreign titles: “Animal Feet Amok” (France), “The Wacky Animal Village” (Germany), “Hoofs: Being an Exploration of Numerous Amusing Things That Happen to Several Anthropomorphized Animals Near a Somewhat Tasteful Bus Depot” (Brazil), “Tits” (Finland).

Howard Pauls, key animator on Spunky Sally, has not been seen by any current member of the Walt Disney animation staff. The last of Walt’s famed Nine Old Men, Pauls exchanges work through a gap under his locked office door. Some suspect he is long dead and it is the room itself producing the drawings.

“Truundelhorn” is a real brand of Hungarian truck, although they have not been sold with anti-Semitic slogans on the hood since 1993.

Similarities have been noted between the plot and that of Virginia Woolf’s “To the Lighthouse,” in that neither has one.

Roger Ebert admitted that he was high on mushrooms while reviewing the film, but did not feel it altered his opinion meaningfully.

Julia Louis-Dreyfus delivers the second-longest racist tirade by a former “Seinfeld” cast member in a Disney movie, and the third longest in any animated movie. (See Trivia for “The Hunchback of Notre Dame” (1996) and “Bee Movie” (2007).)

Musician Morrissey was brought in to give the film “some indy cred,” but was replaced by Alan Menkin when it was realized Morrissey had died in Paris in 1998. He was not rehired when it was discovered that he had not died in Paris in 1998.

Reunites actresses Annie Potts and Elizabeth Perkins for the first time since “Lesbian Sorority Blood Inferno Part 5” (1982).

Hidden Mickey: Beneath the word “SEX” in the underwater rave scene.

David Schramm recorded all of the lines for Based Barry in March of 2001, before being ordered whacked by Disney management in November of that year. Reginald VelJohnson was brought in as a last-minute replacement.

George Clooney, David Thewlis, George C. Scott, William H. Macy and Linda Carter were all considered for the role of the ottoman.

Daveigh Chase, Colm Meaney, Nicolas Refn and Jaden Smith were all considered for the role of Peter Pubgoer, which eventually went to all of them.

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Spaceships

If you don’t have artificial gravity, science fiction starts to look more like the age of schooners. To get from place to place in the solar system it’d be necessary to accelerate halfway, turn around and decelerate for the rest of the trip. Accelerating or decelerating at more than the equivalent rate of Earth gravity (9.8m/s) would be difficult for the crew to withstand for long. Jupiter is about 983 million km from Earth at its nearest point. If I’m doing the math right (and I’m probably not) accelerating halfway at 9.8m/s would take 158 hours — about 6½ days. The full trip would take two weeks.

Laser weapons are a must. You’d only be able to see them when they shoot through gas or dust, but when it comes to shooting from one moving platform and hitting another on a logarithmic scale you won’t get much time to aim. A projectile would deliver more energy with less expended, but a powerful lazer would be able to vaporize or nudge it out of the way. Opponents would basically joust on a split-second timeframe, trying to pass momentarily close enough for their computers to shoot. Ships would be no more than specks to one another, usually less. Forget about human combat.

Until someone tells me what exactly an “energy shield” would be, we’ll have to assume that surviving a lazer attack means thick, dense plating all over the ship. If a lazer can vaporize a few cubic meters of hull in one shot, you’d better have a lot of hull to spare. It should be shiny too. Getting hit with a lazer might lead to some pretty refractions.

One last thought: Get used to the solar system. It takes light from the sun (which doesn’t have to accelerate) eight minutes to reach Earth, four hours to reach Neptune, and four years to reach the nearest star — itself a burnt-out red dwarf, Proxima Centauri.

Blowing some of the cobwebs out of scifi tropes, fiction begins to slip into unfamiliar grooves.

“South Sea Company and Pan Am”

“Evacuate Earth! We have fucked up. Evacuate Earth! We have fucked up…” vibrated every molecule from the core to the froth.

Pan Am had been born in the molten publics ten miles below seal-evil and had worked his way up through the Swiss Ocean to one of the hands below Upafrica. On a tip, he spent a month hiking through SkyMollRestaurant to 521248t8884, arriving days after the bottom fell out and being forced to keep climbing through the magnetosfear. He emigrated up a cable with a few million others when the crane attached to a rivet on its way to the new Jupiter trane, and found work partway up the arm joining pritses in a balancing trace.

South Sea Company was from the high froth above Captured, a weeliweil with braids in her hair. How she had ended up in the arc-overs with a depressing view of Zeeland, barely 7% in debt at age 22, was an even more confusing and picaresque story involving an older man and a broken heart. About a year later, she rode a claw down the north wall of the crane, made her way across, and began digging herself back up with an almost full time job leafing tops in the neighborhood below Pan Am’s.

They made an unlikely couple, but it was an unlikely day.

By flashing the slosh tank the night before, Sears had managed to annihilate the business district. Part of the team from his shift had then cut away the remaining stays with hand explosives. As the nearby spires of Gibraltar painstakingly collapsed into the rising sea of flame, they — 29 crane ports, a winchfield and part of the vessel under construction — had become a free-floating lifeboat. They had no clippers or lift-sixes to get them to Mars, just a handful of strangers. It would be a perilous journey of several weeks, if the strangers worked at all. For some reason, everyone was still looking to Sears and his makeshift crew to decide what to do. He tried not to think about how many were dead, but he had a head for numbers: 64% of humanity already, with the chain reaction still burning its way upward into the froth. Every real ship had long since evacuated. Orbit was a snowstorm of shrapnel halfway out to the moons.

“Stress cracks are opening up everywhere,” Sears announced. “Be ready. Everyone who hasn’t, get as far inside as you can.” His plan was unlikely to succeed. Their strangers were the cheap kind used in construction. They had only been used once, and only been meant to be used once. Something exploded.

“Someone try to vent the puffers,” said Sears.

“I’m on it,” said Kalashnikov.

“Captain Sears-“

“Very funny, Temple of Athena.”

“Wasn’t me.”

“Me,” said a young woman in the doorway, holding up her hand. It was South Sea Company. Her other hand held Pan Am’s.

“Not now,” said Sears, adding up their rate of tumble. “Flip the strangers,” said Sears. The acceleration stopped. “Wait until we’re facing away, then get ready to flip them again. We’ll do something about this offcenter spin when we’re clear of the arc-overs.”

“Captain-“

“Do NOT call me that, South Sea Company.”

“That was me, actually,” said Kalashnikov. “One of the strangers just nuked Point Pleasant. Fourteen fatalities.”

“638,529 people left aboard then,” said Sears. “Left alive, rather.”

“Aboard is fine,” said Temple of Athena.

“We don’t have running lights,” said Tea Lagoon.

“What are you talking about, running lights?”

“There.” Tea Lagoon switched on a red light at one end of their bulk and a blue light at the other. “Now we’re legal.”

“Legal for what?”

“Captain Sears…” South Sea Company began again.

“Will you stop calling me that?”

“We want you to marry us,” said Pan Am.

South Sea Company smiled and nodded, squeezing his hand.

Sears turned to face them. “What is the matter with you? We’re drifting for dear life through a wreckage field-“

“With proper lights,” said Tea Lagoon.

“You should do it, captain,” said Temple of Athena, tapping her hands against her chin.

“I am not a captain! This is not a vessel!”

“Well what would you call it?” asked South Sea Company.

“Ooh, what should we call it?” said Kalashnikov.

“Just stop, everyone.”

“Somebody has to give her,” said Temple of Athena. “Hey hey, can I?”

“Does somebody have to give him too?” asked Tea Lagoon.

“Seems fair,” said Kalashnikov.

“I’ll do it then,” Tea Lagoon volunteered.

“Flip on my mark,” said Sears. “Flip!” A groan echoed through the walls as momentum began to build again.

“Shit! Cut that stranger off!” said Kalashnikov.

“What happened?”

“Strangelets everywhere. Thing went inverse, just like that.”

“Watch for gammas. They won’t all spike before they invert, but it’s the best we’ll get.”

“Roger,” said Kalashnikov. Everyone watched tensely for the next several minutes as material fatigue made itself heard. “They’re ready to flip.”

“Flip.”

Silence.

“Don’t you need a witness, too?” asked Temple of Athena.

“I don’t remember,” said Pan Am.

“Stop. Just stop…”

“I’ll witness,” said Kalashnikov. “I was waiting for something to do.”

Standard Oil and his team returned. “We’ve got Mu Mu welded down.” He looked at Pan Am and South Sea Company. “What’s going on?”

“A wedding!” said Kalashnikov. “The captain’s doing a ceremony.”

“Oh. Explains the running lights, in a roundabout sort of way.” Standard Oil turned to Pan Am. “You the guy? Good show. I thought you two were fighting.”

“It seems kind of silly now,” said South Sea Company, twining her arm around Pan Am’s.

“Yeah, I know what you mean.” Standard Oil looked distant for a moment. “Crew! Get in here. We’ve got a wedding!”

“Like a real wedding?” Standard Oil’s people crowded in, shaking Pan Am’s hand and kissing South Sea Company’s hair.

“Excellent. Lets get started,” said Temple of Athena.

“I don’t…” Everyone watched Captain Sears expectantly. “I don’t even know the…”

“I found them,” said Kalashnikov, passing the words to him. He read through them, stalling for time in the light of the boiling Earth.

“Fine, fuck it. ‘Dearly beloved…'”

More Fun With Mr. Noonday

Of all the challenges I thought I might face as an adult, having an invisible demon on my back weighing me down wasn’t one of them.

“Take this chalk,” he said. “Draw a line with it on the floor. Cross it. Look back.”

It was gone.

“Now do you understand?”

(Fifty word flash fiction. Previous outing: “Mr. Noonday.”)

Softball Sketch

I’m in the “husbands’ box” with a few other tired-looking guys, working late on my laptop. The game is about halfway through. We have a vulnerable lead. It’s beginning to rain. She’ll be muddy, cold and irritable when she gets off the field. I expect she’ll want to go straight home instead of soaking in the clubhouse. I happen to be looking up vaguely as Fukuyama #43 sends a line drive past the first baseman. My wife scoops it up, pops it back to first and ends the inning. I take a sip from my can of tea, feeling like a good husband.

“Nine for twelve? That’s a pretty good season!” The little girl nods shyly under her baseball cap, clutching an autographed notebook page. Local celebrity means something here. She’s an obvious pro, bobbing her head and grinning like a tv idol as she fills the girl’s head with league softball dreams. My wife’s plan is to become a history teacher when she retires from the league, preferably at a lower secondary (middle) school. I suspect she just wants to do it so she can coach a girls’ team. She’d be good at it. The late evenings away from home will continue long past her softball career, but at least she’ll be able to ditch that haircut.

We’ve made dinner, eaten, and worked down through a bottle of sake, chatting quietly on the floor. Her face is bright red. Is that what I’m laughing about? I don’t remember. Everything is good. We roll around on the carpet giggling. Soon we’re making love. She’s giving me the baby eyes. This is why I came here. Sometimes it all makes sense. She’s out by the time I put her to bed. I get her a glass of water, and down one myself. She snuggles against my hand as I lay down beside her, breathing hard in her sleep.

“What is the MATTER WITH YOU!?” she yells in Japanese, tears streaming down her face. I don’t understand this mood. She calls me stupid, shit, foreign. Hard little fists smash like fireworks against my chest and arms. She’s much too fast to block. All I can do is force myself closer and take the windup out of her punches until she cries herself down. It won’t take long. Domestic violence only became a crime here in 1997. I’ll be sore tomorrow. She’ll be distant tonight, then overly upbeat, and probably do something for me. This is deeper than me being boneheaded, and not a real couple’s fight. It just happens, once or twice a year. All I know is that her life is an elaborate comedy of manners that I’m too dense to understand, and sometimes it’s too much for her.

It’s the annual Husbands Game — actually a mishmash of husbands, boyfriends, and more than a few dads. (The qualifications are flexible.) We’re humiliating ourselves as usual along with the equally hopeless men from Himeji, but it’s all for a good cause. Mishina’s dad just huffed and puffed his way to a base hit. The local diehard fans are Queen stomping. Hyuuga’s boyfriend played college ball and he’s up after me. If I can get at least a single, we might do okay. I spot my wife in the stands and trip over a bat, to more cheers from the crowd. She does an elaborate, Kabuki-grade facepalm.

When we met, I bought her a drink, not knowing that I probably shouldn’t do that when she was out bonding with her team. We dated for about a week. I remember feeling that I’d hit a wall in getting to know her. I might have called it off. Then everything went wrong. It was the year her team failed to reach the Championships, for the first time since 1995. People were going to be fired. She was taking it hard. She needed company, couldn’t maintain a face. Two fans had committed suicide. It was the worst day of her life. She called me a little before midnight, and poured her heart out in the back of a steakhouse.

We’re home. Practice was cancelled. It’s a Tuesday evening. We’re on the lawn playing catch in the fading light. Her throws are perfect, flat and quick. I lob it back to her. The phrase “speaking with silence” comes to mind, one I’ve never understood. She watches me instead of the ball. Her eyes are smiling. There’s a weird tranquility to the moment. The lull of the neighbors’ kids bubbles over the hedges. My wife looks content.

(This is basically the same exercise as “Wives” from 2004.)