This animation could be termed as no less than ‘wacky’ – kind of ‘Ren & Stimpy’ meets Grease. Bill Plympton has had a long and respected career in animation, but this is the first I’ve seen of his work. To tell you the truth Hair High really wasn’t my cup of tea.
The humour generally stems from the wild takes and gross out humour, which whilst being part of a long and time honoured tradition in animation, quickly becomes tedious. The plot starts out promising, and the setup of stereotypes very entertaining – the new kid meets the school’s favourite pair of sweethearts at a typical US high school of the 50s. After the opening scenes, however, the film plods along fairly slowly, sidetracking constantly before rushing the last act.
The animation itself left a lot to be desired – I’m not suggesting that nothing less than Disney would do, but the jerkiness did get to me after a while. That being said, there were some wonderfully larger than life yet reasonably true exaggerations – cheerleading girls presented as nothing more than legs and breasts, the jocks’ cars enormous juggernauts of the road.
Hair High shows no restraint, and I imagine part of the appeal of Plympton is that he has creative control over his films (he had a part in the writing, animation and direction), but unfortunately the film felt way too self indulgent. There is an impressive assembly of voice talent here (also including Matt Groening!) though no one was instantly recognisable.
Hair High failed to hold my attention for very long. This is a film that I’m sure will find a cult following but definitely won’t have mass appeal.Rating: