Underground Film Journal

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Short Animated Film: The Magic Whistle 1

By Mike Everleth ⋅ July 4, 2011

Indie comics genius Sam Henderson has been producing his mind-blowing and hilarious Magic Whistle comic book since … Well, it’s been a long time. But now, he’s taken to turning his great strips into animated form. And, yes, the term “animation” here is used loosely as this first compilation film is more along the lines of a slide show with narration performed by Sam. Still, if you dig his minimalist approach to cartooning, these animations are a fun extension of the Magic Whistle style. (P.S.: Vaguely NSFW or not for children.)

Henderson is no stranger to animation, though, having served as the writer and storyboard director of several episodes of SpongeBob SquarePants. He was even nominated for an Emmy for his work on the episode “Clams” in 2003. Again, just a note, if you have children who love SpongeBob, the above animation does include light sexual references, bad language, drug use and sacrilegious humor, which is pretty good to cram all that into a three-minute slideshow.

Yes, Sam is just basically reading the captions to us like this is a demented bedtime story, but I really like his deadpan, non-humorous reading of the material. A Sam Henderson comic book story is never trying to sell the reader on the joke, so his reading is much in the same manner. I also particularly like how he tries to adopt a robotic cadence for the Sex Robot portion of the cartoon, but quickly gives up on that.

As a Sam Henderson fan, I’m hoping he keeps up with these, particularly keeping my fingers crossed he starts narrating some Dirty Danny strips.

For more on Sam Henderson, read his great blog where he puts up original strips by him, plus scans from classic magazines. The dude’s a real comics historian. Plus, he has an official website here.

Watch Sam’s movie on a Kindle.

Listen to Sam’s movie with great audio.