Have you heard of the Happy Tree Friends? I hadn’t until I saw the trailer below. Apparently I should watch more G4 so that I can be educated on these things.
Or, maybe I’ve been better off. I haven’t decided yet.
Once I saw the trailer, for Sega’s soon-coming Xbox Live and PC download Happy Tree Friends: False Alarm, I couldn’t help but click around and find a few other animated shorts featuring the titular “friends” on YouTube. The unrelenting violence of these cartoons is slightly hypnotic, enough to leave your mouth agape and a slightly sick feeling in your stomach as you watch, somehow unable to turn away.
Think of the Care Bears mixed with Rocky and Bullwinkle, Ren and Stimpy, and Itchy and Scratchy. Except more violent. It’s like watching your childhood thrown into a wood chipper.
What do you think? Is there merit to the Happy Tree Friends formula, or is it simply shock humor for the sake of itself? Most important of all, did watching it just ruin your weekend?
We all know how critical it is to keep independent voices alive and strong on the Internet. Please consider a donation to support our work as independent cultural critics and historians. Your donation will help PopMatters stay viable through these changing and challenging times where costs have risen and advertising has dropped precipitously. We need your help to keep PopMatters strong and growing. Thank you.