Tales From The Far Side
October 29, 2011 7:03 PM   Subscribe

in 1994, Gary Larson's Far Side came to life on television in the form of an animated Halloween special like no other. Tales From The Far Side only aired once, and the television version differs from the not-easily-located DVD version. You can read more about this dark and hilarious animated classic courtesy of Vinnie Rattolle's, and find a copy of the television version for your very own holiday viewing.
posted by hippybear (28 comments total) 62 users marked this as a favorite
 
How have I never seen or even heard of this? Thanks for posting.
posted by AElfwine Evenstar at 7:04 PM on October 29, 2011 [3 favorites]


Available via fine torrent sites.
posted by Horselover Phattie at 7:16 PM on October 29, 2011


There are non torrent links at the second link in the FPP.
posted by hippybear at 7:18 PM on October 29, 2011


I vaguely remember this from my childhood but honestly I assumed it was just a vivid hallucination.
posted by Avenger at 7:20 PM on October 29, 2011 [2 favorites]


It wasn't >$80 when I asked for it, but my sis bought the 2 volume set for me; it's fucking *great* and has almost every comic Larson published.
posted by porpoise at 7:23 PM on October 29, 2011 [1 favorite]


I agree, porpoise. :)
posted by Vamier at 7:33 PM on October 29, 2011


How in the hell could a cartoon with half-ass animation and questionable-to-begin-with art direction be as witty, audacious and laugh-out-loud funny as any episode of the Simpsons or Family Guy - without any dialogue! The wolf getting drunk sketch... oh - my - god. So wrong in such a fantastic way. It channels Terry Gilliam as well as Gary Larson.

Too bad it was CBS and not Fox who picked up the rights to this... like Trudeau's "A Wish for Wings that Work", the end product is evocative of the vision of the comic's creator, but not slavishly so. It really works on TV, and lots of thought has gone into the difference between a one panel gag and a three minute sketch. Both this an the Opus cartoon cold have made a long-lasting dent in the american psyche if the button-down networks had bothered to believed in it.

I've downloaded it illegally and watched it. It's better than "A Simpson's Christmas" and the Family Guy pilot. As someone who loves both, that's saying a lot.
posted by Slap*Happy at 8:03 PM on October 29, 2011


Thanks for this link! I don't remember this at all, but I sure miss The Far Side. Remember when The Far Side was EVERYWHERE you looked? You couldn't go into a mall gift store without being inundated with Gary Larson merchandise. No one understood it, but everyone wanted it*. Those were the days!

(* Unlike those terrible Magic Eye posters that were also popular around the same time: No one could see the images, but everyone said they could. I never understood how every poster I couldn't 'see' ended up being dolphins. Or so I was told.... off-topic)
posted by Mael Oui at 8:05 PM on October 29, 2011 [2 favorites]


I'd totally forgot seeing these, thanks! To the torrentmobile!
posted by meehawl at 8:22 PM on October 29, 2011


There's got to be a word for when something comes along that you seriously cannot believe you never knew about. Something that is so crazy that it is absolutely unthinkable that until this very moment you had no idea had ever existed.

I suggest the word be in German.
posted by Civil_Disobedient at 10:27 PM on October 29, 2011 [5 favorites]


Vinnie Rattolle's is a fine establishment, offering up the greatest of VHS-era TV cheese. A blog like none other.
posted by Theta States at 10:48 PM on October 29, 2011


It's almost like this, except all the stuff about being commissioned for TV was true and it actually aired.
posted by tylerkaraszewski at 11:12 PM on October 29, 2011


Slap*Happy: like Trudeau's "A Wish for Wings that Work"

I think you mean Breathed. :)
posted by Anephim at 11:15 PM on October 29, 2011 [3 favorites]


There were two, you know.
posted by Sys Rq at 11:23 PM on October 29, 2011


Civil_Disobedient: "There's got to be a word for when something comes along that you seriously cannot believe you never knew about. Something that is so crazy that it is absolutely unthinkable that until this very moment you had no idea had ever existed.

I suggest the word be in German.
"


Unglaublicheauzgezeichnet!
posted by arcticseal at 12:18 AM on October 30, 2011 [2 favorites]


Directed by Marv Newland (anyone who's seen "Bambi Meets Godzilla" just once ought to recognize that name!)

We must've watched that a thousand times on 16mm back in the day. Now, here it is on YouTube.
posted by fairmettle at 3:23 AM on October 30, 2011 [1 favorite]


It's just too bad Marv Newland never did anything else.
posted by sneebler at 6:34 AM on October 30, 2011


Astonishing. There was no greater Gary Larson fan than moi. I cut them out back in the glorious days when they appeared daily, daily I tell you! in the newspaper. I've worn out my collection books reading them so often. Yet I have never heard of this. Remarkable. The publicity must have been underwhelming.

From TheFarSide.com:
Far Side calendars, greeting cards, t-shirts, coffee mugs, posters, computer calendars and screensavers, and Day Runner organizers/organizer refills are all discontinued products and are no longer being made by their respective companies.
What on earth? You can't tell me there is no demand for this stuff. No Far Side mugs? No Far Side Greeting Cards? That surprises me more than the unknown video.
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 7:00 AM on October 30, 2011 [1 favorite]


There were two, you know.

Yes, but only one of them is available for free and semi-legal viewing online.

You CAN get both of them... if you know what I mean...
posted by hippybear at 7:33 AM on October 30, 2011


I don't know if there was another dvd version, hippy, but you can buy a dvd with both 1 and 2 on it from the official site...


Just ordered, worked out to about $45... thanks for the post, I had forgotten this existed.
posted by Huck500 at 8:28 AM on October 30, 2011 [1 favorite]


Those Far Side desk calendars were a must-have (well, a will-be-gifted) for years on years. I'm also very surprised they've been discontinued.

Never knew of this show, and it looks crazy-good. Great post.
posted by Durn Bronzefist at 10:44 AM on October 30, 2011 [1 favorite]


What on earth?

Christ! I can't believe it's been almost ten years! since the last Far Side day calendar. Those things were best-sellers every year they came out. In one of the more recent interviews with him (five years ago) he says he wanted to quit while he was on top, but honestly you could keep re-hashing the same comics every year for the rest of time and those day calendars would still end up as best-sellers. I don't understand why he would deny himself free money. Heck, he could just donate it to the WWF or something if he didn't want it.

The prospect of generations missing out on the brilliance that is the Far Side fills me with dread.
posted by Civil_Disobedient at 4:28 PM on October 30, 2011


Wow, thanks for this. Marv Newland directs, and the soundtrack is by Bill Frisell? It sounds like a perfect match. I saw this on TV, I think, when it first aired, but for the life of me, I cannot remember any of it. I cannot wait to watch it a second time.
posted by not_on_display at 4:29 PM on October 30, 2011


That's World Wildlife Fund, by the way. Not the other WWF.
posted by Civil_Disobedient at 4:29 PM on October 30, 2011


i'm 20 min into the first one and, sorry, it's just not that funny. i'm sure it's great if you're a kid. if you like the cartoon you'll love it though.

.. there were a few cartoons that were brilliant: the secret agent cow burning down Chicago, the guy who has to cut the price of "i kicked santa ana's ass at the alamo" t-shirts that he was selling ... at the alamo, during the battle. it's just that the vast majority is mediocre. which is not to say he's worse than other artists, rather, that he's very similar to other artists who have produced so much work (which he should get credit for).

i just want to show a different perspective, i was a huge fan when i was younger.
posted by cupcake1337 at 7:17 PM on October 31, 2011


Farmer Brown froze in his tracks; the cows stared wide-eyed back at him. Somewhere in the distance, a dog barked.
posted by arcticseal at 8:02 PM on October 31, 2011


if you like the cartoon you'll love it though.

Well, that's the thing, isn't it? If you're not a fan of Larson's work, expecting an animated version of what he does to appeal to you more is a bit silly.

De gustibus non disputandum est.
posted by hippybear at 1:36 PM on November 1, 2011


For anyone who cares, the DVD available at Thefarside.com contains the original 30 minute cut of the first show, not the cut down TV version, according to the back.
posted by Huck500 at 5:26 PM on November 2, 2011 [1 favorite]


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