Smiling Friends is an American adult-animated pilot created by Hellbenders co-creator Zach Hadel and Michael Cusack for [adult swim]. It premiered on April 1st, 2020 during Adult Swim's annual 2020 April Fools' Day.
A small company dedicated to bringing happiness to the world, called the "Smiling Friends". receive a simple request to help a woman's unhappy son smile again. They send members Pim and Charlie to take on the task, but the job turns out to be more complicated than it seems. As this is happening, Allan searches the Smiling Friends office for his lost piece of cheese.
Why It Rocks
- Smiling Friends is a testament to the modern-day creative landscape of what personal content creation can lead to and how it focuses on artist-to-consumer interactions that allow the creators, writers, animators of animation (or anything relating of the sort) to be more grounded and appreciative of the craft and their impact on it.
- The show has an obviously ridiculous atmosphere, from it's little/crazy characters, to it's wacky society. Now, while it is "ridiculous," real-life moments that we all may have, or have experienced are brought to life through the writing.
- The short is simatenously a veiled commentary on society's crude obsession with transient pleasures which we oftentimes define to be the goals of our life and not simply a passing fad.
- The characters and personalities, from any of the Smiling Friends crew or an assorted background/minor character, are by far the most driving factors of the show itself.
- The flawless voice performance of legendary actor Mike Stoklasa, internally channeling the persona of his iconic creation, the elderly fictional film critic Mr. Plinkett, into the character of Desmond and the result just screams perfection. That deep sagacious voice truly resonates with the absurdist notions of life as projected by this cartoon.
- The animation, a subtle departure from other familiar [adult swim] series, has its own bizarre, equally fasciniating sense of pace and insanity.
- The looseness of the drawing style helps the craziness never seem like its on rails, it truly feels like you're in the mind of two nutbag internet artists and it is great.
- They originally intended to use the notorious Comic Sans font for the credits but were unable to acquire the rights to use it.