I’ve been a big fan of Gary Larson’s “The Far Side” for as long as I can remember. His “outside the box” comics of silly reactions that monsters, animals, insects, aliens, and even vegetables might have in reaction to us human beings pulls me out of my reality tunnel and makes me laugh, and sometimes more importantly, is a reminder not to take everything so seriously. Now a DVD set of “Tales From The Far Side”, an animated series that appeared on TV in 1994, is available.

“Almost everyone has seen a Gary Larson Far Side cartoon in a newspaper or on a T-shirt, mug, calendar, or greeting card. But if you weren’t watching CBS on the night of October 26, 1994, you missed Tales From the Far Side, an award-winning animated short film that you’ve probably never heard of. Yes, that’s right: the Far Side was animated. Twice. And it’s brilliant.

The first short film premiered as a Halloween special in 1994, where couch potatoes and animation buffs like me saw it and were never able to forget it. The program was never broadcast on television again, but it did make the rounds at the Annecy International Animated Film Festival, where it took the Grand Prix. Three years later, a sequel (aptly titled Tales From the Far Side II) never even made it to television.

Both short films are comprised of a series of vignettes in the visual style of the print comics, with a haunting musical accompaniment by jazz guitarist Bill Frisell (who has featured some of the scores from the soundtrack on his disc Quartet). The tone ranges from the slapstick to the macabre, humorous to depressing, and even has some live action cow action thrown in there.”

(via Fantasy Magazine)