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That's Some Introspective S**t

Through the time-tested miracle of claymation, catch a glimpse of the world through the eyes of a... a what? You don't say

I have so much anime to watch, it's not even funny. I have an equally absurd pile of video games, novels, and manga to go through, so I'm frequently forced to carefully choose what I spend my time doing. I'm also in the final stages of building a house about an hour away from where I currently live. When you stack a full-time job on that, and then consider the fact that I'm looking for an actual career in the rest of my spare time, you could say that I'm pretty busy.

It is significant to note, therefore, that when Doggy Poo arrived in my mailbox, I had to put everything else aside and check it out. After all, it's not too often that a company offers to send you Doggy Poo in the mail.

Truth be told, I've already pre-ordered the deluxe collector's edition (with the soundtrack!), so I was already technically already sold on the sixty-minute long feature. I'm a sucker for special editions.

However, Central Park Media is pushing this title like none other they've had before, with plans to release a host of related merchandise to this tale. After seeing it, I can understand why they're supporting it so strongly.

After being insulted by a neighboring pile of mud, the newborn poo exclaims, "Okay, so I'm a poo. So what?"

Mockingly, the mud chuckles, explaining to the little dog pile, "You are not just any poo. You are doggy poo!" The lowest of the low.

Don't expect complicated dialogue here. Yet, amazingly enough, the themes tackled by this unassuming little tale of a piece of animal excrement are some of the most sensitive we all experience.

This poor little poo feels completely useless. It is depressed since it can think of no reason for its creation, no purpose for it to serve. No one wants it, and it is too insignificant to inspire even negative emotions of hatred.

Yet, its outlook on life changes as it meets the mud pile in the beginning of the film. The mud shares its sorrow with the poo, telling the sad story of how it was taken from the farmland it so loved only to be dropped on the side of the road, only to face annihilation by an errant oxcart.

This isn't the last tragedy the poo must experience in its short life. Soon after the mud, the poo encounters a leaf blowing along the ground as the wind pushes it to its eventual demise. Even though the leaf knows that its life is about to end, it is grateful for the year of life it has been granted, and it helps to teach the poo that everything must face his or her destiny when the time comes. Death is not a subject to be shunned in this story, but an integral part of the tale.

Aside from the thematically impressive story, based upon Jung-Seang Kown's book published in the 60's, the visuals and music create an amazing film that actually has the ability to make you believe doggy poo has the ability to fret as well as any of us. The music and lyrics are excellent, composed and written by Yiruma, and easily provide half of the movie's emotional content. Oh-Sung Kwon's adaptation of the tale helps expand upon a simple tale without bloating it to meaninglessness. Altogether, while this may not be as epic as The Lord of the Rings, it is an equivalently caring incarnation of a work that is obviously beloved.

This bittersweet adaptation of a classic Korean children's book is great for kids, but I wouldn't be surprised if its charm could be appreciated by an older audience, as well. It was produced in Korea, filmed using the timeless and painstaking method of stop-motion animation. CPM is treating this release with quite a bit of care, so when the final product is available, it should be a treat for those who buy it.

Remember, look in your local DVD stores to see if they're selling Doggy Poo. If not, it's surely a shame.

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