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Strindberg (morosely): "Ah.... absinthe is now my only vice and my last remaining pleasure."

Helium (joyfully): "PLEAS-URREEEEEE!!"

Strindberg (morosely): "How sweet life can be when the misery of one's existence is blurred by slight intoxication."

Helium (joyfully): "MIS-ER-YYYYYYY!!"

Strindberg: (cringes)


August Strindberg is the ever-depressed turn-of-the-century Swedish writer, playwright and philosopher, with haunted, mad eyes and the voice of the tomb. Most of his lines are taken from an English translation of one of his later works, Inferno.

Helium is a high-voiced, pink balloon-creature, ever floating near Strindberg, who is always, always happy and playful, and who hangs around Strindberg for no obvious reason. We are given no insight into Helium's origin or reality.

More mismatched than Bert & Ernie or Pinky & The Brain, I'm surprised their touch doesn't annihilate the both of them in a burst of radiation. They are the subjects of a hilarious series of four very short cartoons, produced by "Killing My Lobster" and "Milky Elephant.com," if you can bring yourself to believe such a bold pronouncement.

Unlike many other, zanier, Flash animations that play the humor broadly, Strindberg's dark pronouncements and Helium's uncomprehending enthusiasm are really all there is to this. It has high production values, and it treats Strindberg with respect, a difficult trick indeed when the entire point of the cartoon is him being harassed by a freakish pink golem of happiness.

August Strindberg & Helium requires Flash Player to view, and can be seen at http://www.strindbergandhelium.com/

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