MPAA Rating: PG-13
for some images of peril, sexual references and drug material
Runtime: 77 minutes
Directed by: Dash Shaw
Cast: Jason Schwartzman, Lena Dunham, Reggie Watts
For those who have ever fantasized about their high school disappearing by violent or environmental means, this film is for you.
In My Entire High School Sinking Into The Sea comic book, author Dash Shaw concretizes the common teen social problems of momentary terror, feeling of drowning or about to be eaten by sharks -- and does it with animation.
The plot starts with Dash (voice of Jason Schwartzman) and his buddy Assaf (voice of Reggie Watts) -- two extremely uncool dudes who write for the mostly unread school paper -- boarding the school bus. Dash suggests they move to the back of the bus in order to move up on the social ladder. After all, it’s time: they’re sophomores now. Besides, Dash’s acne has cleared and Assaf has lost his pudge.
They decide it’s time to do “heavy-hitting articles.” But there’s nothing to write about, so Dash, in a fit of desperation (and a pitch for readers), writes a scurrilous (and raunchy) piece about the size of Assaf’s privates. Principal Grimm (voice of Thomas Jay Ryan) kicks him off the paper, leaving Assaf and Editor Verti (voice of Maya Rudolph) to run it alone.
Skulking around alone one night, Dash notices that the door to the “hidden guts” of the school -- the archives – is open. What he finds there is the major story he’s been hoping for: the school’s new auditorium was not built to code, making the whole school susceptible to earthquakes.
He tries to warn everyone, but is ignored until – you guessed it – an earthquake (described as “yet another failure of the education system”) hits. From here on it’s one disaster after another: the library is on fire; rats desert the sinking building; flooding brings a whole lot of sharks, jellyfish and other creatures one wouldn’t want to spend a lot of time swimming with.
Enter the heroine of the piece – Lunch Lady Lorraine (voice of Susan Sarandon), who knows cool stuff like karate and how to find pockets of air underwater. And she can cook.
So here it is: a satirical teen disaster flick with recognizable if goofy characters, a clever script and a crazy quilt animation style encompassing layered images, collage, photographic effects, crayon and silhouettes (to mention a few), and all of it is crammed into 72 minutes of oddball comedy. Too busy? It’s your call.
Can they all get up to the fourth (senior) floor before it’s too late? And get past obnoxious jock Brett Daniels (voice of John Cameron Mitchell) and his court, and druggie Drake (voice of Alex Karpovsky)? See it to find out.