“Mister Smile” is a very silly cartoon. Squirrels, chickens, monkeys, and other sorts of unidentified creatures compose the ensemble cast of Fran Krause’s odd little world. The animation lacks any sort of detail, texture, or definition. The images simply flourish as opaque pinks, oranges, and sky blues splash across the screen.
The plot, as far as I can tell, revolves around Mister Smile’s get-together. Intercutting between simple-minded hijinks, both at the local hospital, and at the nearby treehouse, everybody gets an invitation for Mister Smile’s party. Mister Smile, little more than a stick figure with a big happy face, is something of a celebrity; he enjoys giving out his autograph.
The funniest character, however, is the Preacher Bird (voiced by Fran Krause). A parody of Robert Mitchum’s character from “Night of the Hunter,” the bird proudly exclaims that his right hand fingers bear the letters L O V E, where as his left bears that of F O O D, the “sandwich eating hand” he calls it. The bird then gives a Mitchum-esque soliloquy expounding on the battle between Food and Love. As I said, a very silly cartoon.
“Mister Smile” won the 1st Prize Animation Award in the 2000 USA Film Festival, and the Best Animated Film Award at the 24th Annual Atlanta Film & Video Festival.