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By Michael Ferraro | July 16, 2005

Randolph Gently is an eccentric but simple man. He likes to ride trains, go to the zoo, read advertisements given to him by hands that shoot out of bushes, and attend “listening concerts.” The only thing he doesn’t like about all of this is that he always does it alone. He never has any kind of companionship from anyone or anything, until one of those inexplicable hands passes him a flyer advertising a new friend locating service. There he is set up with three new friends – each with animal heads – and they accompany him through one very eventful day. He excitedly takes them everywhere with him, until they finally get sick of him and vanish.

This most admirable trait here is that this short is successful in the creative department. The actors playing Randolph’s friends are wearing simple rubber Halloween masks to portray animals, and it fits in perfectly with this odd world. It is styled well visually and ideally; yet, one can’t help but yearn for more depth than what is offered. “Randolph Gently & the Mysterious Animals” is a simple exercise that proves not everyone is meant to have friends. Some people are just better off friendless.

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