Dorothy Sue Ann Murguson, the put upon heroine of John Weldon’s “The Hungry Squid,” has some problems: her parents are never home, her hair is unmanageable to the point of tangling into sailor’s knots, and animals keep trying to eat her homework.
Before you scoff at her lame excuse for not doing her assignments, you should realize that crazed beasties are indeed pursuing Dorothy Sue Ann and attacking her notebook. Running out of ink one night, she takes a bottle from her dad’s closet. It seems her father, a genius with food additives (sounds like Clark Griswold), has developed a new flavor supplement containing squid’s ink. It also has the unfortunate side effect of driving lesser animals crazy with hunger. Dorothy’s teacher, understandably, is reluctant to accept her excuses (even while accepting more implausible excuses from her classmates). They send her to the school’s counselor, who tries a variety of New Age solutions to Dorothy’s problems. Once the giant squid appears and starts laying waste to the town however, all bets are off.
“The Hungry Squid” isn’t the best animation I’ve ever seen – its yarn art design is more reminiscent of “South Park” than Miyazaki – but it’s a crisp, intelligently written piece that had me laughing out loud on several occasions.
And wishing I lived next to a squidport.