Majestic Dragon, an animated short by Victor Vazquez and Jordan Fish, has been doing well on Channel101’s NY incarnation for three episodes. The show succeeds in using minimal elements – black line drawings, a single voice talent in Vazquez and neat animation tricks – to create a singular world, which borrows tropes from Medieval fantasy and 20th Century industrial drear.
In the second episode, the protagonist, simply named…Majestic Dragon, interviews for a job at an anonymous looking office building, and has an awkward interaction with the interviewer when his Spanish language origins are brought up. It’s both an intelligent flirtation with race/class dynamics (or does it mock intelligent race/class commentary?), as well as a familiar gag about uncomfortable job interviews.
Vazquez delicately taps universal feelings, like friendship and acceptance, and imagery, to make Majestic Dragon relevant to the viewer, while his unique and off-kilter delivery is charming without being cute, nostalgic without being sentimental.
Jordan Fish, the editor and animator for the show, as well as the creative talent behind the MGMT’s interactive music video, had this to say about Majestic Dragon: “I love being a passive facilitator for Victor’s cozy, mesmeric genius. But you know these stories aren’t just about a dragon, right? It goes way beyond that. It’s about peace.”
Call him an overzealous artist, imparting grandiose meaning upon simple, crude animations, but he’s serious and on some level, he’s right.
###What makes Majestic Dragon appealing is Vazquez’s ability to suggest meaning with the sparest of content. His humor does slap you in the face; you may not get it at first, but you will find yourself repeating lines from the show to yourself later in the day, and cracking up a little.
But to give a better idea of what to expect from the show, even through the simple art of comparison, Majestic Dragon is not as crude as David Shrigley, not as indulgent or cutesy as James Kochalka, and not as pedantic as Dr. Katz, but could be said to resemble the art and humor of all three.