If You Enjoyed The Owl House Or Amphibia, You Need To Watch Legend Of Pipi
The Legend of Pipi is a delightful animated short film with more charm and personality than most feature length tales can muster. Julia Schoel and a fiercely talented group of artists and animators have crafted eight minutes filled with drama, laughs, surprises, and creative twists on fantasy tropes that you can’t help but fall in love with. Best of all – it’s completely free.
From the opening moments it’s clear that Pipi is a labour of love. A declaration on how wonderfully silly cats can be and how classic games like The Legend of Zelda and myriad others have inspired an entire generation of new talent in the medium. I mean, the clue is in the name, but the film is stuffed with clever little references and observations that had me rolling my eyes in the most admirable way possible. It’s a cute little masterpiece.
Pipi immediately reminded me of The Owl House and Amphibia – two shows I’ve covered extensively here at TheGamer – and how their fantasy worlds draw us in by both subverting obvious genre tropes while simultaneously indulging in them. From the opening moment you’re drawn in, with a heroic warrior tasked with saving a beautiful princess being swept away as it turns out the only fool willing to put his life on the line is a dopey little cat with tiny little limbs, bulbous eyes, and a sword threatening to fall apart with a single swipe.
The film’s premise is simple: Pipi must travel across the land in search of a princess in desperate need of saving and slay the dragon keeping her captive. It doesn’t go smoothly, with the unfortunate feline being bruised and battered when he finally reaches his destination. The running joke of him stumbling across unstoppable villains only to realise they are holding the wrong princess hostage is a stroke of comedic genius.
His first port of call is a foul-mouthed centaur who is happy to slag him off until a knife in the hoove downs him in moments. The princess faceplants the ground as he pulls out a poster to see if she matches the description of his objective. She doesn’t, so he throws her off-screen and continues on with his day. A lizard princess, owl princess, and mole princess are all saved and left to die as Pipi continues on his pilgrimage because they just ain’t it.
The royal ladies look at him with love in their eyes, praying their Prince Charming has finally arrived and plans to save them. Nope, you don’t match the job description so better luck next time. It’s as if Pipi is hopping between the levels of a classic video game, with each themed encounter adding an extra layer of variety to a film that has no right being this imaginative. Him just deciding to fuck off and leave these monarchs to die because he isn’t interested in them is funny every single time, because the animators ensure his body language is always so reactive and unexpected. Give me three whole seasons of Pipi right this second.
When he finally finds his fabled princess it turns out she’s already dead, the dragon busy throwing her corpse about the place as her decaying head rolls into his lap. He’s distraught, but moves on seconds after the dragon before him becomes wrangled up in bedsheets and the crown finds its way round its neck. Now he’s in love, believing this oversized lizard to be a woman worth dedicating his entire life to. Pipi grabs hold of her, crashes through the wall, and makes his way home.
Thus, our story comes to an end as the credits detail what happens next with the dragon destroying the city as Pipi is imprisoned for being a dumbass. One final scene has them locked up together in stocks, with Pipi glancing over as a blush takes over his face alongside a soft purr emanating from his body. It’s goofy as hell, but so true to his character and distillation of the entire film’s jovial tone. It wants to tell a story, have fun, and stick deep into our memory. The Legend of Pipi does just that, and you need to watch it right this second.
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