Taiwanese Animators Need to Shape Up

Taiwanese animators did a bang-up job imagining Al Gore's crazed sex poodle fiasco, and their Conan O'Brien video was a work of art. But today's ho-hum take on Michelle Obama's vacation and uninspired rendition of Steve Slater's slide are subpar.

Has famed Taiwanese animation house NMA lost its touch? Their rendition of flight attendant Steven Slater's dramatic job walk-out is woefully humorless—and sorely lacking in sexual content.

There was a time when NMA's quaintly foreign renditions of current events were a delight. We would watch them and imagine that the entire nation of Taiwan was shaping its understanding of American culture through these stilted video clips. Then we would giggle with glee.

But NMA has since realized who their prime audience is, and it's not Taiwan—it's YouTube-addicted Americans who fetishize foreign ignorance and relish translation bloopers. This isn't necessarily a bad thing. (More viral videos = more fun.) And you certainly can't fault NMA for targeting its efforts. (Thanks for namedropping our sister site Gizmodo in the iPhone cartoon, and 4chan in Justin Bieber's!)

But, as is too often the case with fame- and fortune-generating enterprises, NMA fell into a routine banging out animated versions of every flash-in-the-pan tabloid sensation—thereby losing that special awkwardly animated CGI spark. Our humble advice to Taiwanese animators: Don't waste your time with these 20-second exhortations on every Tom, Dick, or Slater. Save yourself for the truly inspired—the well-orchestrated, the vivacious, the joyous. Next time, we will accept no less than an opus.