Friday, May 08, 2020

Star Trek: Short Treks -- Season 2 Episode 4 (Ephraim and Dot)

Star Trek has gone the animation route before.  I watched a few of the episodes and didn’t care much for it, mostly because of the bad animation.  That’s why I was a little nervous with Short Trek’s two animated series.  I’m glad to see that each episode has some decent animation.

With Ephraim and Dot, we have two main characters.  Ephraim is a space tardigrade looking for a place to lay her eggs.  She finds and selects the USS Enterprise.  Dot is an automated cleaning bot on the Enterprise who doesn’t take kindly to Ephraim’s presence.  The two engage in a sort of cat-and-mouse game where Ephraim enters the ship and Dot chases her off.

Despite the nine-minute run time, it would appear to take place over several years.  It’s a little confusing, since it’s one continuous shot.  For context, we see scenes from Star Trek starting with Space Seen and going all the way to the destruction of the Enterprise in the movies.

There’s no dialogue except from some lifted from the various episodes.  Dot and Ephraim don’t communicate with each other.  Ephraim just protects her eggs and Dot does nothing except protect the ship.  There’s an antagonistic theme common to a lot of old-school cartoons.

Stylistically, it almost looks like something we might get before a Pixar film.  I almost wonder if, like The Trouble with Edward, this wasn’t meant to be a little silly.  It’s kind of difficult to take literally.

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