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Forget TV and Norway, We've Got Flash long long ago

It wasn't so long ago that I viewed Flash on the web as a nuisance. Like JavaScript and Java applets, it was a good way for a site author to break his or her site for a substantial subset of users, in the name of putting something, usually gimmicky, on the site.

In recent months I've really come to appreciate Flash as a medium for distributing animation on the web. Macromedia seems to have done a good job of making sure that their Flash Player is stable on all platforms, and rather than using it to add unnecessary bells and whistles to websites, a growing number of sites are delivering gorgeous, addictive Flash content.

Here are some Flash productions (and in a few cases, whole sites) I've seen that deliver at least a minute or two of top-notch timewasting. Some are movies, some are a series of movies, and some are just eye candy. Most are in some way humourous.

  • Kenya — Quite possibly the most disturbing piece of Flash to enter my brain and refuse to leave since All Your Base Are Belong To Us hit the big time. CLEAN
  • Magical Trevor — From the folks who brought us Kenya. Stick mentioned Magical Trevor recently, and I was foolish enough to look it up. I wouldn't say that the entire site is anywhere near the quality of these two movies, but Kenya and Magical Trevor have me hooked. And there's a second Magical Trevor short if you care to explore the site. CLEAN
  • Strong Bad — A lengthy series dedicated to answering the fan mail of a... actually, I have no idea what Strong Bad is, but he's cool. The series features an interesting if nonsensical collection of characters. The quality of the plotlines varies like a yo-yo but I keep coming back since 10% of the episodes are mindbogglingly funny (to me). My personal favourites are 50 Emails, English Paper, Dragon and Flashback. CLEAN
  • Xombie — A short series of nice, long, gorgeous, somewhat serious toons featuring a girl and a zombie. I'm very pleased that the immensely talented James Farr appears to have scored a movie deal for Xombie. CLEAN LANGUAGE BUT SPOOKY AND SOMETIMES GORY
  • Tokyo Plastic — Hard to describe, but if you like headphone-wearing Japanese women who just might be drum machines in danger of being swallowed by giant machines or plants, you might like this. This site best experienced with a subwoofer. CLEAN
  • Switch to Linux — The best of several movies at uberGeek. CLEAN
  • Alexander Leon — His Super Mario Bros. movies transform a cute video game into intense theatrical drama. Excellent use of music. CLEAN
  • Xiao Xiao #3 — This is from a series but the third seems to capture the true essense of... stick-men employing martial arts. VIOLENT
  • Foamy the Squirrel — Definitely not the cutest or most polished of cartoons, and decidedly foul, sometimes incomprehensible language, about 15% of Foamy toons crack me up. I like Coffee-House Propaganda and Foamy's Rant. DOES NOT RESEMBLE CLEAN
  • #&%* — An documentary with a decidedly retro feel, explaining the utility of a certain word beginning with the letter between E and G. DEFINITELY NOT CLEAN
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