Hundreds of Beavers

April 15, 202470/1005 min
Starring
Ryland Brickson Cole Tews, Olivia Graves, Wes Tank, Doug Mancheski
Written by
Mike Cheslik and Ryland Brickson Cole Tews
Directed by
Mike Cheslik
Run Time
1h 48 min
Release Date
April 15th, 2024
Overall Score
Rating Summary

            I’m of the age where my Saturday mornings were spent sitting in front of the TV, watching cartoons. While I loved many of them, none quite equaled my affection for the Looney Tunes cartoons. Filled with high-jinks, mallets to the head, dynamite down the pants, and characters constantly outsmarting each other, there was simply no better way to spend a Saturday morning. Nowadays, cartoons try to educate and promote good behavior, but I’ll admit, I miss the days when explosions and blood-curdling screams of pain were more common. I bring all this up because Hundreds of Beavers brought me back to those Saturday mornings, and let me tell you, it felt good to be back.

Life as an apple schnapps seller has been good for Jean (Ryland Brickson Cole Tews), especially for his consumption, but that’s about to change. After a fire that destroys his factory, pushes Jean to seek a new line of work. With few options available, Jean takes up hunting, something he’s not initially good at. However, practice makes perfect, and soon Jean is catching all the fish, birds, wolves, rabbits, and beavers he can find. With his newfound luck, he begins to visit the local Master Fur Trapper (Wes Tank) and even becomes smitten with his daughter, The Furrier (Olivia Graves). Jean is so enamored with her that he wants to marry her, but he needs a ring, which won’t come cheap and will require hundreds of beaver pelts to make it happen. Knowing what it will take to get the ring is one thing; actually getting the pelts is another, as these beavers are not going to go down without a fight and will make Jean work for every single pelt.

Written by Mike Cheslik and Ryland Brickson Cole Tews, Hundreds of Beavers doesn’t have much to say; instead, it lets the slapstick humor do the talking. Though there are no words, the characters are quite vocally expressive (groans, sighs, cries, and laughs), adding to the film’s desired feel. All of this relies heavily on the physicality of the performers, which they execute beautifully. This is not a normal world but one where cartoon logic is in effect, helping as a short hand for the plot and providing plenty of laughs along the way.

Hundreds of Beavers truly is an unforgettable experience, filled with cross-references delivered with passion. If you’re a lover of cinema and classic cartoons, then this film was made just for you. Where Hundreds of Beavers falters a bit is in its runtime; you really start to feel its length as it get to the final act. It would have been a super delightful 70-minute movie, but even with its runtime, the film is still a joy, treating us to many memorable moments of hilarity and wonder. This movie will captivate you, as you really need to see it to believe it. The fun that went into making this movie translates perfectly, ensuring that you won’t have a better time watching something this year.

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