It’s back to the surreal with Masaaki Yuasa (Kaiba, Kemonozume, Mind Game)’s addition to Genius Party. He probably wrote this before he started working on Kaiba, and it’s very apparent that he wrote this in a stage where his distinctive sense of style was maturing. Happy Machine can be very well seen as “Kaiba’s testing bed”, where Masaaki experimented a bit with different ideas and animation techniques (you can see his fascination with strange toilets here as well).
Happy Machine is the strangest addition to Genius Party so far, aside from perhaps the first movie Genius Party. It’s again a short story that knows its length and tries to play with it. What really stands out is the storytelling: it’s basically an adventure of a boy, of only two years old in a fantastic environment, and it’s very interesting to see the detailed ways that the creators come up with to keep this baby busy.
The problem with this movie is the titular character, because he doesn’t really feel like a two or three year old boy. He misses the feeling of loneliness and the hopelessness of being away from trusted people, even though throughout this short movie, he’s got more than enough reasons to feel lonely. Nevertheless, this movie has succeeded in creating an impact, which was exactly what I’m looking for with Genius Party’s short movies.