This post is for people with silly hats only

I had seen Rejected my Sophomore year of high school and we actually stumbled upon it randomly. Little did we know of the sheer importance of this work. Rejected comments on so many facets of society all of which we thrive and function. The first theme is that of fitting in and he totally demolishes this sense of normality. A lot of people had trouble trying to grasp the message behind it because of the darkness and cynicism behind it. The film starts out being enigmatic and often quite funny. After a few skits the film becomes reflexive. Moments such as the silly hats only skit- and the later commercials show that we are all products of consumerism. We are reflexive and needing of acceptance and attention. We strive to fit in but at the same time stand out from constant normality.

Rejected is everything you love bout a film, but maybe are ashamed to like something different. You are afraid to make a connection and admit that you maybe a product of it.

Most of rejected is reflexive on the part of Don Hertzfeldt’s role as an artist and creator. Rejected deals with the issues of producing content. The structure- “without meaningful input and lacking and remaining reason or coherent narrative structure the rejected cartoons grew unstable. They began to fall apart”

This can always be easily relate-able to the content found in society- reality tv, online content. Is there a lack of structure- does this lead to a decline in mindset, in society’s standards, etc…?

There is a lot more to say about this- but these are a few talking points

-Lauren B.


  1. I really enjoyed rejected in a strange way. It made me thing about normality and what is it? I think you said it perfect that he demolished the sense of normality in his film. It is such a dark kind of humor but tackles the idea of normality because people often times forget what that even means. I like that the characters grow unstable and fall apart because it just adds to what the message of the entire cartoon is about

  2. In the first ten second of viewing the short “Rejected,” my reaction was our class is about to watch an obnoxious sequence of ridiculous cartoons. Like you mentioned, initially I was not intrigued but decided to look beyond the surface of my interpretation and search for a deeper meaning. After seeing the film I felt like Don Hertzfeldt really wanted us to understand his experience as an artist and how it feels to be stripped of your creative intelligence. Personally I didn’t find the cartoons in the film amusing, and felt they were primarily a representation of what society thinks is funny. Ultimately I felt like this film was actually quite powerful and I agree with you, there are so many different talking points on this particular short.

  3. As much as I wanted to appreciate the underlying meaning of the cartoons it made me extremely uncomfortable. I understand what Don Hertzfeldt was trying to convey through his sketches but I didn’t enjoy watching it at all. It was very hard to watch and it left me feeling gross. I think that what he did by using cartoons, a very innocent kind of media that I believe that almost everyone can relate to their childhood with and use it in a very powerful way was a genius idea. However the cartoons were grotesque and horrible but then again that was what he seemed to be aiming for.

  4. Rejected is a critique of society. I agree with this critique. I also feel the unstable ending was very cool in a very tense way. The humor was random. It was a very sarcastic cartoon. Today I feel that cartoons are for everyone not just kids but when I was growing up I felt they were only for children. I think with the popularity of south park cartoons are for everyone. The genre is broader now.

  5. Unlike many members in the class, I actually enjoyed the type of humor that Rejected used. However, by the end of the clip, I was actually scared of what was happening. You could feel the stress that the artist was trying to portray. Like you, I believe the cartoon is about consumerism and how we are being slowly suffocated by it. Who knows, maybe this will cause the destruction of society just like the cartoon showed.

  6. Although this story made me very uncomfortable and was not easy to watch, I understood exactly….maybe not exactly what he was trying to depict, but I definitely got the gist of it. This video was like nothing I had ever seen. The message, although masked by obscure and strange images, was pretty clear. Don Hertzfeldt had finally had enough of controlled content and wanted to finally break free from the conventional barriers that had so long been constraining him. It also seemed as though he was having a nervous breakdown and this was reflected in the video. The random disoriented images did not make sense and seemed to have been conceived in a short and manic manner.

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