The Brilliant Conclusion of ‘Octocat’

Below is the stunning and brilliant conclusion of the online animated series Octocat.

When I posted the first episode last March, I wrote that it was the creation of 13-year-old Randy Peters. With the release of this final episode, filmmaker David O’Reilly has revealed that he is, in fact, “Randy Peters.” O’Reilly writes on his blog:

“I’m sure I’ll be accused of misleading people again, but I won’t apologize for that. Why? Because you’ve all proved one vitally important point: audiences don’t need polished, slick animation to find a story engaging. They are happy to follow the worst animated, worst designed and worst dubbed film of all time, and still laugh and cry and do all the things you do watching a so-called “high end” film. Its amazing, I’ve never been so excited about independent animation.”

Here’s the entire film:

  • Hahahaha, O’Reilly is a genius. I’m still a bit miffed about the iHologram “fiasco”, but that doesn’t mean he’s not one of the best experimental animators out there, and I’m sure his work will become a reference point for all animators in the future.

  • Alex K

    Well, after being an avid fan and faithful follower from the beginning, I can’t help but feel slightly let down that there wasn’t a precocious second-grader masterminding the whole thing. And yet, what a finale! This really is the type of experiment that could have been undertaken in the odd medium of youtube, and having been compelled by both story and style, I ultimately have to applaud Mr. O’reilly, an increasingly intriguing filmmaker. Let’s just hope every aspiring adult animator doesn’t anonymously post faux 8-year-old opuses now.

  • Julian Carter

    AAAARGH Mr. O’Reilly!! Do you realise how much I bitched about Octocat on YouTube!? How much I condemned its absolute worthlessness!? How much I declared it trash!? How much I questioned Mr. Amidi’s sanity for posting about it in the first place!?

    Now I feel like an idiot. :(

  • I gotta congratulate David. Genius move – excellent tactic. I only hope this doesn’t mean that people will be put out of jobs, because someone might not get what this actually means.

  • FP

    At least it’s better than the new X-FILES movie. That thing was horrible!

  • elan

    Uh, so this is what’s considered good by Cartoon Brew people? Okay, so note to self, Octocat = good, Bolt = bad. Gotcha.

    Hmm. I guess if it were made by a 13 year old it’d be impressive, but the fact that a grown adult made this is….well, laughable. Its excusable if a kid who’s learning animation did it, but audiences prefer higher production values (I do at least).

    Julian, you shouldnt feel like an idiot for having an opinion. Youre allowed to dislike it if you dont like it, regardless if you like the creator. Heck, if that werent true, everyone would have loved The Happening because The Sixth Sense was so good. Feel free to dislike Octocat. I do.

    First, iHologram, now this. What a poser.

  • Chuck R.

    elan’s absolutely right. Julian had the correct verdict from the beginning.

    I don’t know why Amid devotes multiple postings to this guy who is so desperate for any attention that he creates his own fan art. Nepotism, perhaps? Maybe O’Reilly and Amid are the same guy?

    This thing barely caused a stir when everyone thought a kid did it, how is it genius when it’s revealed that a grownup is behind it?

    I stand by at least one of my original comments: “don’t quit school”. and I’ll add: “please don’t go into psychotherapy.”

  • wait, “stunningly brilliant” WHY???? more like Stunningly Shrill and Irritating… and PLEASE, don’t try to tell me “that’s the point” or something. That’s nonsense. I liked the iHologram, even though i knew it was just experimental, because it was well done and entertaining, and even provoked creative thought, but Octocat is not entertaining, well done and caused the opposite of creative thought- whatever that is. the most clever thing about it is the title, a play on the bond title “octopussy,” which should have been a clue that this was not by a 13-year old kid.

  • Kelson

    I don’t think that this really proves his intended point that people “are happy to follow the worst animated, worst designed and worst dubbed film of all time, and still laugh and cry and do all the things you do watching a so-called “high end” film” Everyone watching this series thought that it was created by a 9 year old boy. Of course you are going to get far more positive reviews and praise from an audience who believes you are a little kid. Only someone with truly malicious intentions would want to shoot down the hopes and dreams of a child who is taking the time and effort to create anything. When you are looking at the work of an artist so young, you give him praise and encouragement, but what you are praising is not the boy’s current ability, but are instead inspiring his potential to one day grow in skill and ability to create something worthwhile. Knowing now that this was created by a professional, it does absolutely nothing for me…the illusion of the little kid he created was stronger than the piece itself. It certainly does not prove that people prefer a lack of quality in animation. At it’s best, this particular animation provides nothing but an occasional giggle. parody. Which, don’t get me wrong, is certainly a worthwhile endeavor…if that had been the point of the piece. But instead the artist decieved you into thinking it was created by a child, so that he would receive exactly the praise he was looking for. I am personally not a fan of intentionally bad shorts like “adventure time” but at least that creator stood behind his work from the get go. and didn’t feel the need to trick the audience to gain false approval.

  • amid

    Chuck – Why promote him? Because I’m interested in the future of animation and promoting the artists who are going to push the art form forward. As far as I’m concerned, O’Reilly is one of the freshest and most interesting animation directors to come down the line in a while. You’re entitled to your opinion of him, but the amount of attention he receives on the Brew is directly proportional to the merits of the work he’s produced thus far.

  • Aaron Neathery

    So, let me get this straight. If I had claimed that I was actually a twelve year old kid when I posted the following on youtube:

    .. I could have simply soaked up all the “what a clever boy” praise and pats on the head and not have to return them to the store once my ruse was revealed?? Hmm.

  • pizzaforeveryone

    I thought it was pretty rad. made by a 13 year old or not.

    why can’t animation have its own andy kaufman/david blaine? I’d still rather see this than some guerrilla marketing viral campaign made by a gigantic company. It raises the same questions (who produces the work we watch, why, and why do we watch it) in an entertaining way.

    Plus, that ending, whoa. devastatingly depressing.

  • To all of you Hypocrites bashing on this:
    Deception, Envy or the simplistic feeling of being beaten to the idea is never a good compliment. If you do not enjoy it, its better to just stay quiet and not say anything. You will be laughed off as the minority in the world of casuals.

    Just let it be, a piece like this can make you have multiple feelings, but sincerely… respect and credit where is due. What do you win by bashing?

    Respect and be respected.

    I liked Octocat, And I am sad that It has ended… But what an Ending…

  • I love octocat.

    This guy successfully trolled a ton of people.

    Well played sir, well played.

  • elan

    I think experimental, independent animation like this is completely appropriate, and has it’s place. What I dont like is his comments implying how it’s unnecessary (or somehow a waste of time) to have polished animation or “so-called ‘high end'” films as well. I dont understand the feelings on CartoonBrew that consistently criticize the large animated film shops, as if they’re “out to get ya” or something.

    So technically, I dont feel Im bashing, I feel Im defending my work as an animator who takes pride in well-polished, high production value animated films. (point is, he threw the first stone, and unlike Jesus, I throw stones back)
    PS) I still found it boring

  • Knowing the story behind it, I now won’t watch it. I’m not into liars.

  • Chris L

    Yeah, I genuinely wanted to believe in the iHologram. And it’s still a pretty smashing job of compositing (or even just choreographing, if that’s what he did).

    This came straight out of left field, but I think it was pretty incredible.

    His point was not that high production values are a bad thing, only that they are not absolutely necessary for a piece of art to be good. Story is King, right? I think Octocat is pretty hilarious and certainly uses surreality to its advantage. I’d be lying if I found the story totally compelling, but the novelty of it was definitely worth my five minutes.

    I think it’s important not to look at this as a piece of animation alone, but as a whole event. The whole thing is what makes this a brilliant piece of art – from the subterfuge to the grand finale to the statement he’s able to make after it’s all over.

    (Oh, and for the record, plennnnty of people on youtube thought that Octocat was garbage, and made their beliefs clear – regardless of the fact that they thought it was done by a little kid.)

    I’d recommend people check out O’Reilly’s “Please Say Something” shorts– they should be on his site. These are really top notch films, definitely pushing things in a new direction, in terms of both aesthetics and storytelling. Also, they are not at all like Octocat (except maybe for the last bit of part 5.)

  • Jason

    One does become a bit confused when confronted with um, animation such as this. Is it amateurish and self-indulgent, or a stylistic breakthrough? In my parent’s time, the same question was asked about UPA theatrical cartoons, and there was no one answer back then either. My own personal rule of thumb regarding the matter goes like this:

    “If it looks like shit, it IS shit.”

  • rob

    It’s the timing. How early the music cuts in during the 4th episode. The Spaghetti western ending feel at the end of ep 5.. it doesn’t feel like a committee put it together. There aren’t a lot of short film directors that can singlehandedly pull off a feature. I don’t know that O’Reilly will make an animated feature that can sustain that timing but he looks to have the bravado to try. It’s not the quality of the animation it the whole package. If you have crude animation and it doesn’t connect with people it’s because your story/voiceover/sound/direction/runningtime/fillintheblank… something doesn’t work. On top of that there’s a lot at play and art is subjective. It’s going to be fun to see what he’ll fabricate next.

  • Tom Pope

    THis is all somewhat academic. As with many sequels, it just don’t hold up to Octocat 1. “Nice cup of tea, err.”

  • James R.

    Open minds and good senses of humor are in order here.

    Too many Brew opinions sound like they’re coming from bitter wash ups and jealous new comers.

    So lighten up and have fun with animation. You might prevent that early stroke that’s settling in.

  • pablo

    i can’t help but feel that praise like this debases work of people that try really f*#king hard to push design, colouring and composition. emperor’s new clothes!

  • Despite what people may say I think David O’Reilly ‘s animation design is great by itself. With all the programs and digital tools we have is a way easier to create high-end refined graphics, but even harder to come up with something simple and conceptually powerful.
    David O’Reilly is now the toast of the town.

  • I’m Afraid of Americans

    What the heck. Does nobody remember this:
    (From Cartoon Brew)
    03/13/08 2:32pm
    1 says:
    That is really good. However, the fact that “RANDYPETERS1″ joined youtube and submited the video only 12 hours ago and David O’Reilly found it so quickly makes me suspicious. It’s close enough to his terms that he could have made the video himself. That’s probably not the case, however, and it is a great animation. I hope there are more to come.

    03/13/08 2:40pm
    David OReilly says:
    Hi, I didn’t make this one, but thanks for the compliment.

    From Elsewhere:
    13-year old makes scary cartoon
    Posted on March 14, 2008 by movingtargets
    Disturbing in a really charming way, Octocat is either the work of a 13-year-old animation prodigy named Kevin Peters or a piece of jokey performance art by animation rogue David O’Reilly.

    Explanation, and Thoughts

    PS: I think david o’rilley is the secret creator of octocat

    So, what I’m wondering is, does this fascinating game of uncritically believing every chucklehead who comes along and lies to your face, just because you want to, end when you log off the internets, or does it carry over into day-to-day life?
    And pablo is correct. Can we drop the piffle about “bitter wash ups and jealous new comers”? Not every evaluation betrays motives of bitterness and jealousy. My only guess is that it is presumed so by those who have never brought their own critical faculties into play.
    Amid, whenever you say “push the art form forward” for some reason I have an image of said art form being frog marched off a cliff. Go figger.

  • Jim

    Pure brilliance! I was in stitches the whole time.

    Oh and I love the people getting angry about this, keep up the good work.

  • pizzaforeveryone

    I was thinking some more, and at least it didn’t end like this:


    Sounds like some of you need to go back to watching your hard-hitting investigative fly on the wall documentaries about the lives of talking woodland animals who perform early 20th century music hall routines.

  • Thank god! Now we can all talk about how much we really thought the first one sucked!

  • I like to draw

    I’ll sit behind story being extremely important for animation to be solid but what Im tired of is poor, tired and uninspired design. This is the first time I had seen anything about this and seriously I dont even want to see the back story to it. It extremely bothersome to me to hear people talk as if polish and good design are just icing on the cake, I personally think solid animation and beautiful design go hand in hand with making a beautiful film let it be short or feature. This really isnt pushing anything forward as much as it is pushing us back. Animation needs a kick in the pants if this is our future.

  • o’n

    I dont understand where people got the idea that David O Reilly was somehow trying to trick anybody into believing that the ihologram was in any way “real”.

    How can anybody feel miffed or annoyed about it when from the very start on his site he posted the video with an explaination of the concept and even included diagrams of how the optical illusion worked.

    He was simply experimenting with the possibilities of combining animation with the technology used in the iphone/ipod touch.
    In return he is accused of misleading people into believing that it’s a “real” hologram.

    As for Octocat. Genius.

  • Gary Doodles

    That was Epic. Loved the finale. Tip your hat and raise a glass for Mr. Reilly!

  • David Cuny

    Cory’s right – you’ve all been successfully trolled. It’s a big win for David. He creates an animation, posts it under a different name, and then promotes it on his blog. Astroturfing at its finest.

    It’s all about self-promotion, and David did a fantastic job.

    Have you ever read about people who get scammed for thousands of dollars, and wonder how they could be so gullible? How they defend the people who ripped then off, and continue to believe in them?

    Wonder no more.

    “Brilliant conclusion?” My kids agree: the Emperor has no clothes.

    David says that some people will “accuse him of misleading people”.

    Oh, noes! People can be so MEAN!!! Because it’s not like he lied to people in order to shamelessly self-promote himself.

    Well played, indeed.

  • I am completely baffled as to how anyone can get mad at this.

    It seems like harmless fun and it looked cool as hell when it spun around and changed into 3D. Which did make me wonder why he even bothered to make the end scene in 3D when the whole idea of octocat was that it doesn’t matter how it looks as long as the story is engaging.

    Not that I’m complaining because as i said, I think the 3D part looked fantastic.

  • tommy

    It’s not successful trolling if you get called out and deny it.

  • autisticanimator

    couldn’t really gather my thoughts to well since I’m supposed to be doing more important things but I made a list of the few things I really wanted to say:

    I don’t understand the significance to this series since I’m too afraid to play it with sound…

    If the genius is that O’Riely’s entertaining us both as the 12 year old and the story the 12 year old tells, it’s lost on me…

    I’m not being trained to write, animate, compose, or direct for this growing population of fans to work like this. I don’t want to be either. I want my stories and characters to appeal to the latter generations that were born into the 1960’s; and they do; but as they are now all dying off its apparent to me now that this vision that’s been my ownly driving motivator for stuyding to get into this industry isn’t going to last very long if it ever comes to pass; and all my creations are already meaningless and have ceased to exist in the publics eyes before I have even gotten a chance to introduce them; and I’d rather kill myself before I ultimately have to face this when it actualiazes…

  • JG

    The shortsightedness and narrowmindedness of atleast half comments on cartoonbrew never cease to amaze me. But oh well, everyone’s entitled to their opinion, I guess…

    Mine is the following – I like it. Although I don’t find it funny, rather tragicomic, sad, even disturbing in some cases. The crudeness adds to it, as does the “I’m a 13 y/o” stunt.

    I like O’Reilly’s work and too think he’s one of the most brilliant independent directors/animators right now.
    I love the experimental nature of his work.
    He makes me think and he makes me feel.

    ” Which did make me wonder why he even bothered to make the end scene in 3D when the whole idea of octocat was that it doesn’t matter how it looks as long as the story is engaging.”
    Imho, it’s a surprise tactic – you’re watching a crudely animated cartoon which you believe was made by a 13 y/o and suddenly… wham! 3D. “waitwhat, whoa!.. how? wth?” Even when knowing the whole thing was a set up, I was surprised.

  • autisticanimator, so many setups for sarcastic troll comebacks I don’t know where to begin.

  • I think this Octocat series is marvelous, regardless of who made it.
    I saw David O’Reily speak at Pictoplasma last weekend and I can report that he was honest, straightforward and humble.
    Personally, the animation industry needs more a lot more Octocat and lot less of a whole bunch of other stuff.

  • I think some of you are missing the whole point of why Amid posts this stuff.

    We’re in an age now where this kind of thing can happen. The internet has opened up so many doors for animators and guys like O’Reilly, JibJab, ect. are taking advantage of it. They’re thinking a little outside the box. They’re having fun and enjoying a freedom to express themselves in any creative way they want and show it to millions of people instantly. I think it’s all very worthy of discussion.

    It’s at least more interesting than a new screen shot of the next Disney movie. Right?

  • Guy

    “Is it amateurish and self-indulgent, or a stylistic breakthrough?”

    Well, the answer to that can be figured out easily.

    What is it good for? Nothing, besides making incompetents feel smug for creating something “unique” and contrary to talking animal cartoons.

  • People need to learn about Heta-Uma.

  • Chuck R.

    “People need to learn about Heta-Uma.”

    Nice try. I can’t wait to tell Amid he needs to learn about hetauma, next time he bashes “Family Guy”.

    I don’t even care to bash David O’Reilly. He’s obviously got an excellent sense of silliness, which I can fully appreciate, and he’s not charging anyone a dime to watch his cartoons.

    I do have a problem with Amid’s knee-jerk bashing of every big-studio effort as soon as the first still is leaked out, and then gushing over every independent experiment, no matter what it looks like or how tired the content is. Discriminate if you must, and if you want to hold filmmakers with large budgets to a higher standard, fine. But Amid would do well to drop the elitist crap, and treat his readers like they can tell when true creative effort has been put into something and when someone is simply trolling for a reaction.

    There was a time when you could count on the Brew to flag something great that you might otherwise have missed. The standards have been dropping lately.

  • Family Guy is heta-heta, not heta-uma.

  • Guy

    “I do have a problem with Amid’s knee-jerk bashing of every big-studio effort as soon as the first still is leaked out, and then gushing over every independent experiment, no matter what it looks like or how tired the content is.”

    Normally I’d say that standards are, indeed, very different for big studios who pour millions into their work, but… just look at this. I know the animation community is desperate for respect and shaking the “cartoons are for children” mentality, but that doesn’t mean latching onto anything that’s could be remotely called avant-garde.

  • I, for one, as an animation director of commercials, am counting the days til Octocat is ripped off by the same folks that ripped off Don Hertzfeldt’s total style and delivery for the Pop Tart ads… “Mmmmm CRAZY GOOD!” and “I’m a Banana!” are too close to me not to be seen as a total rip off.

    REJECTED and Octocat are very much on the same wavelength of what is best described as avant garde storytelling- I think they are both valid ways of using animation to tell a story.

  • Karma

    So, what exactly was supposed to have changed?

    It started out ridiculously bad and unwatchable, and finally ended…. ridiculously bad and unwatchable.

    The fact that a grown man was indeed behind it all the while, just makes it all the more absolutely pathetic and sad.

  • Does anyone mind if I have the last word on this phenomenally moronic thread? THANKS! ^_^