Today’s Cartoon Brew Pick is IShowSpeed Fights Ronaldo! from the popular TheGiantWorm Youtube channel.
The short spoofs a viral video of IShowSpeed, one of Youtube’s top celebrities, meeting Cristiano Ronaldo, one of the world’s most famous soccer players. The two videos begin similarly, but the animated version gets (somehow) weirder and quickly embraces iconic cartoonishly violent traditions of the artform. It’s like a hyper-modern version of Tom and Jerry.
Aesthetically, the animated version isn’t particularly attractive, but its smart camera work and a few artistic flourishes help it stand out from similarly crude content. The ugliness here feels like it’s making a statement. And even if it’s not, it adds to the absurdist humor of the thing, a lot like like the Skibidi Toilet videos posted by Youtube superstar DaFuq!?Boom!.
But perhaps the main reason IShowSpeed Fights Ronaldo! feels important is that it’s representative of larger changes that can be seen in fandom culture. Instead of drawings and tribute pages, internet artists now make entire animated shorts about people events that have captured the public’s attention. We noticed something similar last year after Will Smith’s Oscars slap, when animated interpretations of the attack flooded Youtube, Tiktok, and Instagram.
IShowSpeed Fights Ronaldo! also speaks to how influencers have risen to a level of celebrity that merits animated parodies as much as traditional celebrities. Objectively, Ronaldo is the bigger celeb in this video, but he’s not the party that TheGiantWorm was interested in animating. In fact, TheGiantWorm’s channel has several videos featuring IShowSpeed.