The Maxx review by The Grim Ringler

Were you to travel back into the mid-nineties, you might think that MTV was a pretty happening able channel. Hell, you had 120 Minutes, Headbangers Ball, Aeon Flux, The Head, and finally The Maxx. MTV was all about the alternative music, culture, and lifestyle in the nineties…and then everything changed, and MTV gave up on all of that and focused their attentions on Beavis and Buttehead and that was pretty much that.

The Maxx was an animated series that was essentially a feature length film that was chopped into bite sized bits that ran on MTV at night. The story focuses on Maxx, a homeless man who finds a mysterious mask and feels he was destined to be a hero of sorts, though no one else believes him. Maxx, as powerful as he is powerless in the real world, but in his dreams he is lord and master of a dangerous jungle world, the savage protector of an aloof jungle queen he can never quite attain. This queen, in reality and in dreams, is Julie, a ’freelance’ social worker who is trying to bury a dark past behind a wall of good deeds. She and Maxx have a strange bond that links them together and binds their fates. Someone knows though why it that Julie and Maxx are tied together, the dangerous and unpredictable Mr. Gone, a man who may be as much madman as prophet. And when Maxx begins losing time, his dreams creeping more and more into his waking life, reality steadily slipping out of Maxx’s hands. And as the worlds of dreams and begin bending towards one another it becomes apparent that the fates of Maxx and Mr. Gone are controlled by Julie…if she can face the things in herself she is hiding from.

That to a degree is the theme of The Maxx, facing the past and the dark things that are there waiting for us. This was a very hard film for me to get into as you aren’t ever sure of the tone the creator is aiming for. Once I stopped fighting though I really began to enjoy the surreal world of TM. The artwork is beautiful and there are a lot of mixing of styles that wasn’t as common back in the nineties. To a degree this is similar to something like Donnie Darko in that we don’t necessarily walk away with all the answers, and in many ways have to make our own conclusions, but there is a story here, you may just need to do some outside research to understand it. Which I won’t blame completely on the creator as I think the story was too big for the television format. That’s the biggest gripe I have though, that the story isn’t terribly easy to decipher. The story though, and the themes here are pretty deep and pretty amazing. There could be a very good and very interesting article about what this all means written about The Maxx. And it was refreshing to see an honest to god adult cartoon that didn’t rely on sex or swearing to make it adult.

Imperfect but fascinating and well deserving the cult status it’s achieved, this is a series begging for a special edition DVD release. So, how ‘bout it MTV, where’s our Maxx?


7 out of 10 Jackasses
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