(kanopy/VOD) FEELS GOOD MAN is a deep dive into the re-appropriation of artist Matt Furie’s Pepe the Frog, and the steps Furie takes to try to get the character back.
Most of the doc focuses on Furie recounting his history and struggles with the laidback frog, but director Arthur Jones and producer Giorgio Angelini bring in artists (including BOJACK HORSEMAN’s Lisa Hanawalt) and comedians/writers (such as BARRY’s Emily Heller) and academics to flesh out the online world of trolls and memes. Even if you believe you know the story of Pepe — and I certainly thought I did — you’ll still find new and surprising bits.
If FEELS GOOD MAN was just a collection of talking head interviews, it’d still be worth a watch, but Arthur Jones leans on his animation background to liven up the doc with vivid, kinetic animated sequences depicting Pepe and his friends as they react to the events as they unfold. It’s a welcome respite from the traditional motion graphics interstitials that pepper most modern documentaries, and is so expertly done that I was left wishing that a BOYS CLUB animated show existed.