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Bionic Hamster (05/29/2007)

released: May 29, 2007

description: Nine-year-old Annie watches the ball containing her beloved hamster Snuffles crash down the stairs, just out of her reach. She calls for her father's help, and Dr. Phifowitz rushes the hamster to his animal hospital, where he informs the nurses that they will be performing an experimental surgery.

After the surgery, the doctors examine the hamster to find he is healing at a better than expected rate. The doctor tells the nurses that improvements have been made to Snuffles over all, so that now he is the perfect specimen of mammal and machinery. To top it all off, Snuffles can never die, mostly in an effort to make sure Annie does not have to know grief. The nurses are appalled.

Dr. Phifowitz takes Snuffles home to Annie, reiterating the rules of Snuffles' new bionic lifestyle on the way. Annie is thrilled to find her pet not only alive but much improved. Across the street, however, Nurse Steve watches with a shadowy figure. He informs the shadowy figure that the hamster could be very useful as a weapon. The shadowy figure agrees. He shows his appreciation by drugging Nurse Steve.

Having discovered all of Snuffles' new tricks, Annie takes him with her to school the next day. Annie shows Snuffles to her friend Connie, who is terrified. However, in history class that day, Annie is amazed when Snuffles solves the equation that proves the existence of black holes. The substitute teacher calls NASA to confirm the answer, and another shadowy figure listens in on the line. The two shadowy figures meet and decide they must get that hamster immediately.

Annie and Connie ask Snuffles about the trials of sudden cognizance as they play in the tree house in the backyard. As they descend, they are greeted by two men from NASA who demand they hand over the hamster. Snuffles immediately takes defensive measures and cuts the two men with mini-chainsaws. Annie is disturbed by Snuffles' new capacity for violence.

The next day in school, Annie asks her real history teacher about the ethics of war. Snuffles, finding some of this hitting too close to home, escapes from her pocket and through a grate. He boards a rocket of his own making and flies away from Annie, hoping to keep her safe. He eventually lands in a boxcar, and resigns himself to being on the run indefinitely.

Meanwhile, Annie excuses herself to the bathroom, where she discovers Snuffles has disappeared. In her absence, a team of terrorists attach the classroom, killing everyone. They take off their masks and reveal themselves to be Nazis. Annie sees them and runs out of the school and through the woods to her home. There she discovers her father has also been brutally murdered. He leaves a video giving her instructions to activate Snuffles' tracking device. Annie does so immediately - and on the boxcar, Snuffles begins to beep and glow red, and returns immediately to Annie's house.

The Nazis have discovered the house, and immediately file in to find Annie. She tries to hide by hanging out of her bedroom window, but she is soon found. Snuffles, however, flies in to her aid and easily defends her from the Nazis. He opens up his sidebar, and they fly out together, over the heads of the other Nazis, who are quickly arrested.

Safely away from the Nazis, Annie and Snuffles land by a lake. Annie thanks Snuffles for saving her. This causes Snuffles to click into Love Mode, which automatically transforms him into a 12-year-old boy who looks much like 12-year-old Jonathan Taylor Thomas. The two kiss under the full moon and presumably live happily ever after.

cast & crew:

Directed by . . . Jason Chin
Annie . . . Kristen Studard
Connie . . . Mel Evans
Dr. Steven Phifowitz . . . Sean Kelley
Gunther . . . Sean Kelley
Hall Monitor . . . Mel Evans
Lars . . . Rob White
Mr. Andrews . . . Rob White
NASA Officer #1 . . . Rob White
NASA Officer #2 . . . Sean Kelley
Nazi #1 . . . Amy Verdon
Nazi #2 . . . Colleen Breen
Nazi #3 . . . Mel Evans
Nazi #4 . . . Michael Johnson
Nurse #1 . . . Amy Verdon
Nurse #2 . . . Mel Evans
Nurse Steve . . . Rob White
Police Officer #1 . . . Rob White
Police Officer #2 . . . Sean Kelley
Shadowy Figure #1 . . . Michael Johnson
Shadowy Figure #2 . . . Kristen Studard
Shadowy Figure #3 . . . Jorin Garguilo
Snuffles . . . Jorin Garguilo
Student #1 . . . Amy Verdon
Student #2 . . . Colleen Breen
Student #3 . . . Sean Kelley
Substitute Teacher . . . Michael Johnson
Trainyard Hobo #1 . . . Colleen Breen
Trainyard Hobo #2 . . . Sean Kelley


This was my first OFP experience, but it certainly won't be the last. The sordid tale of a girl and her bionic hampster can hardly be expressed in words, but somehow visually it can be a symphony.

-- Adam on May 30, 2007

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