1) It’s Really True
This is the sentimental main song, which plays at the beginning and again, with a cute variation, at the halfway point. It’s relatively weak compare to the others, but sets up the overarching philosophy that “If you accept a strange story as true / a certain enlightenment comes to you.”
Which introduces us to Hugo and his family in their underwater amusement-park paradise and features descriptions like “He walks like an elephant / He swims like a whale / His head’s like a pail; it’s pathetic / Oh plainly, his tail’s unaesthetic / Though nature endowed him poorly, / I still love the hippo dearly” (those last two lines presumably rhyming…).
This track capitalizes on a certain key hippo characteristic: their ravenous hunger. Features lyrics like “I’m so hungry I could eat all the P’s in a dictionary / I could eat the carats in a diamond mine” and “I would like to learn geometry just so I could eat the pi in pi R squaaaaaaaaared.” In between, a children’s choir chants “You’ve said a mouthful there.”
4) Mister M’Bow-Wow
One of the stranger songs, chronicling the systematic absentmindedness of local teacher Mr. M’Bow-Wow who “Looks at the world through a telescope turned the wrong way / Listens to words, but he never does hear what you actually say.” Features Mr. M’Bow-Wow riding on an ostrich and electrocuting himself by sticking a fork in a toaster.
The ending credits detach entirely from reality to present highlights embedded into strange split-screen configurations like bird outlines, tidal waves and paisley patterns. Yet another catchy tune, the words include “Wherever you go, Hu-go, we go, too / Wherever you go, Hu-go, we’re with you / If you go to jail, we’ll get parole for you / If you go down below, we’ll save your soul for you” and the inevitable cheer “Hip Hip, Hippotomas!”
Nor is there any doubt of what’s going on when flames overtake the screen during the garden razing or afterwards, when the hypocritical townspeople call for the death penalty because the hungry Hugo now pillages their crops.
Eventually tricked onto a planet made of cauliflower, Hugo and Jorma are cornered by squash UFOs and hypnotized by many-eyed potato totems.
Walrus Rating: 9.0