Stranded on an strange planet, two surviving crew members of a colonial starship perform a series of bizarre, ASMR-friendly rituals using alien flora and fauna in Joseph Bennett and Charles Huettner's short film, Scavengers. Each step in the mysterious ritual prompts more questions than the last, from "What are they doing?" to "How did they learn all this stuff?" and ending with "Will I ever understand this crazy world?"
The animators' Rick and Morty-esque landscapes are matched in creativity only by the crisply detailed anime style reminiscent of a Hayao Miyazaki film or Moebius comic. The two explorers crack open plants, harvest animals' bodily fluids, and use mysterious interfaces built into the organisms of the planet Vesta Minor to accomplish… something. The confusion is part of the fun, making this short worthy of four or five views to find all the hints about what's going on.
The protagonists harvesting slime and slicing fruit flesh calls to mind traditional morning routines: wake up, shower, eat breakfast, brush teeth, comb hair, phone, keys, wallet, and go. Bennett and Huettner's eight-minute film, commissioned by Adult Swim's Toonami block, injects the satisfaction of watching a well-animated meal with classic sci-fi and the no-rules world of late-night animation. Watch the full short below.