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Watch An Animated Jack Black Talk About Growing Up A Sleepy Outsider In Hermosa Beach

Black gets sincere for the first time to talk about his childhood in an animated video from Google Play and the California Sunday Magazine.

Jack Black’s entire persona, whether on the screen or on the stage with Tenacious D, is as the guy whose enthusiasm is matched only by his inability to take anything seriously. Every so often, he’ll pop up in a Bernie or a Margot At The Wedding, but it’s rare for Black to be sincere about anything for any length of time.

That makes this animated video–with roughly drawn, charming images of Black and the touchstones of his life–a unique viewing experience. He narrates the story of growing up in Hermosa Beach, California, and thoughtfully describes what it was like to be an outsider among a stoner surfer/skater culture that he identifies with, but was never really a part of. He talks about his childhood crush on Farrah Fawcett, and about how growing up so close to Hollywood turned him into someone who believed that he had a real chance of living that dream.

The video is part of the “California Inspires Me” series, a collaboration between Google Play and the California Sunday Magazine, and directed by animator and graphic artist Nicholas Menard, whose simple style combines nicely with composer Shannon Ferguson’s dreamlike score to lend a sleepy, SoCal vibe to Black’s tale of coming up–which is, after all, only appropriate.

About the author

Dan Solomon lives in Austin with his wife and his dog. He's written about music for MTV and Spin, sports for Sports Illustrated, and pop culture for Vulture and the AV Club.