Do you know what happens when creative people get toys and wacked out people get a tv show? Robot Chicken happens. The first season was a great success on Adult Swim, so that meant two things. One, creators Seth Green and Matthew Senreich would be able to move out of their parent’s house (okay, not really) and we would get Season 2. Robot Chicken for those who don’t know is toy figures (or special sculpted toys) put to life in hilarious sketches and parodies with the use of stop motion capture technology. The show has gotten such fanfare that it recently produced a Star Wars parody sketch show that was even supervised by George Lucas himself. Unfortunately that was the start of Season 3, and isn’t on this dvd (but there is the infamous Star Wars sketch included that led to the whole sketch show in this box set).
The amount of bizarre pop culture references in this show is staggering. From the Brady Bunch meets the Mr. & Mrs. Smith to Inspector Gadget meets Terminator 2 Judgement Day, the show goes everywhere and beyond. Sometimes it finds the references too obscure and depending on the audience might not get all of the jokes. One that is brought to mind is the Spy Hunter 11:00 News Sketch. Not everybody like me has played the game 40-50 hours and gets the “joke”. I might be on the floor for it but the person next to me might have a totally blank expression. However, where one fails, the next ten might be gold. That is where the show really succeds. The other great thing about Robot Chicken is the amount of talent on the show when it comes to voices. One of the great things is that they go and get the original voice talent in what it parodies with their toys. From little guys such as Michael Winslow (Police Academy) to the Coreys (Haim & Feldman) to big stars like Charlize Theron. It adds realism and humor to the show in spades.
The video is show in its original presentation of Full Screen 1.33:1. The toys and action figures look great, in fact its amazing how much they are able to do with them. The dvd really shows off this and has incredibly vibrant colors to boot. In fact with the detail shown on some figures, you would almost assume that they are disturbing life-like. Kudos to the stop-motion team.
English Dolby Digital 2.0 is provided here. It’s pretty standard fare except noting the fact that so many guest voices are provided throughout the season. The sounds are pretty good for the most part and nothing bad or overally good can be said. One minor stand out is when music is used; it is usually really close to the source material that they are trying to mock. Subs are provided in English, Spanish, and French.
- Commentaries and Alternate Commentaries: Every great episode gets a comparably good commentary. 200+ minutes of Seth and Matthew joined by others talking about the show we have come to appreciate. On episodes three (1987) and five (Federated Resources) we also get a second alternate commentary. The alternate commentary for episode five is classic as its Seth and Matthew along with the Coreys. Truly hilarious banter and a pleasure to listen to.
- Deleted Scenes: Ten deleted Scenes for you to peruse thru. Arguably all of them could be used, they are that good.
- Adult Swim Promos: The little promos that are used to promote Adult Swim featuring Robot Chicken. Eight are provided here.
- The Making of A Sketch 12:50: The sketch that is demoed is the Inspector Gadget meets Terminator 2 Judgement Day parody. Seth Green lines it up and knocks it down as to how they take it from concept to production. Very fascinating material
- Christmas Special 11:02: The show that was used for their Christmas Special. It’s alright; to be honest it seems thrown together to suffice as a christmas show.
- Deleted Audio: Five different audios that went longer than originally planned. In particular, the audio for Michael Winslow is flat out hilarious. True to his title, he is the master of voicing special effects.
- Easter Egg: Nerf Promo 5:08: In compiling this review I was able to find one easter egg (look for a five). The office finds itself locked in a brutal Nerf war. They should have hired me as a mercenary.
- Animation Meetings: Seth Green does one of his zany creator type things and explains out by acting various scenes for the sketches in his show. Four of them are presented here.
- Deleted Animatics: With twenty strong animatics for you to peruse; these are sketches that just didn’t quite make it and failed in the drawing room. Where the deleted scenes probably should have been kept, there are very few here that are really funny.
- PS3 Contest 1:12: The promo bit they used to promote the PS3 when they ran a contest. The contest is over but at least we can enjoy the bit (think badly used but extremely funny aliens).
- Slide Show 2:13: One extra I really didn’t understand. It starts out taking Seth and Matt four takes to do the intro bit. Then it is just a bunch of slides put together. Alright *shrug*
- Video Blogs : A slew of fifteen video blogs on all sorts of subjects including several on a dvd release party at the Playboy mansion. Yummy!
- Freedom Rock 1:47: A spoof of all those dorky compilation cds (Songs of the 80’s, Alternative Favorites of the 90’s, etc) to promote a non-existent soundtrack to Robot Chicken. Extremely funny. (And to think I almost wanted to buy one)
Perhaps I won’t view certain things in my life the same when I see Lindsey Lohan is the Highlander or Mario & Luigi drive into Vice City. Especially when it is performed using the devices that I grew up with: toys. Robot Chicken is many laughs a minute and required viewing for anybody who digs over use of pop culture references. Anybody who has ever played with wrestling figures or anybody who has ever wondered what it would be like if the Thundercats’ leader was in a pound should love what is presented here. The jokes that fail are immediately picked up by ones that scream home run. This is further appreciated by their use of voice actors that include celebrities and forgotten voice actors of our youth. Seth Green and Matthew Senreich have created a product that can be watched over and over again. The 2 disc dvd sports great video and a fantastic plethora of extras from commentaries to how a sketch is made. In fact, I think I’m going to find Season One while I’m at it. The only other thing I’m wondering is where that Stupid Monkey is. Highly recommended.
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Adoptions an Option
Day at the Circus
Lust for Puppets
Anne Marie’s Pride
Book of Corrine