Robot Chicken is back and this time it's personal...
Conceived during a chance Comic Con meeting between life-long action figure fanatics Matthew Senreich and Seth Green, the Emmy and Annie award-winning comedy series Robot Chicken has gone on to become one of Adult Swim’s most popular shows. The second season – which finally arrives here in the UK on DVD – features a host of celebrity guest stars and delivers a wealth of amusing pop-culture gags, spoofs and stand-alone sketches across twenty episodes of stop-motion action figure animation. Now I’ve never really been a fan of the sketch format (or Green, for that matter) and having only discovered Robot Chicken via its celebrated Star Wars parodies, I was a little concerned that the show would be unable to sustain my interest for a full episode, never mind an entire season. Sure I enjoyed the Star Wars specials, but would I be able to relate to the humour without this connection? Well, quite simply, the answer is a resounding yes.
Amid the ensuing mayhem are a glut of familiar childhood memories transposed into some of the most bizarre situations imaginable. Reading like a roll-call of 80s treasures, cult classics such as Thundercats, G.I. Joe, The Beastmaster, Police Academy, The Neverending Story, The Golden Girls, Care Bears, My Little Pony and Inspector Gadget all show their little plastic faces, and while there is a strong emphasis on this era it is by no means the sole focus of the show. Contemporary characters and celebrities are also fair game, along with the obligatory Hitler and religion jokes which, in fairness, often hit their mark.
Running at around ten minutes per episode, the gags come at a blistering pace and although some of the American jokes went clean over my head, there was more than enough to keep me entertained from start to finish. Not wanting to give too much away, a few of my favourite skits include loveable dimwit Barney Rubble committing heinous crimes after a bust-up with Fred Flintstone, Hulk Hogan and an assortment of WWF alumni reimagined as Hogan’s Heroes, Mortal Kombat thespian Johnny Cage’s long road to recovery after a Kano fatality, and of course the spoof trailer for monster movie "Attack of the Giant Midget".
In addition to the full uncensored episodes the DVD is also packed with a host of special features including the Christmas Special, deleted scenes and audio, a making of featurette, commentaries, animatics and video blogs. While the fact remains that I’d rather opt for a slow and painful death over Without a Paddle, Green has managed to win me over as a comedian, writer, director, producer, and whichever other roles he performs on Robot Chicken. I have to say that I was very impressed with the show as a whole, and will set about heartily recommending it to all and sundry.
Robot Chicken Season 2 is released on DVD 28th September 2009.
DVD Review - Star Wars Robot Chicken: Episode II