Directed by Seth Green Starring Seth Green, Paul Reubens, Neil Patrick Harris, Alfred Molina, Nathan Fillion, Megan Fox, Breckin Meyer
Created by Seth Green, Matthew Senreich
Robot Chicken is a great series for the nerds of today. Number one, it references everything from Rainbow Brite to Star Wars to Lindsey Lohan. Number two, the episodes only last 15 minutes each, jumping around like an ADHD riddled child after a Red Bull. AND Robot Chicken loves to make longer specials based on cornerstones of nerdom, like their epic Star Wars special.
Robot Chicken, like so many of my other favorite shows, is a sketch comedy. The twist is that everything is stop-motion animated, and as I said before VERY fast paced. The little sketches are 1 minute to 5 minute snippets, and usually involve running gags. My favorite running gag in this special involves Batman and Bane. Bane sneaks up behind Batman, not saying a word, but rather picks Batman up, and breaks his spine over his knee. Batman never dies but always cries out in pain, cursing Bane. The sketch concludes every time with the Looney Toon, Porky Pig closing circle in and a corny jingle ala the 1950’s singing “Ba Da Da Da Da Da- That’s Bane!”
Another running sketch and joke that tickled my funny bone was “Real Characters from the DC Universe.” This one had very little known characters including one of the Green Lanterns, B’dg, who is a cute little squirrel with some pretty dumb powers and Mr. Banjo, who looks like a portly leprechaun who delivers secrets to the enemy in the form of musical notes.
Probably the longest running joke (and the closest thing to a real plot line), is Aquaman’s story. The League of Justice keeps taunting Aquaman, eating his sea creature friends in front of him, giving him the grunt work crap jobs to do, and constantly teasing him. This leads Aquaman to join the Legion of Doom and help give all of the baddies a fighting chance against the League of Justice by sneaking into their headquarters in a large horse cake for Robin’s Barmitzva… yes, like a Trojan Horse.
There are lots of celebrity voices on this DVD including hottie Megan Fox, comedienne queen Alex Bornstein, the crazy multi-talented Neil Patrick Harris and Nathan Fillion, and even a song from Aerosmith’s Steven Tyler.
All in all, this special was a disappointment. I found some places to laugh, but it wasn’t up to snuff with the rest of the series, and certainly not with their past specials. Maybe I didn’t get every single joke, since I am not fully immersed in the DC comic world, but normally you don’t have to be a complete nerd about everything to find the series funny. It’s just a missed mark.
The Video and Audio
The Video was really great- better quality than what I get on my television on Adult Swim (the series’ home channel). Presented in 1080 HD the whole thing looks really good. I can even see the little hairs on Wonder Woman’s shell like hair.
The Audio is fantastic as well. There are lots of silly sound effects and great music, and you won’t miss a single note in Dolby Digital 5.1.
The Packaging and Bonus Features
The packaging and bonus features are honestly the best part of the Blu-Ray. The one disc comes in a standard Blu-ray box, looking like an old school comic book. This even includes the back which goes fantastically retrotastic with old school pop art drawings of the cast and crew, and their Stupid Monkey logo, with a price underneath each.
The Bonus Features honestly make up for the lack of specialness for the special. You get a cast and crew commentary (which I was hoping that Fillion or Harris would be on the couch for that one… but you can’t always get what you want), outtakes, a making of feature (which is so incredibly interesting considering they go into how they make a film using just stop-motion animation), and a few other great features.
Overall (Not an Average)
Honestly, not the best I’ve seen, BUT I think that my standards were insanely high considering this is from the mind of the brilliant Seth Green. I know that after this special, he will pick himself up, dust it off, and make another Nerd-tacular special… I’m hoping for a special with Marvel Comics instead.
The Film 6/10
The Video and Audio 10/10
The Packaging and Bonus Features 10/10
Overall (Not an Average) 7/10