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DVD Review

DVD cover

Robot Chicken
Season 1


Starring (voice): Seth Green, Breckin Meyer, Chad Morgan and Tom Root
Revolver Entertainment
RRP: £19.99
Certificate: 15
Available 29 September 2008

The first season of the Emmy Award winning Robot Chicken takes you on a roller-coaster ride through 20 attention span shatterin', toy murderin' episodes, straight from the twisted minds of [adult swim]. Packed with bite-sized sketch nuggets of doll-on-doll violence and celebrity abuse. This must-have collection features A-list cameos including Scarlett Johansson and Ashton Kutcher all animated in old-school stop motion...

For those unfamiliar with Robot Chicken, it's the brain child / love child of Seth Green and Matthew Senreich. I say "love child" only because between them the two do so much on the show (including writing, producing, directing and acting) that it really is a creation born from their mutual love of pop culture and '80s toys - something which Green openly admits to having an encyclopedic knowledge about.

This first season was originally broadcast on Cartoon Network's [adult swim] in 2005. This DVD includes 20 episodes, each running for 15 minutes. HIghlights (and there are so many to choose from) include:

Two Kirks, a Kahn and a Pizza Place (a spoof on Kirk's "Kaahhnn!" quote in Star Trek II: The Wrath of Kahn; famous Bloopers (including The X-Files screen tests, drunk Superman actor, Arnold getting spanked on Diff'rent Strokes, and the problems of being a Cylon on Battlestar Galactica); Jaws: Special Edition with a heap of new enhanced scenes; Alien & Predator on the TV show First Date; Jewish James Bond; The Incredible Adventures of the Olsen Twins; Sci-fi convention; and the super villains car pool.

On disc two we have: spoilers for movies (The Crying Game, The Empire Strikes Back and The Village); Benny Hill's funeral; M. Night Shyamalan's The Twist; the secret life of William Shatner's wig; a Scooby-Doo mystery (starring the vocal talents of the cast from the movie); Bat-monkey; and Keanu Sausage.

While there is the odd sketch which UK audiences might not get because it spoofs something we are unfamiliar with, 99% of the time you'll get the general gist of the gag.

This season also features a pretty impressive array of famous voices including Sarah Michelle Geller, Scarlett Johnassen, Ashton Kutcher, David Hasselhoff, Macaulay Culkin, Mark Hamill, Freddie Prince Jr, Matthew Lillard, Bert Reynolds and Dom DeLuise.

Extras include audio commentary on each episode featuring cast and crew; Deleted Scenes (18 min, 08 sec of cut sequences - although I couldn't see much difference between the Smurf sketch here and the finished sketch); Photo Gallery (3 min, 03 sec behind the scenes pictures with captions); Animation Meetings (13 min, 56 sec of Scott Green acting out several scenes to the rest of the office before they are filmed - also includes the finished sketches on screen so you can compare the two); Sweet J Presents (14 min, 26 sec look at the forerunner to Robot Chicken); Behind the Scenes (12 min, 32 sec which amongst other things includes some of the special guest stars recording dialogue); Wire Comparisons (5 min look as several scenes with a comparison of how the shots look before and after the wire removal has taken place and the CGI effects have been added); Animatic to Episode Comparisons (5 min, 32 sec look at the rough animatics to some sketches and the finished item); Bumps (10 min of what I assume are trails for the network).

If you've never seen Robot Chicken before, then this is a collection worth picking up. There's something here for everyone.


Darren Rea

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