Case Number 05844: Small Claims Court

AQUA TEEN HUNGER FORCE, VOLUME THREE

Warner Bros. // 2004 // 149 Minutes // Not Rated
Reviewed by Judge Patrick Naugle // December 22nd, 2004

The Charge

"Frylock, we've gotta get that car fixed."
"I tried to help you, but you two just keep goofin' off."
"Yeah, we are pretty funny when we do that."

The Case

Welcome to the delightfully freakish world of the Aqua Teen Hunger Force. Who are the "Aqua Teen Hunger Force"? Are they hungry teenagers in search of justice? Aquatic youngsters on a mission to right society's wrongs? You'd be wrong on both counts. The "Aqua Teen Hunger Force" is three buddies who live in dilapidated suburban house, have endless fun torturing their Italian, overweight neighbor Carl, and often revel in all sorts of odd trouble. The Aqua Teen Hunger Force includes: Master Shake, a milkshake with an acidic, absurd sense of humor; Frylock, a floating French fry warlock who is actually pretty mild mannered; and Meatwad, who is a rolling, gibbering wad of hamburger meat. Get ready to save the world, McDonalds-style, with the Aqua Teen Hunger Force!

This is, by far, one of the funniest, most absurd animated shows I've ever seen. To everyone involved I say: you're clinically insane. Get out the straight jackets and head on into the padded rooms -- 666 Insanity Avenue is your new address. And I mean that in a good way.

Since two of our prestigious judges have already seen fit to discuss at lengths the fantastic qualities Aqua Teen Hunger Force possesses, I won't prattle on endlessly. What I will say is that the show is something of a miracle in the sense that, for all intents and purposes, it never should have been green lit. I can't believe that people gave money to the makers of this show after they found out it was going to be about three ridiculous fast food items (that walk, talk, and insult) living next door to a balding Italian guy who acts like a retarded version of Joe Pesci. God bless them for their faith in something that would make most networks scuttle away like roaches when the lights are flicked on.

I've been trying to figure out the best way to explain what Aqua Teen Hunger Force is like. The show is absurd to be sure, yet it never gets too stupid for its own good. This is due largely in part to Master Shake, a character not far removed from Homer Simpson (just more chatty and illogical). His endless ranting about everything that has to do with nothing truly makes this a delightfully batty experience. Frylock is hands down the funniest floating French fry character every captured on celluloid -- wait, come to think of it, he's the only floating French fry character ever to grace television screens. Frylock's determination and logic is often unwelcome in Master Shake's world -- this makes for some wonderfully droll, obnoxious banter between the two of them. Rounding out the cast is Meatwad (his name says it all), who mumbles in a gibberish that is part Deliverance, part baby; and Carl, the threesome's next door neighbor who is usually the butt of their jokes (and to be fair, he usually deserves it). The plots for the shows are always inconsequential and non-sequitur -- they exist for the Aqua Teen Hunger Force to laugh at (this includes interacting with robotic chickens from the future, an evil clown, a toilet with the flushing power of a nuclear reactor, and aliens who like to do beer bongs).

It's hard to explain how funny this show is, and how it took me by surprise -- this is truly a diamond in the rough. Kudos to Cartoon Network, the creators of this show, and the Good Lord Above for allowing such a weird idea to be put on the airwaves.

Each episode of Aqua Teen Hunger Force: Volume Three is presented in its original television aspect ratio of 1.33:1. These transfers all look pretty good -- the colors schemes and black levels are bright, solid and very well rendered. Since this is a fairly low budget show, I wasn't expecting it to look like LOTR: Return of the King. The picture look sufficiently good, and that should please fans of the show.

The soundtracks are presented in Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround in English. I was a bit surprised that these cartoon shorts got a 5.1 upgrade -- overall the need for it is pretty low. But, Warner has done a nice job at making sure the track utilizes all of the surround speakers during the opening credits and a few other sequences. Otherwise, this is generally a front heavy sound mix without any major defects or imperfections. Also included on this set are English, French, and Spanish subtitles.

Warner has added on a few tasty (pun intended) extra features for Aqua Teen Hunger Force: Volume Three. Included on this two-disc set are commentaries on four of the episodes ("The Clowning," "The Shaving," "Spirit Journey Formation Anniversary," and "The Last One") with various cast and crew members, including producer/editor Jay Edwards and voice talents Dave Willis (Meatwad), Carey Means (Frylock), and Dana Snyder (Master Shake), among many others -- these commentaries are just as odd and goofy as the show itself. Some script pages are included for fans to peruse through (along with readings from the cast), as well as a few karaoke music videos for one of the strange songs from the episode "Spirit Journey Formation Anniversary." "On Loan From The Private Library of Vishal Roney" are some artwork and drawings from the show's conceptual stages. Finally, there is a featurette with behind-the-scenes footage of script meetings and brainstorms titled "How To Score Big Making Money Writing For Television," a few deleted scenes, promo spots, and some phone messages featuring Meatwad, Master Shake, and Frylock.

Review content copyright © 2004 Patrick Naugle; Site layout and review format copyright © 1998 - 2014 HipClick Designs LLC

Scales of Justice
Judgment: 95

Perp Profile
Studio: Warner Bros.
Video Formats:
* Full Frame

Audio Formats:
* Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround (English)

Subtitles:
* English
* French
* Spanish

Running Time: 149 Minutes
Release Year: 2004
MPAA Rating: Not Rated

Distinguishing Marks
* Three Commentary Tracks by the Cast and Crew
* Deleted Scenes
* Script Pages
* Promo Spots
* Answering Machine Messages
* Music/Art Gallery
* Spirit Journey Formation Anniversary Music Videos
* Making of the Cloning

Accomplices
* IMDb
http://us.imdb.com/title/tt0297494/combined

* Official Site
http://www.adultswim.com/shows/athf/index.html

* Review, Volume One
http://www.dvdverdict.com/reviews/aquateen1.php

* Review, Volume Two
http://www.dvdverdict.com/reviews/aquateen2.php