Case Number 11994: Small Claims Court

ROBOT CHICKEN: SEASON TWO

Warner Bros. // 2006 // 221 Minutes // Not Rated
Reviewed by Judge Brett Cullum // September 4th, 2007

The Charge

Emperor Palpatine: [On the phone with Darth Vader] Vader! How's my favorite Sith?...Whoa whoa whoa...whoa, whoa. Just -- slow down. Huh? What do you mean they blew up the Death Star? F -- k! Oh, F -- K, F -- K,F -- K! Who's THEY?...What the hell is an Aluminum Falcon? [sighs]
OK, OK, so who's left?...Are you s -- -ting me?...Well, where are you?...Wait a sec, you've been flying around for two weeks trying to get a signal?...Oh, you must smell like...feet wrapped in leathery, burnt bacon...Oh, oh, oh! Oh, I'm sorry, I thought my Dark Lord of the Sith could protect a small thermal exhaust port that's only two meters wide! That thing wasn't even fully paid off yet!...Do you -- do you have ANY idea what this is going to do to my credit?
[phone beeps, he sighs]

The Case

Robot Chicken began in 2005 on cable's The Cartoon Network as part of the late night "Adult Swim" block of programming. Actor Seth Green (Buffy the Vampire Slayer) and animator Matt Senreich mixed old-school stop-motion animation with fast-moving satire. One of Green's hobbies became the inspiration: his vast toy collection comprised mainly of action figures. The result was an unusual sketch comedy show with a rotating cast of celebrity voices making fun of anything they could think of. Each episodes only runs 11 minutes, and is made up of several short skits of varying length and one tent pole skit that goes on a bit longer. Some skits are two seconds, some are one minute, and others are five to six minutes, but guaranteed they're rude and funny as hell. Whether it's Lindsay Lohan in a Highlander skit taking off Amanda Bynes's head ("There can only be one!") or a Mexican worker after a car accident becoming The Six Million Peso Man, Robot Chicken is a "punk rock puppet pool party" where pop culture gets skewered by collectible figures with foul mouths. Robot Chicken : Season Two (Uncensored) contains all 20 episodes of season two, and a Christmas Special to round things out. The episodes have no beeps for the language on DVD and a whole mess of extras, all included in an unassuming black cardboard box with a white chicken logo.

The episodes offered here include:
* "Suck It"
* "Easter Basket"
* "1987"
* "Celebrity Rocket"
* "Federated Resources"
* "Dragon Nuts"
* "Cracked China"
* "Rodiggiti"
* "Password: Swordfish"
* "Massage Chair"
* "Metal Militia"
* "Veggies for Sloth"
* "Sausage Fest"
* "Drippy Pony"
* "The Munnery"
* "Adoption's an Option"
* "Day at the Circus"
* "Lust for Puppets"
* "Anne Marie's Pride"
* "Book of Corrine"

The beauty of Robot Chicken lies in the breakneck speed of each episode. The entire experience is tailor-made for DVD where you can slow down the action or back up to catch a joke that flew by the first time. There are so many layers going on in any given scene that the short episodes are almost instantly rewatchable and in fact demand to be examined again and again. There's an anarchic glee that is truly infectious, and it seems no cows are sacred to this team. Seth Green and company have taken the torch once carried by South Park for reveling in juvenile jokes. These are lowbrow humor skits for the most part, but simultaneously there's a sophistication coming from the action figures and subversive pop-culture themes.

The set labeled Robot Chicken: Season Two (Uncensored) provides an extra level of biting satire by allowing the language to fly free. These episodes are no longer constrained by censors, and the f-bombs and other curse words are unleashed with no apologetic bleep. Extras are plentiful as well including commentaries on every episode. The only trick to hearing Seth Green and his cast and crew is you have to access the alternate audio track through a set-up menu as you choose each episode (or toggle your audio option button). Also included is an informative and entertaining behind-the-scenes featurette which shows the painstaking process each episode goes through to get on the air. With the old-school stop-motion animation, it takes almost a full day just to get eight seconds ready. Deleted animatics, alternate and deleted audio takes, and animation meetings all round out the technical look of Robot Chicken. The rest of the special features are mainly promotional spots and video blogs offered previously on the Internet, yet even these are funny and well worth watching.

This second season of Robot Chicken is as inspired as the first, and Robot Chicken: Season Two (Uncensored) is a DVD set that is surprisingly loaded as the first one was. For fans of the show this is a no-brainer purchase, and something to run out and get immediately. It's an amazingly funny show, and the chance to get all the episodes in one dose is far too tempting. The show is always far too short when you catch it for the 15 minutes it airs -- all too infrequently -- on the Cartoon Network. This one's made expressly for the 13-year-old boy who lives inside every one of us, or any one who's done inappropriate things with their dolls or action figures. Not guilty.

Review content copyright © 2007 Brett Cullum; Site layout and review format copyright © 1998 - 2014 HipClick Designs LLC

Scales of Justice
Judgment: 94

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

Audio Formats:
* Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo (English)

Subtitles:
* English
* French
* Spanish

Running Time: 221 Minutes
Release Year: 2006
MPAA Rating: Not Rated

Distinguishing Marks
* Cast and Crew Commentary on Every Episode
* Deleted Scenes
* Deleted Audio
* Featurette "The Making of a Sketch"
* Deleted Animatics
* Animation Meetings
* Slide Show
* PS3 Contest Promo
* Video Blogs
* Freedom Rock Promo

Accomplices
* IMDb
http://us.imdb.com/title/tt0437745/combined

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

* DVD Verdict Review of Season One
http://www.dvdverdict.com/reviews/robotchickenvol1.php