Robot Chicken: Season One

Robot Chicken: Season One

DVD Rating: ****

Reviewed by: Anton Bitel

Read Anton Bitel's film review of Robot Chicken: Season One

The extras on this two-disc set are numbing in their completism, which is good news if you are a fanboy, and if you are not, then at least they are merely optional.

Most of the 18 minutes of deleted scenes are just slightly extended versions of known sketches, but there is one complete (and long) deleted sketch (Britney Spears meets Citizen Kane), and a montage of several great 'channel flips' (ie lightning fast sketches) at the end. A further 19 minutes of deleted animatics require the viewer to imagine from impressionistic hand-drawn scribblings (and voice-overs) sequences that the production crew never saw fit to make in the first place, and as a result represent something of a frustrating and pointless exercise. The 14 minutes of animation meetings show the dynamic co-creator/co-writer/co-director Seth Green talking and acting through several animatic-stage sketches for the benefit of the animators, with comic captions providing the commentary.

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Disc Two features 14 minutes of excerpts from Sweet J Presents, the stop-motion shows made for Sony's web site by Seth Green and Matt Senreich that would eventually metamorphose into Robot Chicken. As Senreich puts it in the introduction, "Some of these are funny, and some of them aren't," but the mock movie previews for Saving Private Smallberries and Every Which Way But Unforgiven certainly fall into the former category. There is also a 12-minute behind-the-scenes featurette, several shorter featurettes comparing the different stages of the animation to the finished product, and ten minutes of 'bumps' (text-form ads for the show aired on [adult swim]).

Last but not least there is a full audio commentary by co-creators Seth Green and Matthew Senreich who, despite being joined for different episodes by a variety of their fellow cast and crew members, clearly regard their task more as an endurance test than a delight. Still, it is all very good-humoured, and there are nuggets of interesting information, too. Apparently, the animated vomit is always painstakingly designed to have a different colour and texture in each episode, while episodes depicting Jesus tend to have their transmission held back (which is why the first episode on the disc was in fact aired second in the US).

Reviewed on: 01 Oct 2008
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Robot Chicken: Season One packshot
Pop-culture savvy sketch show from over the Pond.
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Product Code: REVD2158

Region: 2

Ratio: 1.33:1

Sound: Dolby Digital 2.0

Extras: Full audio commentaries, deleted scenes, deleted animatics, production photo gallery, animation meetings, Sweet J Presents excerpts, behind the scenes, wire comparisons, animatic to episode comparisons, Adult Swim bumps

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