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DVD Review: Robot Chicken: Star Wars Special
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Robot Chicken: Star Wars Special DVDRobot Chicken: Star Wars Special
Directed by Seth Green
Starring Seth Green, Matthew Senreich
Turner Home Entertainment
Release date: July 22, 2008

By far my favorite televisual feast has to be the Emmy-winning Robot Chicken on Adult Swim. Take away any form of guidance whatsoever and let a couple of graduates from “The Eternally Revolving College of Beer Pong” revel in their own distinctive, twisted, sometimes sick humor with absolutely no compromise. Add to the mix the fact that the characters in this entirely stop-motion animated show come from the graveyard of toys and action figures from the last 20 odd years of television and movie marketing and you have the ingredients for some serious side-splitting laughs.

Enter the newly released DVD Robot Chicken: Star Wars Special. The brainchild of Seth Green and Matthew Senreich under the guise of Stoopid Monkey Productions, in conjunction with Alex Bulkley and Corey Campodonico’s ShadowMachine. Just under half an hour of action figures and remodeled toys from various Star Wars movies parading around in a collection of skits from deep within the insanity that is Stoopid Monkey Productions. Seriously, Boba Fett’s private moment with the carbonite-encrusted Han Solo? Admiral Ackbar Cereal? This stuff is mad funny and I think I have now watched the DVD 5 times already. Hey, it’s under half an hour and the work these animators put in really deserves closer inspection.

Now I know what you are thinking, under half an hour is not very much time to parody the entire Star Wars world, but these guys had something like 14 weeks to get this together and — as some of the special features explain — the whole team did a hell of a lot of work. Even allowing for the fact that 6 or 7 minutes are from previously aired sketches. This opportunity gave them a chance to develop some very ellaborate sets and sketches much longer than the usual Robot Chicken series stuff. The guys also managed to employ some serious celebrity heavyweights, including former boy-band members and even George Lucas himself, along with Conan O’Brien, Seth MacFarlane, Malcolm McDowell, Hulk Hogan, James Van Der Beek, Robert Smigel, Donald Faison, Abraham Benrubi, co-writer Breckin Meyer, and Joey Fatone.

The DVD contains a TON of special features and they run the gamut of funny and informative and interesting, all the way to laborious and a little tiresome — but then I did watch them all at once. The Time Lapse Sequences of how the team animate scenes and build sets is a lesson in patience itself but as I scrolled through the photo gallery reading the captions of each for insights into the world of these mad scientists of comedy and animation, I had to turn the sound off as someone in the Robot Chicken camp had the bright idea to scroll through 3 pieces of music from the show that are triggered every time you forward to the next photo, unless you read very slowly and really absorb each photo, you get pretty sick of the first 15 seconds of those tunes pretty quickly.

Overall the DVD is packed with loads interesting stuff about how these guys do what they do and some of the decisions they had to make whilst producing this classic that has already garnered Seth Green an Annie award for “Directing in an Animated Television Production.” Very well deserved. Even the commentary is insightful and VERY geeky. Right up GoD’s creek (Without a Paddle? – oh dear).

* Chicken Nuggets (Sketch by Sketch Video Commentary)
* Animation Meeting
* On-Air Bumps
* Trailers
* Behind-the-Scenes Featurette
* Deleted Scenes
* Alternate Audio
* Time Lapse Sequences
* Photo Gallery
* STAR WARS Celebration IV Convention Panel Presentation
* Production Design Featurette
* Episode Commentary – more than two hours

1 Comment »

  1. I can’t wait!

    Comment by seahawk — November 12, 2008 @ 3:35 pm

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