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Monday, October 28, 2013

Robot Chicken: Season 6 Blu-ray Review

"Robot Chicken" has returned to Blu-ray and DVD in all of its stop-motion – and Emmy Award-winning – glory in the latest release from Adult Swim, "Robot Chicken" Season 6! The top-rated, animated television series from co-creators Seth Green and Matthew Senreich continues to bring pop-culture parodies to life in the modern take on the variety/sketch show format that has become its trademark. Featuring all 20 episodes from the series’ latest season on Adult Swim, the "Robot Chicken" Season 6 Blu-ray and DVD boasts a treasure trove of behind-the-scenes footage and insider-access content – enough to satiate any fan of the series, Adult Swim, and pop culture.
Show (4 out of 5 stars)
If you haven't seen "Robot Chicken" yet, it's a stop-motion comedy sketch show that parodies television shows, movies, video-games, toys, pop culture, and just about everything else in between.  The show's style of humor is kind of using a shotgun to hit a target, as they do gags non-stop and the ones that work will help you overlook the many that don't.  This is the kind of show that works best in small doses because it does get repetitive after awhile. That being said, the creators of "Robot Chicken" Seth Green and Matthew Senreich, have done a good job keeping it as fresh as it is after six seasons. The show is still crass, gory, inappropriate, stupid, smart, and isn't afraid to go after anything for a laugh.  To give you a clue about the direction of this Emmy winning show, the unofficial tagline for this season is "less rape, more masturbation."

One interesting change to this season is the inclusion of female writers which has added a new dynamic to the show.  Not that the women writers are any less apt to be crude, but they do offer some new points of view and experiences that they've drawn from.  Much like how the men's go-to sketches usually involve something like G.I. Joe, Transformers, or other 80's cartoons.  This season, there's now a sketch about Polly Pocket (which I've never heard of).  There's some very funny sketches this season and some of my favorites of this season include seeing a bitchy Dora the Explorer at age fifteen, G.I. Joe in Afghanistan, Scooby Doo and the gang getting a new member which happens to be Lisbeth Salander from The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo, Pink and the Brain's wild night out, and seeing Christopher Lloyd reprising his role as "Doc Brown" from Back to the Future.

Here's all of the episodes in this season set:
  • Executed by the State Season - In the Season 6 opener, the G.I. Joe operatives face a big challenge. Also: a look at vegetarianism; questions about the Starbucks logo; Orville Redenbacher's new role.
  • Crushed by a Steamroller on My 53rd Birthday - Featured: post-concert activities with Alvin and the Chipmunks; Mary Poppins' unusual behavior; the truth behind B.A.Baracus' distaste for flying; G.I. Joe's war experience.
  • Punctured Jugular - A look at a "Fast and Furious" sequel; a new role for Wilson from "Cast Away"; Scooby and the gang's newest member.
  • Poisoned by Relatives - Osama Bin Laden's end; "The Shirt Tales" gang in World War II; King Don's ruling style; overweight toons on a weight-loss show.
  • Hurtled From a Helicopter Into a Speeding Train - A "Lord of the Rings" spoof; more adventures with E.T.; a birthday gift for Ben 10; a new mission for Captain Planet.
  • Disemboweled by an Orphan - Gadget has a surprise in store; Frosty goes through a change; and two Eternia tourists witness a battle between He-Man and Skeletor.
  • In Bed Surrounded by Loved Ones - Included: a prank on Apache Chief; how the Lego people react to non-conformity; a look at a world without wolves; and the consequences of good times for Captain Kirk.
  • Choked on Multi-Colored Scarves - A new theme song is endless; the Nerd joins Team Fortress; She-Ra identifies with her horse; and Skeletor has a new plot to conquer Eternia.
  • Hemlock Gin and Juice - Dora the Explorer turns 15; Wall-E gets creative; the reason behind Angry Birds' rage is revealed; and Thomas the Tank Engine meets an explosive end.
  • Collateral Damage in Gang Turf War - E.T. takes over an ER; Harry Potter lands in a not-so-magical situation; the reason why Black Widow and Hawkeye remain part of the Avengers is revealed; and the characters encounter zombies.
  • Eviscerated Post-Coital by a Six Foot Mantis - Included: a new "Sesame Street" character; a video-game spending spree; Pinky and the Brain's night out; Rambo's encounter with guards.
  • Butchered in Burbank - Included: Monopoly in theaters; Dracula's dinner party; "The Little Mermaid" in New York; a new Dr. Seuss character.
  • Robot Chicken's ATM Christmas Special - Santa almost misses Christmas; Kano spends the holidays with Mrs. Cage; Justin Bieber releases a new song; and G.I. Joe has a special Christmas.
  • Papercut to Aorta - Spoofed: Rocky and Bullwinkle; Badtz-Maru; "The Hunger Games."
  • Caffeine-Induced Aneurysm - The truth behind "Airwolf"; the final episode of "iCarly"; a "Star Trek" song.
  • Eaten by Cats - The Teletubbies new roles as Power Rangers; Doc Brown's struggle with his time machine; 50 Cent's latest collaborator; a Lego person's birth.
  • Botched Jewel Heist - A meeting between Jason Voorhees and Michael Meyers; a rap for pescatarians; the future of holidays.
  • Robot Fight Accident - The Nerd becomes Little Red Riding Hood; the Avengers take Broadway; Archie stands up for himself; Harry Potter applies for college; and the next "Aliens" film is imagined.
  • Chocked on a Bottle Cap - Humping Robot attacks the Navy; an intervention is staged; the ThunderCats learn about heat; and the Animaniacs stop taking their meds.
  • Immortal - Writers-room antics with Oompa Loompas; a homecoming for Jesus; a new twist on "Cabin in the Woods."
Video (4 out of 5 stars)

This 1080p (1.78:1) transfer looks very good and it really shows off the colors within the show.  You will see every droplet of color in the urine, blood, vomit, and clothes and they all look fantastic.  The detail level is also very impressive and it's easy to see how much detail and effort goes into the character models, the clothes, and the sets.  The character models in particular have gotten a lot better with each season and they look much more like the person they are parodying. 

Audio (4 out of 5 stars)

"Robot Chicken's" Dolby TrueHD 5.1 mix is also better than you'd think it would be for a stop-motion television show.  The dialogue and sound effects are clear and completely uncensored which will probably take a lot of people by surprise as it can get pretty filthy.  Make sure that you aren't offended by profanity before watching this season. 

Extras (5 out of 5 stars)

There's a lot of special features here that runs the gamut of the usual behind the scenes footage to unique extras that only "Robot Chicken" provides.

  • The Making of Robot Chicken Season 6 - A behind the scenes look at the making of the show that covers just about every part of the production process including the animation, a look at the costumes and models, visual effects, voiceover sessions, and more.
  • Audio Commentaries - There's a commentary for all twenty episodes for this season with the participants including the creators and the writers.
  • They Came to Play - A look at the many stars that have either volunteered or were bribed or blackmailed to appear on the show.  At what a group of stars it is, as this season it includes: Elizabeth Banks, Sarah Chalke, Kat Dennings, Sam Elliott, Ben Foster, Whoopi Goldberg, Lucas Grabeel,Megan Hilty, Gillian Jacobs, Zachary Levi, J.B. Smoove, Liev Schreiber, Jon Stewart, Patrick Stewart, Stanley Tucci, Olivia Wilde, and Alex Winter.
  • Our First Ladies - A talk with "Robot Chicken's" female writers Rachel Bloom and Jessica Gao where they talk about how awesome they are in comparison to the male writers.
  • Kirkman on Kirkman -  "The Walking Dead" creator talks about his cameo in the show and his happiness at seeing his model meet the same gruesome fate as his characters.
  • Outtakes! - We see the actors flub lines and have fun.
  • My First Time - The first time actors for the show talk about how much fun they had doing the show for the first time.
  • The Dirt on Seth and Matt - The crew and writers joke about Seth Green and Matt Senreich and offer up bad info on the two.  We also hear how they met Seth Green.
  • The Inside Joke - This is appropriately labeled as it's a short sketch based on writer Mike Fasolo's preference to urinate sitting down.  It's hard to believe that they wasted the time, money, and resources on this and I'd recommend skipping it.
  • The Wilson Identity: From People to Puppets - Director Zeb Wells stages an action sequence with real people for the show to copy.
  • The Benefits of Robot Chicken - The writers talk about the benefits or lack thereof of working for the show.  It doesn't appear to be helping their love life.
  • Who the F*** is Zeb - We hear everyone's opinion of director Zeb Wells.
  • Post-Apocalyptic Future of Holidays - A look at the making of the Mad Max inspired holiday kill fest and how they filmed the background plates for the episode in the desert.
  • Channel Flips - We get over thirteen minutes of deleted animatics.
  • Chicken Nuggets - Here's some video commentary from the Robot Chicken crew but you have to keep hitting enter to access it. It's good stuff but a bad interface to use it.
  • Deleted Animatics - There's almost an hour of more deleted animatics with some that are decent and others that deserved to be cut.
Summary (4 out of 5 stars)

"Robot Chicken" is an acquired taste as it's so over the top and filled with questionable content that will not appeal to everyone.  While I think that the show spends too much time on bodily fluids and masturbation, I still find myself laughing at it often.  This Blu-ray set offers some great video and audio quality and a wealth of extras too.  If you like the show, then it's safe to say that you will enjoy this uncensored version even more.

Order your copy today!

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