HTS Moderator , Reviewer
Title: Robot Chicken: Christmas Specials
HTS Overall Score:72
What better way to say “Merry Christmas!” than with a compilation of “Robot Chicken” Christmas specials. Unless you’ve been living under a rock you’ve heard of “Robot Chicken”. They’re Adult Swim’s version of “Family Guy” in terms of style and popularity (and even was started by “Family Guy” regular, Seth Green and sees cameos of Seth McFarlane as Santa himself). The show is about irreverent harsh as they come, but it’s downright hysterical with millions of viewers worldwide can’t get enough of it. They were really boosted to popularity when they did “Robot Chicken: Star Wars” and reached a level of fan parody that some shows can even dream about. Even “Family Guy Star Wars” has to take a bow and conceded to Robot Chicken’s level of achievement (even making a reference to it in their own show). Now Cartoon network has gone and created a compilation of 6 of the best Christmas specials done by the show.
“Robot Chicken” is basically a stop motion sketch comedy show, featuring a dozen or so different skits within the 15 minute show run time. They comedy fires fast and furious with little to no Segway between each skit other than the creators thought they were funny. The Christmas specials from 2006-2012 fall under the same style of filming and usually have Seth McFarlane coming in to guest star as Santa Clause for his skits. The six Christmas specials on the disc are in full swing, showing the change and maturation of the show as it aged over the years. The first one or two specials were funny, but you could tell they were still figuring out their groove and it becomes more obvious as the specials go on. Each one getting smoother and smoother, and funnier to the point where I was hocking up a lung near the 2/3 mark on the disc.
The skits vary in style and humor, but they are almost always side splitting in nature. The famed “Batman smells” skit is included and I still laugh just as hard watching it years late as I did on TV back in the day. Santa visiting soldiers in World War II is an old favorite and the opening skit with Santa beating up an entire board room meeting of Coca Cola executives will get you in the mood for Christmas (ok, maybe not get you in the mood for Christmas, but it will at least have you laughing till Christmas). I’m usually not a fan of compilations, as I’m more of a complete season type of person, but the compilation of all the Christmas specials just works. They are all the proper theme, they flow nicely (well, as well as any episode of “Robot Chicken” can actually FLOW) and it’s very reasonably priced.
The show has always had a ton of cameos and these specials are no different. We have stars like Ashton Kutcher, Dax Shepard, MaCaulay Culkin, Seth McFarlane, Christian Slater and many more for the hour of show that you get on the disc. Seth McFarlane is the big one here, as he makes multiple appearances over the years as Santa Claus and his “Stan Smith” voice that he uses for Santa is downright perfect for the mean jerk that he is (in the specials that is). I laughed from beginning to end and have to say that if you don’t own the series, and just love the specials these are a perfect way to get into the show. The Batman skit is worth the price of admission alone.
[img]http://www.hometheatershack.com/gallery/file.php?n=34473[/img]The DVD looks quite good considering the lower end animation style, and it’s only real fault is being SD in an HD world. Colors are nice and bright, ranging from richly saturated primaries, to some duller shades of blue and grey in a few of the skits. I never had an issue with digital manipulation, as the haloing and macroblocking that was present in the Cartoon Network discs isn’t prevalent here. Black levels are nice and inky with some decent shadow detail. Same goes for the fine detail as you can see the fibers and flaws in some of the puppets used for the stop motion. It’s a pleasing looking transfer and with only 55 minutes of content it is given plenty of bitrate to breath.
[img]http://www.hometheatershack.com/gallery/file.php?n=34481[/img]I would have expected a 2.0 stereo track like many other animated shows out there, but the specials were given a nice 5.1 track to give it that little bit of immersion. The dialogue is still the mainstay of the show and it does the job quite nicely, giving some subtle hints of panning across the front stage and well balanced with the rest of the track. There’s some nice LFE punch in a few instances and a weighty feeling all throughout the show. The surrounds are a bit light in the loafers, but that is to be expected since it’s not exactly a show that requires it. Still there is some nice surround usage with some of the sound effects and the musical numbers fill out those back channels quite nicely.
• Deleted Scenes
• Deleted Animatics
• Long-forgotten Promos
I’m a huge, HUGE fan of “Robot Chicken” and have loved just about every bit of the twisted series from the moment it came out. For those of you who don’t like language in their shows, they might want to steer clear as it does have the uncensored audio track on the disc, but fans of the show, or people who love Seth McFarlane style comedy should definitely give the disc a buy. The audio and video look and sound quite good for DVD and the extras gave me a solid chuckle. Definitely recommended for fans.
Starring: Seth Green, Breckin Meyer, Matthew Seinreich
Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1 / 1.37:1 MPEG2
Audio: English: Dolby Digital 5.1
Studio: Warner Brothers
Runtime: 55 Minutes
DVD Release Date: November 18th, 2014
Buy Robot Chicken: Christmas Specials DVD on Amazon
Recommendation: Watch It
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