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"Robot Chicken" Season 6 Blu-ray Review - Page 2 of 2

Robot Chicken: Season 6 Blu-ray Disc cover art -- click to buy from Amazon.com Robot Chicken: Season Six (2012-13)
Show & Blu-ray Disc Details

Creators: Seth Green, Matthew Senreich / Director: Zeb Wells

Head Writers: Doug Goldstein, Tom Root / Writers: Matthew Beans, Mike Fasolo, Seth Green, Matthew Senreich, Zeb Wells, Jason Reich, Rachel Bloom, Jessica Gao, Mehar Sethi, Breckin Meyer, Erik Weiner, Tom Sheppard

Regular Voice Cast: Seth Green (The Nerd, E.T., Cobra Commander, Mario, Roadblock, Shipwreck, Flint, Gargamel, Hulk, Walt Disney, Chip, Dale, Panthro, Adolf Hitler, Bruce Sato, Gordon Bowker, Inspector Gadget, Captain America, Simon Seville, Dave Seville, Faceman, Lonnie Peppers, Jacob Black, Robbie Sinclair, Scooby-Doo, Buffalo Bill, Catherine Martin, Dominic Toretto, Brian O'Conner, Dr. Elefun, Guile, M. Bison, Starscream, Bogey Orangutan, Jen, Aughra, Winnie the Pooh, Garfield, Captain Planet, Wheeler, Ma-Ti, Ben Tennyson, Aragorn, Elliott, The Thing, General Spidrax, Paul Atreides, Bo Duke, Cringer, Mr. Miyagi, The Punisher, Ironhide, Gruffi Gummi, Cubbi Gummi, Scotty, Apache Chief, Wizard of Oz, Scarecrow, Dr. Dave Bowman, Max Kenton, Backpack, The Map, Mr. Marquez, Dr. Richard Kimble, Samuel Gerard, Iceman, Kool-Aid Man, Mayor of Sodor, Harold the Helicopter, Daniel Gyro-Robo, Swedish Chef, Thor, Flounder, Waluigi, Bullet Bill, Jareth the Goblin King, Toby Williams, Oscar the Grouch, Vietnamese General, Kevin Flynn, Master Control Program, Streex, The Robot, Dracula, Sebastian, Buzz Lightyear, Cat in the Hat, Johnny Cage, The Grinch, Rocket J. Squirrel, Bullwinkle J. Moose, Sherman, Waldorf, Easter Bunny, Spencer Shay, Stringfellow Hawke, Skylar Deleon, Tommy, Hansel, Gretel, Alpha 5, Tinky Winky, Dipsy, Po, Mjolnir, Marty McFly, Cheer Bear, PaRappa the Rapper, Chop Chop Master Onion, WilyKat, Mickey Mouse, Goofy, Beast, Uncle Remus, Mr. Peanut, Ben Stiller, William Tell, Grizzly Adams, Auntie Em, Old Rose DeWitt Bukater, Jack Sadelstein, Jill Sadelstein, The Bill, Elroy Jetson, Astro, Rosie the Robot, Loki, Dr. Claw, M.A.D. Cat, Cookie Monster, Commander Stone, Hopper, Dr. Nogrady, Waddle Dee, Bil, Not Me, Jaga, Himself, Batman, Anton Ego, Luther, Holden McCrea, Mitch Robbins, Hooters Owl, and others), Matthew Senreich (Jerry Baldwin, Sanderson, Boromir, Shevitz, Albert Narracott, Styracosaurus, Big Slammu, Mr. Peabody, Smurf, Man, Lego Man, The Prince, Brock Lovett, Corn Doctor, Nerd's Nephew, Tygra, Earth, Himself, others)

Multi-Episode Guest Voices: Breckin Meyer (Superman, Jesus Christ, California Raisin, Frosty the Snowman, King Randor, Timmy, Percy the Small Engine, Munson, Michelangelo, Luigi, Whammy, Jokey Smurf, VH1 Announcer, Marty Mikalski, Samson, Oompa Loompa others), Abraham Benrubi (Optimus Prime, Tummi Gummi, Bill the Lego Man, Bowser, Col. Samuel Trautman, Oscar's Brother), Dan Milano (Skeletor, Steven Spielberg, Papa Smurf, Boris Badenov, Statler, others), Skeet Ulrich (Duke, Alex Sector, Gary Redenbacher, Kano, others), Zeb Wells (Sagat, Segway, "Fattest Fat Loser" Announcer, Crypt Keeper, Larry, Himself, Curt Vaughan, Alfredo Linguini, Hobo), Eden Espinosa (Princess Adora, She-Ra, Judy Jetson, Little Red Riding Hood, Rihanna, Barbie, Thelma), Seth MacFarlane (Lion-O, Santa Claus, Announcer, Admiral Shane, Ken Carson, others), Tom Root (Beast Man, Hammond, Luke Duke, Tintin, Snarf, Yoshi, Predator, others), Quinton Flynn (Sir Topham Hatt, Swiper the Fox, Shield, Remy, Curly Washburn, others), Patrick Pinney (Prince Adam, He-Man, Monterey Jack, He-Man, Charlie Kenton, War Horse), Fred Tatasciore (Captain James T. Kirk, Dr. McCoy, Gorn, Rabbit, John Rambo, others), Rachel Bloom (Optimus Prime's Trailer, Orion Slave Girl, Ariel, others), Laura Ortiz (Dora Marquez, Rosie the Small Engine, Pammy Panda, Laa-Laa), Clare Grant (Kendra, Courtney, Mermaid, others), Stan Lee (Himself, Angry Driver)

Single-Episode Guest Stars: see bottom of Page 1 / Running Time: 223 Minutes (20 episodes) / Rating: TV-MA-L

1.78:1 Widescreen / Dolby TrueHD 5.1 (English) / Subtitles: English for Hearing Impaired; Extras Not Subtitled
Season 6 Originally Aired September 16, 2012 to February 17, 2013
Suggested Retail Price: $39.99 / Blu-ray Release Date: October 8, 2013
Single-sided, dual-layered disc (BD-50) / Blue Eco-Friendly Keepcase in Cardboard Slipcover
Also available on DVD ($29.98 SRP), Instant Video, and Instant Video HD

Buy Robot Chicken: Season 6 at Amazon.com: Blu-ray DVD Instant Video Instant Video HD

Mario and Luigi's wealth from a box that keeps spitting out coins proves to be sadly short-lived.

VIDEO and AUDIO

Produced in HD and sporting some of Adult Swim's strongest animation, "Robot Chicken" looks absolutely terrific on Blu-ray. The 1.78:1 widescreen visuals leave nothing to be desired, presenting the show (which, as always, takes a shortcut with CG-animated mouth movements) at its very best. The Dolby TrueHD 5.1 soundtracks likewise leave nothing to be desired, staying crisp and clear at all times, and occasionally getting suitably cinematic as needed. Both the picture and sound are entirely uncensored, sharing plenty of profanity, violence, and sex presumably too racy for Adult Swim. English SDH subtitles are included.

We get a look at a hot set in "Making of Season 6." Rachel Bloom and Jessica Gao discuss becoming the show's first female writers in "Our First Ladies."

BONUS FEATURES

As is the "Robot Chicken" way, this Season 6 Blu-ray is loaded with extras, beginning with an audio commentary for all twenty episodes. Almost all of them feature creators Seth Green and/or Matthew Senreich alongside an episode-specific assembly of writers, voice actors, and director Zeb Wells. As expected, these are lively sessions full of laughter and observation,
and plenty of tangents like talk of the atmosphere during the making of Green's Without a Paddle. Curiously, the commentary briefly goes silent but not frequently.

Video extras, all encoded in HD, are arranged to five deep sections, each nicely fitted with a "Play All" section.

Featurettes opens with "Making of Season 6" (10:08), which lives up to its title and classification. It serves up many behind-the-scenes looks at animation, the voice recordings, and the visual effects, as long as an abundance of comments from cast and crew.

"The Wilson Identity: From People to Puppets" (1:33) shows Zeb Wells staging an action sequence with assistants for animator reference. "They Came to Play" (5:35) shows us voice cast members from 50 Cent to Stan Lee recording lines on their own and having fun doing it. "Our First Ladies" (6:15) chats with and about Rachel Bloom and Jessica Gao, the show's newly-hired first female writers, along with looks at the writers' room.

Jon Bernthal recalls how Seth Green landed him a backstage concert pass on a dark night. Crew members hit the desert to film live-action plates in "Post-Apocalyptic Future of Holidays."

"Kirkman on Kirkman" (2:26) allows "The Walking Dead" creator Robert Kirkman to discuss his experience of voicing himself on the show. "Outtakes!" (3:53) shows us unused ad libs and bits by the cast in the recording studio. "My First Time..." (1:43) collects brief thoughts on the experience from new guest stars. "The Dirt on Seth & Matt" (2:23) gathers cast member stories about how they met Seth Green.

"The Inside Joke" (2:00) makes sense of a sketch poking fun at writer Mike Fasolo's preference to urinate sitting down. "The Benefits of Robot Chicken" (3:31) has the crew weigh in on the perks or lack thereof of working on the show. "Who the F*** is Zeb?" (6:14) has the crew discuss Zeb Wells, who is seen at work as the series' regular director. "Post-Apocalyptic Future of Holidays" (4:54) takes us behind-the-scenes of the Mad Max-inspired sequence, which required the filming the desert for live-action plates and then merging them with the animation.

"Deleted Channel Flips" (13:10) are presented in animatics. They're short and some are clever enough to warrant being preserved and shown in this way.

Creators Matthew Senreich and Seth Green interrupt select episodes dozens of times in "Chicken Nuggets" mode. Pac-Man's colorful colonic is one of the Blu-ray's five short, fully-animated deleted scenes.

Three of the twenty episodes are treated to "Chicken Nuggets", which place a graphic onscreen over just about every sketch
(multiple ones over longer sketches) that can take you to short bit of video commentary from the creators and writers. It's good content, but the design is sorely lacking. Who wants to keep pressing "Enter" and go back and forth? They really should just present the material with BD's picture-in-picture feature. Green and Senreich discuss "Executed..." and "Immortal", with director Wells joining them on the latter. Wells and head writer Doug Goldstein trade barbs on "Christmas Special."

Five short fully-animated deleted scenes (2:40) are presented with introductions by different pairings of Goldstein, Wells, Green, Tom Root, and Matt Beans. They offer a Thumper airport bathroom arrest, a Pac-Man colonic, an alternate Richard Kimble jump in The Fugitive, and a giraffe skeleton excavation. They're not great.

Pixar's WALL-E is one of many characters to end up in the Deleted Animatics section. The opening titles' mad scientist serves as the Blu-ray's static main menu. Highlight his eye for an Easter egg.

Thirty-seven Deleted Animatics (55:13) give us longer sequences that were written but cut, all of them introduced and their incompletion explained. That this many bits were conceived without materializing shows that much work goes into "Robot Chicken" and that it's all preserved here suggests they won't recycle discarded ideas but they think enough of these and their fans to include them here. Casualties include the Sweet Valley High twins, Indiana Jones, the Smurfs' meeting with President Reagan, Tim Tebow, two additional Oompa Loompa sketches, the Winnie the Pooh gang, WALL-E, bipolar Animaniacs, a Looney Tunes hospital, and Paula Abdul's awkward date with the family of MC Skat Kat, her "Opposites Attract" music video love interest.

Finally, the easily spotted Easter egg "Bush Politics" (1:00) shows us a last-minute decision to trim the pubic hair of a doll in the season's Spartacus sketch.
Digging around the disc I encountered other short videos that seemed to be inaccessible by menu, though I couldn't tell you how to find them there.

MENUS, PACKAGING and DESIGN

The main menu is a static image of the mad scientist, over which the opening theme song plays. Though the disc does not allow you to set bookmarks (a feature that would have been welcome here), it does kindly resume playback just as a DVD does. Each episode is divided into three chapter stops, allowing quick skipping of the opening and closing credits.

Season 6 is housed in an eco-friendly blue keepcase whose back lists all the disc's episodes and bonus features. That case is topped by a five-sided slipcover with different artwork on it. Warner extends its standard Blu-ray inclusion of UltraViolet to this season with a unique redemption code. The other insert features a picture of the Big Bad Wolf version of The Nerd.

PaRappa the Rapper (remember him?) surprisingly holds his own in a Robot Chicken rap battle. Snack cake King Ding Dong is sentenced to death.

CLOSING THOUGHTS

"Robot Chicken"'s brand of sexual and scatalogical comedy does not comfortably align with my own sense of humor, but its generational pop culture targets are generally of interest. While never hitting enough for me to enthusiastically recommend, this hit-and-miss sketch series does produce sporadic laughs from its depictions. They aren't always the smartest laughs and they may be separated by bathroom gags that don't amuse, but they're enough to render this fast-paced show consistently entertaining.

The picture and sound on this Season 6 Blu-ray leave absolutely nothing to be desired and the wealth of bonus features adds considerable replay value, especially for those who have already seen all these episodes and are eager to revisit them.

Buy Robot Chicken: Season 6 at Amazon.com: Blu-ray / DVD / Instant Video / Instant Video HD

Buy from Amazon.com

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Season Overview and Episode Synopses

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Reviewed October 8, 2013.



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