Wednesday, April 30, 2008

DVD Review

When Cartoon Network's Adult Swim began producing shows to fit a fifteen minute time slot I chalked it up to the dwindling attention span of the internet generation. I've since revised that assessment after having seen and fallen in love with shows like Robot Chicken, Metalocalypse and (most importantly) Frisky Dingo. These shows are the animated equivalent of frozen concentrated orange juice, packing more laughs into a quarter hour of broadcast time (less without commercials) than should be allowed by law.

The first season of Frisky Dingo recently hit the DVD racks. The animation is simple, presumably produced in Adobe Flash, and reminiscent of the limited animation shows that populated Saturday morning TV back in the 70's (yes, I was there). The design work often includes photo backgrounds that have been Photoshopped to hell and back to look like drawings, and character designs that often look like they have been traced over photos of real people.

Our story opens as the nefarious Killface is recording a video which he hopes will strike terror into the heart of... well, pretty much everybody. He has built a doomsday device called The Annihilatrix that, when activated, will push the Earth directly into the sun. Why does he want to do this? Who the hell knows? Meanwhile, a superhero named Awesome X has rid the city (which is never named) of the last super villain, leaving his civilian alter ego multi-millionaire Xander Crews free to run the family company. Crews doesn't want to give up the superhero game, though, and he wants to focus the company's assetts on manufacturing Awesome X action figures. When it's pointed out that he'll need a villain to make the toy line cell, Crews sets out to get Killface to sign over his likeness rights.

To say the story meanders is an understatement on the same scale as saying "Hitler was naughty." Killface runs into financial troubles, there's a keyboard with an ant farm built into it, we discover why super heroes and villains alike should have medical insurance for their minions, and Xander Crews spends several episodes buck naked with a wig glued to his head. The show is magnificently weird, and one of the most consistently funny things on TV in recent years. The first season is on DVD, with Season 2 available through ITunes (as Killface helpfully reminds us at one point when he's too busy to summarize previous episodes). Here's hoping for a Season 3. You can watch full episodes of a Frisky Dingo and lots of other Adult Swim programming by going here, and you can check out and Ode to Killface below:

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