Aqua Teen Hunger Force-Volume One (2000)

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Released 5-Apr-2007

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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Animation Audio Commentary-3 episodes
Featurette-San Diego Comic-Con Clip
Bonus Episode-Original "Rabbot" pilot
Rating Rated M
Year Of Production 2000
Running Time 187:08
RSDL / Flipper RSDL (57:45)
Dual Disc Set
Cast & Crew
Start Up Ads Then Menu
Region Coding 4 Directed By Matt Maiellaro
Dave Willis
Studio
Distributor
Cartoon Network
Madman Entertainment
Starring None Given
Case Custom Packaging
RPI ? Music Schooly-D
Jay Edwards
Edward Hastings


Video Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame Full Frame English Dolby Digital 2.0 (192Kb/s)
Widescreen Aspect Ratio None
16x9 Enhancement No
Video Format 576i (PAL)
Original Aspect Ratio 1.33:1 Miscellaneous
Jacket Pictures Yes
Subtitles English Smoking Yes
Annoying Product Placement No
Action In or After Credits No

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Plot Synopsis

Aqua Teen Hunger Force is the story of a quasi-superhero team of mutant fast-food items who occasionally save the world, but mostly just hang out (usually in their non-to-impressed neighbours pool). In fact, the further along the series gets, the more the save the world and solve Scooby Doo-esque mysteries is really just a sideline to the hanging out. This late night comedy 'toon is really all about the absurd dynamic between the various characters. Even the villains are more about lampooning particularly useless segments of society rather than being particularly evil.

The Aqua Teen Hunger Force team consists of three characters; Master Shake, an obnoxious and self-centred man-sized milkshake and the self-appointed "leader" of the team; Frylock, a super-intelligent floating carton of fries who has a goatee, can shoot fireballs from his eyes (and frequently does) and tends to do most of the actual mystery solving; and Meatwad, an innocent, child-sized, dim-witted meatball who just wants to dance most of the time. Their slovenly classic rock-loving neighbour Carl is also more or less on the side of good, in as much as he is usually on the receiving end of evil while the Aqua team misuse his stuff.

Each 12 minute episode follows a fairly standard pattern, the insane Dr. Weird inadvertently unleashes some unspeakable evil upon the world, that evil somehow manages to pester the Aqua team and the team somehow deal with the situation. The emphasis being deal with, these inept freak-foods will rarely save the day entirely!

Aqua Teen Hunger Force has more or less been the flagship for the Cartoon Network's late night "Adult Swim" brand since it was loosely spun off from an episode of Space Ghost: Coast to Coast in 2000. It also managed to spawn a limited-release movie (in the US at any rate) in early 2007. Like many of its' peers, is best enjoyed late at night and chemically enhanced (whatever your poison). As such, and somewhat more so than many other Adult Swim shows, Aqua Teen Hunger Force can be a bit of a mixed bag before 3 or 4 beers, but it's ridiculous brand of gonzo humour is guaranteed for a laugh after them.

This first season set consists of the following episodes:

  1. Rabbot - A perfume soaked giant robotic rabbit escapes from Dr Weird's lab and begins coating the city with hair, after ingesting a miraculous hair growth formula.
  2. Escape from Leprechaupolis - Three evil leprechauns start an internet pyramid scheme to lure naive people the the local park with the promise of gold, where they can kidnap using a rainbow generating machine and steal their shoes. Unsurprisingly, Shake and Carl take the bait.
  3. Bus of the Undead - Mothmonsterman is attracted to the Aqua Signal, a set of bright lights set up by Shake, after he escapes from Dr Weird's lab. Hiding aboard a school bus, he tries to threaten the Aqua team into leaving the lights on, but Shake and Meatwad become convinced the threats are coming from the bus itself (which is probably haunted by the ghost of Dracula).
  4. Mooninites - The sinister two dimensional Mooninites, Ignignokt and Err (who look half-way between ghosts from Pac-man and Space Invaders), come to Earth and befriend Meatwad. They soon lead him into a life of shoplifting, loitering and boozing - to Shake's indifference and Frylock's despair.
  5. Balloonenstein - After spending three days in the tumble dryer due to a prank by Shake, Meatwad becomes dangerously electrically charged. Frylock's attempts to remove the charge only create a more sinister menace, Balloonenstein - a giant statically charged balloon floating away of it's own free will.
  6. Space Conflict from Beyond Pluto - Two spiky Plutonians lure Frylock to a barbecue in space, only for Frylock to discover that it is part of a misguided plot to take over the earth.
  7. Ol' Drippy - All the crud in the Aqua Teen Hunger Force's kitchen seeps together to form a sentient creature that becomes known as Ol' Drippy (voiced by acclaimed director Todd Field). The amazingly friendly Ol' Drippy soon becomes more popular than Shake, who sets about his destruction.
  8. Revenge of the Mooninites - The no-good Mooninites attempt to take control of the Earth using a belt they have acquired, using tokens at the local arcade, that holds all the power of the band Foreigner.
  9. MC P Pants - MC P Pants, the hottest new rapper in town (who is really a giant satanic spider), mesmerises Meatwad and Carl into helping him drill a hole straight to hell.
  10. Dumber Dolls - Meatwad's home made toy dolls are replaced by a manically depressed, substance abusing "Happy Time Harry" whose jaded world view soon gets the better of those around him.
  11. Bad Replicant - The Plutonians return and kidnap Master Shake, replacing him with their own replicant "Major Shake". Unfortunately, the replicant looks more like a melted bit of plastic than the real Shake and he isn't really down with the whole taking over the world thing.
  12. Circus - Shake sells Meatwad to the local freak circus for some quick cash, but becomes incredibly jealous when Meatwad becomes a star.
  13. Love Mummy - Frylock and Meatwad discover a mummy living under their house and become his slaves, for fear that he will curse them if they don't do everything he says.
  14. Dumber Days - When Meatwad loses his brain, Frylock gives him a new one that makes him super intelligent - and super-sized.
  15. Interfection - While surfing the net in Frylock's room, Shake inadvertently unleashes a trail of pop-up windows that invade the real world. Frylock tracks the messages to an evil digital entity known as the WWW.YYZERDD.COM.
  16. PDA - Shake takes the Aqua team on a wild goose chase for the PDA he probably never really had.

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Transfer Quality

Video

The show is presented in its original 1.33:1 aspect ratio.

The video is generally of a high standard, but suffers from interlacing artefacts that occasionally lead to mild aliasing. The interlacing isn't too noticeable, however, due to the simple nature of the animation. The some of the characters in the first episode appear slightly pixelated, but this appears to be an artefact of the animation rather than the transfer.

The show also makes use of a lot of cheaply recycled backgrounds from other shows that frequently appear in poor focus, but this does not result in any unpleasant MPEG artefacts or undue low level noise. The main characters and focal objects are quite sharp.

The show has a rather bright, and occasionally garish, colour palette that has made an accurate transition to DVD.

The English subtitles are a bold yellow colour. They appear to be well-timed and accurate.

This is a RSDL disc. The layer change occurs between episodes at 57:52 on the first disc and 57:45 on the second.

Video Ratings Summary
Sharpness
Shadow Detail
Colour
Grain/Pixelization
Film-To-Video Artefacts
Film Artefacts
Overall

Audio

There is one English Dolby Digital 2.0 (192 Kbps) audio track available.

The dialogue is clear and easily understandable throughout and appears to be in good sync (as good as you could expect from a cartoon, at any rate).

The music sounds great on this soundtrack, particularly the theme by rap legend (and part-time narrator) Schooly D. There is a lot of dynamic range in the mix. The music sounds crystal clear and plenty of bass is pushed to the subwoofer.

There is no discernable surround usage in the mix.

Audio Ratings Summary
Dialogue
Audio Sync
Clicks/Pops/Dropouts
Surround Channel Use
Subwoofer
Overall

Extras

Rabbot Original Pilot Episode (15:05)

The original pilot episode for the show that would later form the basis for the first episode. The animation is poor, occasionally heavily pixelated and, in a handful of cases, incomplete, but the jokes hold up pretty well. The episode itself starts in a fairly similar fashion to the aired version of Rabbot, but diverges quite a bit in some of the later parts. It is also worth watching to see some of the original character designs that were heavily changed later on.

Commentary for Rabbot, Space Conflict from Beyond Pluto, and Mooninites

Commentary on Rabbot and Space Conflict from Beyond Pluto is provided by creators Matt Maiellaro and Dave Willis. Commentary on Mooninites is provided by most of the voice cast, including Dana Snyder and Carey Means.

None of the commentaries are terribly inspired. They are occasionally funny, but mostly add up to little more than filler - the voice cast commentary even goes as far as to question who would ever want to watch an Aqua Teen Hunger Force episode and why (their best guess being their own mothers...).

San Diego Comic-Con Clip (3:52)

Master Shake hosts a clip previewing his vision for the second season of the show. This clip is pretty much as funny as a four minute version of the show, but relies on a lot of in-jokes.

R4 vs R1

NOTE: To view non-R4 releases, your equipment needs to be multi-zone compatible and usually also NTSC compatible.

The Region 4 release is nearly identical to the Region 1 release, but appears to be missing a handful of rather amusing Easter eggs - enough to make the Region 1 version the version of choice.

Summary

A must have for late night cartoon fans, but best left on the shelf by anyone that likes their shows to make a lick of sense.

The video and audio quality are good. The extras are sparse, but worthwhile.

Ratings (out of 5)

Video
Audio
Extras
Plot
Overall

© Adam Gould (Totally Biolicious!)
Thursday, May 17, 2007
Review Equipment
DVDLG V8824W, using S-Video output
DisplayLG 80cm 4x3 CRT. Calibrated with THX Optimizer. This display device is 16x9 capable.
Audio DecoderPioneer VSX-D512. Calibrated with Video Essentials/Digital Video Essentials.
AmplificationPioneer VSX-D512
Speakers150W DTX front speakers, and a 100W centre and 2 surrounds, 12 inch PSB Image 6i powered sub

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