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Category:    Home > Reviews > Animation > Comedy > Satire > Adult Swim In A Box (Sealab 2021: S. 2/Metalocalypse: S. 1/Robot Chicken: S. 2/Space Ghost Coast to Coast: S. 3/Morel Orel: S. 1 + Aqua Teen Hunger Force: V. 2) + Xavier Sea. 1 & 2 (Adult Swim DVD)

Adult Swim In A Box - Cash Grab [Sealab 2021: Season 2 + Metalocalypse: Season 1 + Robot Chicken: Season 2 + Space Ghost Coast to Coast: Season 3 + Morel Orel: Season 1 + Aqua Teen Hunger Force: Volume 2 + New: Pilots] + Xavier: Seasons 1 & 2 (Cartoon Network/Adult Swim/Warner DVD)


Picture: B/B-/B-/B-/B/B/B-     Sound: B-     Extras: B     Episodes: A-/B-/B-/B/B/A-/B-


We have reviewed quite a number of Adult Swim series here at FulvueDrive-in, but oddly enough none (with the exception of Metalocalypse: Season 1) that are included in this new Adult Swim in a Box – Cash Grab set.  The set overall is wonderful as it features some of the best series to ever appear on the network and leaves out the other junk like Tom Goes to Mayor or 12oz Mouse.  It took me a while to figure out why the box set was arranged as it was; looking above you can see the sets included are a random assortment of seasons.  In the end, I believe the creators of the set chose the best seasons of the series to include here.  Not only are fans new and old getting a taste of what the network has to offer in one foul swoop, but also in a manner that picked out the cream of the crop.  I won’t bore readers by reiterating all the sets listed above, but just know these are the best the series had to offer; or I could be completely wrong and it was whatever was stock piled in the warehouse *shrug.*


I have sung the praises of Adult Swim time and time again; and nothing has changed to date.  Whereas the series on the network have theirs highs and lows, overall I am consistently impressed and entertained.  Adult Swim delivers the type of laugh til you cry creative entertainment that is unlike anything else.  The series are each edgy in their own unique way; none of which are the same.


If I had to rank the series in this set from best to worst (though all are amazing) it would be as follows:

  1. Aqua Teen Hunger Force
  2. Sealab 2021
  3. Space Ghost Coast to Coast
  4. Moral Orel
  5. Metalocalypse
  6. Robot Chicken


This ranking system is mainly being based on rewatchability, creativity and artistic direction.  Adult Swim is surely not for everybody, with its odd and offbeat humor, but I have to say I have not found many people who have given the series a creative chance not love it; young or old, male or female.


The set would make a great gift and whereas some may be off put by “not starting from the beginning,” no set included here truly has a continuous storyline that requires consecutive episode viewing.  I would imagine that the studio should be more worried that fans who already bought these series (as they were previously released) would not be willing to repurchase the large set here just to obtain the original pilot episodes (never before released).

I understand that putting arguably the best seasons of each series into this set was a good choice; but perhaps the network would have been better releasing Adult Swim volumized sets that included the first season or volume of each series; also including exclusive extras.  That would have looked much better on fans shelves and made the urge to repurchase much more compelling.


Sealab 2021: Season 2

Sealab 2021 is a series that (like other Adult Swim series) utilized recycled footage from an older series entitled Sealab 2020.  Oh what a difference a year makes; as the multi-ethnic crew of Sealab have seemingly lost their minds, each episode usually revolving around the exploits of the insane Captain Murphy (voiced by Harry Goz).  Harry Goz sadly passed away a few years back now and in turn left a huge void in the series; ultimately leading to its cancellation.  Goz was the heart and soul of the series as his voice talent propelled each creatively designed episode.


Season Two was clearly the best Sealab 2021 had to offer as it featured such classic episodes as “Bizzaro,” “Tinfins,” and “Fuse Box.” Each episode was unique and will have you buckled over laughing.


A great series that I am sad to say is no more.


Metalocalypse: Season 1

**Follow the links listed below


Robot Chicken: Season 2

Robot Chicken is the brainchild of Family Guy alum Seth Green; who admittedly is obsessed with collecting and making action figures.  Robot Chicken I find enjoyable, but I feel the short segments are extremely hit or miss and lack a rewatchable quality.  I enjoy the series more from a nostalgia standpoint; as I love classic action figures and many of the 70’s-90’s references.  I just hate to think how many action figures were destroyed for the production of all these episodes.


For those who are unfamiliar with the series, Robot Chicken essentially creates short clips of classic characters and real life personalities getting into odd situations that are beyond insane.  It is done in a stop-start animation technique that is very creative, but not my favorite as much of the time the sketches are ‘misses,’ because like series such as SNL where for every 1 classic scene there are 20 ‘blah’ sequences.


Worth a watch, but not the best Adult Swim has to offer.


Space Ghost Coast to Coast: Season 3

Space Ghost is absurd insanity and I can’t get enough of it!  The series ran from 1994-2004; with the Season presented here being 24 of its most hilarious episodes.  The series was completely unpredictable and you never quite knew what to expect as old stock footage was utilized and guest stars ran rampant.


The guest star interview segments are brilliant exercises in editing; in which seemingly normal statements are taken out of context in post-production to give Space Ghost his nonsensical edge.  Space Ghost was the starting point for all Adult Swim insanity as Space Ghost’s unhinged persona unleashes on his guest stars, fellow cast members and anything within reach of his laser.


The series has great writing, a solid voice cast and a premise that has been a launching point for other great series such as Harvey Birdman and Sealab 2021.  Season 3 is the epitome of what Space Ghost has to offer and fans will surely not be disappointed.


Moral Orel: Season 1

A series canceled before its time, Moral Orel originally aired on December 13, 2005 and ended its run on December 18, 2008.  The series only lasted 3 satirically dark seasons, but left fans wanting more.  Viewers were caught so off guard by the sometimes subtle and sometimes blatant messages the series had to offer that it was suspected to be an Adult Swim joke.  The series quickly caught on and each week fans were treated to a trip to Moralton where values were skewed and life was never as peach as the townspeople would liked it to appear.


The show was a brilliant mix of deep satire, creative writing, stop-motion art and dark comedy.  The series most likely failed in the end because it was too edgy and smart; even the open to anything Adult Swim initially banned several episodes, only to later air them without trouble.


Season One generally focused on Orel hearing a church sermon and taking it way too much to heart; causing him to have a variety of misadventures that were not only obscene, but offensive to the faint of heart.  Moral Orel never attempted to do blatant gross outs or crude for the sake of crude (contrary to what many have suggested), but rather each segment was strategically planned to conduct a commentary on modern society as well as the religious right that has often plagued the media with its demands and absurdities.


As long as you aren’t unnecessarily or easily offended Moral Orel is a fun exercise in exploring our world in a somewhat barbaric and crude manner.


Aqua Teen Hunger Force: Volume 2

The 2002-2003 Season of Aqua Teen Hunger Force is once again the height of what the series has to offer and is by far one of my favorite series runs.  I have sung the praises of Aqua Teen time and time again and can be viewed in the links listed below.  As previously mentioned this is Aqua Teen at its best and after Volume 3 OR 4 I can see the series showing a bit of wear, though it is still wonderful.


The band of nonsensical food products seem to get themselves into trouble constantly, always ending up worse than could ever have been imagined; somewhat like the cast of Its Always Sunny in Philadelphia…bad ideas, gone worse.  The show is creative, concise and baffling.  There is never a dull moment and you will often find yourself quoting the series inadvertently.


Pilots (never before released)

Consisting of:

  1. The Best for Totally Teens
    1. Like the now canceled Wonder Showzen; this series takes the “after school special” to an odd place that for the most part is boring and uninspiring.
  2. Cheyenne Cinnamon and the Fantabulous Unicorn of Sugar Town Candy Fudge
    1. A computer animated creation by the guys over at Aqua Teen that follows around the delusional and slutty Cheyenne; the series is quick and forgettable.
  3. Korgoth of Barbaria
    1. WOW! How was this series not picked up!? Adult Swim missed out and so did viewers as this insanely inventive, violent and well designed series takes off like a rocket.  A must own for sure as it is a lost treasure for sure.
  4. Perfect Hair Forever
    1. A series that had a short run (unlike the others here, which are only a pilot), but was ultimately a failure as it desperately tried to be Aqua Teen without the creativity or charisma.
  5. Welcome to Eltingville
    1. From the creative minds of Evan Dorkin and Sarah Dryer the series never had a chance, though it deserved one.  I feel the series (based on the couples comic Dork) started off here quite dry, but given time it could have developed into something great.  Guess we will never know.



The pilot episodes listed above are for series that have failed or have yet to be released on DVD.  For the most part I will say, I can see why these series have never been released; as they fall in the same vein as the idiotic nature of 12oz Mouse or Tom Goes to Mayor.  There are a couple of gems, but for the most part like “deleted scenes” from a film, nothing is lost here.


The picture, sound and extras for these sets all follow a common Adult Swim format and for the most part are very well done.  According to how the series are produced and their age the quality varies, but all in all they are great presentations.  The stop-motion animation styles of Moral Orel and Robot Chicken’s causes the image quality to suffer a bit (due to the manner in which it was filmed), but not by much. The picture on each of the sets is presented in a clear, crisp, and bright 1.33 X 1 full screen and though this reviewer would hope for eventual anamorphic widescreen releases, the full screen is nice enough since it is the original aspect ratio.  The only image that differs is Metalocalypse (originally broadcast in widescreen) is shamefully presented in chopped down letterbox format, taking away from the careful design of the series.  The sound is also clean and crisp in its Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereos and treats the series well.  Aqua Teen gets a slight upgrade over the other series with its nice Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround track that is only a minor upgrade.  It would have been nicer to hear a surround on Metalocalypse.


The extras are the same on all the sets as they were originally released; each with varying amounts of commentaries, interviews, deleted scenes and featurettes.


For a look back at previous reviews this site has done on Adult Swim series, please follow the links below:


Robot Chicken: Star Wars – Episode 2



Aqua Teen Hunger Force: Volume 5



Aqua Teen Hunger Force: Volume 6 + Metalocalypse: Season 2 + Frisky Dingo: Season 2



Metalocalypse: Season 1




Once again, I feel this is a wonderful set and an even better gift for someone who has yet to experience the brilliance of Adult Swim.  Each series has something new and uniquely stunning to offer.  Even with some episodes or series being better than others, you will never be disappointed and always entertained.


Finally on our docket for today is a newer Adult Swim series entitled Xavier: Renegade Angel, which is pure horrible from beginning to end.  The CGI designed series is a disgrace to host the Adult Swim tag and is by the creators of the equally awful Wonder Showzen (now canceled).


The dark comedy follows the narcissistic and oblivious Xavier as he travels the countryside in hopes to better humanity as a philosopher; though that story arch seems to change episode to episode.  The self absorbed, childlike beast is a conglomeration of many animals, yet is humanoid at the same time.  Overall I would call the series confusing and uninspiring; often leading me to change to channel in search of something, ANYTHING better.


The picture and sound are similar to the Adult Swim series listed above.  The CGI is a bit rough, but has brilliant colors as the 1.85 x 1 letterbox presentation truly pops.  The audio is a Dolby Digital Stereo that gets the job done, but is far from special as it projects solely from the front.


The extras include features that are just as idiotic as the series with Disc 1 hosting “Fanmentary” tracks on 2 episodes where the commentary speakers are unknown and Disc 2 repeats the same type of commentaries, but the speakers are identified.  On Disc 2 there is also a Fan Film section and an idiotic/wasteful workout video.


I would have to say the series does not develop far from its original premise and I can’t wait for it to be canceled.



-   Michael P. Dougherty II


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