March 1, 2005

R.I.P Optimus Prime

Died not from wounds inflicted on the battlefield, but from Prostate Cancer.

I speak, of course, of Robot Chicken, the new series on the Cartoon Network Adult Swim block. It’s a comedy show co-created by Seth Green and completely animated using stop motion with toys and action figures. Each episode is about 12 minutes long and is made up of all sorts of various bits and sketches of various lengths. One of the longer sketches, and the one that everyone seems to be talking about, is the Transformers parody where Optimus Prime is diagnosed with prostate cancer and dies.

Originally I wasn’t going to go out of my way to watch this, but after seeing some screen shots and hearing so much buzz around it after it had aired, I decided that I had to see what all the fuss was about and found a way to download it. Now that I have seen it, I have to admit that I did chuckle a bit. It was pretty well done, and as far as being a Transformers parody goes, the people responsible really seemed to know their stuff. It was a real Transformers parody and not just some vauge reference to the concept of Transformers. Some of the figures they used were actually highly customized to get different characters on the show. The voice acting was pretty close to the original Generation 1 cast, but the real gag came from seeing the Autobots in situations you’d never see them in, like in the showers after winning a battle, and Optimus Prime at the doctors office.

News of Prime’s death has been spreading, and even the National Prostate Cancer Coalition has issued a press release, both in the spirit of fun and to seriously raise awareness of this disease. So perhaps some good may come out of this silly cartoon.

Other, less moralistic skits involved swearing Pokemon, a smoking Teletubby, crude and violent TV show bloopers, and “The World’s Most One Sided Fistfights Caught on Film“. Some are funny, some are lame, but for the most part the show isn’t a complete waste of time. The humor is obviously not for everyone, and it’s certainly not for children, but it’s worth checking out.

Geeze, never thought I’d ever have to type the word “Prostate” so many times. Rather not have to do that again.



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