Aqua Teen Hunger Force: Volume 5 (TV)
R1 - America - Warner Home Video
Review written by and copyright: James Teitelbaum (10th February 2008).
The Film

This new two-disc set contains all thirteen short episodes of "Aqua Teen Hunger Force" season five, these 'toons originally aired on the Cartoon Network, as part of their late-night Adult Swim series. The title "Aqua Teen Hunger Force" is somewhat misleading, since the characters are of indiscriminate age, do not ever get near water, and don't appear to be any sort of team or force. What we do see on screen are three anthropomorphic fast food items living in a crappy house in an impoverished part of New Jersey. Frylock (voiced by Carey Means) is a bag of fries who wears a "Van Dyke" beard, floats in the air, and uses prehensile French fries as grasping appendages. He seems to be the nominal leader, or at least the character who is the least stupid. Master Shake (voice of Dana Snyder) is just that - a paper cup with a face on the front. Meatwad is a gristly meatball (voiced by series director Dave Willis). He speaks in a marble-mouthed voice that comes off as an unintelligible hybrid of Tweety Bird and Eminem. Or, one of those white guys who tries to talk like a gangsta-rapper, but in this case at age three.
The best of the many supporting characters are the "Aqua Teen Hunger Force'" next-door neighbor Carl (also voiced by Dave Willis), who is belligerent, violent, and dim, plus Ignignokt (Dave Willis again) and Err (co-director Matt Maiellaro), a pair of two-dimensional aliens straight from an Atari "Space Invaders" video game. The former likes to make obscure references classic rock songs, and the other likes to talk trash. They both like to make trouble for the "Aqua Teen Hunger Force".
The episodes don't ever really have a story per se, and often take off in random, rambling directions. Master Shake seems to be the focus of the stories, with Meatwad causing trouble, and Frylock providing the occasional voice of reason (speaking relatively). Given the late-night time slot that "Aqua Teen Hunger Force" was aired during, plus the fact that the main characters are all based on fast food, and also the bite-sized length of the episodes, it seems clear that the show is made for - and has found a successful audience in - the late night stoner crowd. Perhaps words like 'teen' and 'hunger' are pointers more towards the cartoon's target demographic than towards the show itself. There is not much real wit in the scripts or in the performances, the animation is crude at best, and I doubt that there are many people over the age of thirty who will find much value here. The show has been aimed with pinpoint accuracy at a certain crowd, and with five seasons and a movie now completed; this crowd of aqua teens has clearly had their forceful hunger satisfied - until the debut of season 6.

Note that season five of Aqua Teen Hunger Force was ten episodes; this set contains four previously unreleased episodes.

Video

"Aqua Teen Hunger Force" is presented in the standard television aspect ratio of 1.33:1 (also called 4:3). Being a brand new show made for a large cable network, there are no flaws or damage to the print. The animation itself looks a little cheap and leaves a bit to be desired, but this is hardly due to the DVD transfer. The episodes are each a bit under twelve minutes long, so with nine of them on the first disc, the running time is still well under two hours and thusly there are no real compression issues.

Audio

"Aqua Teen Hunger Force" is presented in Dolby Digital 2.0 and 5.1, with English as the only language. Subtitles are in English, French, and Spanish. The sound of the show is a bit murky. Some of the voices are difficult to understand, particularly the marble-mouthed Meatwad. The engineers have had a bit of fun with the surrounds, but I would have preferred that they focused their efforts on intelligibility.

Extras

Warner Brother has released this season with extras that include en episode promo, critics clips, a music video, a featurette, deleted scenes, a guitar demo, a couple of behind-the-scenes clips, an infomercial, trailer and a game. All these extras are on the second disc of this set, below is a closer look at these supplements.

First up is "Favorite Episodes" promo which runs for 32 seconds, this is an advertisement for a special presentation of the ATHF creators favorite episodes.

"Aqua Teens Respond to Critics" are five short clips that runs for a total of 5 minutes 7 seconds, the ATHF characters critiquing the critics.

"I Like Your Booty But I am Not Gay" is a music video that runs for 2 minutes 6 seconds, content as titled.

"ATHF Movie Premiere with Space Ghost" featurette runs for 30 minutes 18 seconds, features a guy in a Space Ghost costume hanging out at the ATHF movie premiere and interviews people as they walk in. The ATHF creators show up, as well as people in ATHF character costumes, and some random people. Trivia: Seth Green is really, really short.

There are also some deleted scenes included for three episodes:

- "Bart Oates" runs for 1 minute 30 seconds, Shake calls Frylock from jail.
- "Grim Reaper Gutters" runs for 39 seconds, Shake and Meatwad have a short conversation.
- "Moonajuana" runs for 1 minute 36 seconds, Shake and Meatwad discuss jamming while stoned on burning tire fumes.

"Learn to Shred Like the Master" runs for a total of 2 minutes 59 seconds and is a guide, when you select this feature the menu does not go away, but you hear a terrible guitar solo for 1 minute 23 seconds, and then a video of a stoner comes on for 1 minute 36 seconds and he demonstrates how (not) to play guitar.

"Tera Patrick Eats a Hot Dog" is a behind-the-scenes clip which runs for 1 minute 8 seconds, this is footage of the porn star in the recording studio reading her lines (she did a guest appearance in an episode).

"Granny Takes Her Top Off" is another behind-the-scenes clip that runs for 2 minutes 50 seconds, more studio footage, this time with the old lady who plays Granny.

Space Ghost Coast to Coast "Chambraigne" is an 11 minute 43 seconds mock infomercial featuring Space Ghost.

"ATHF Zombie Ninja Pro Am" trailer is next and runs for 1 minute 2 seconds, it's for the video game.

"The Worst Game Ever" interactive game (no specific time), is a parody of 1980's video games (you can't actually control the characters although the instructions say you can).

Packaging

This 2-disc set is packaged in a digi-pack housed in a cardboard slip-case.

Overall

The Film: B Video: A Audio: B- Extras: B Overall: B

 


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