Robot Chicken - The Walking Dead Special: Look Who's Walking
R1 - America - Warner Home Video
Review written by and copyright: Eric Cotenas (29th March 2018).
The Show

The cast of the relentlessly juvenile Adult Swim network show Robot Chicken take on AMC's moneymaker The Walking Dead in the parody Look Who's Walking. Set in the blissful aftermath of the "Walkpocalypse" in which the virus has been cured and documentation of holocaust of human history has a gift shop. The Nerd (voiced by Buffy the Vampire Slayer's Seth Green) is a rapt listener to the story of how "Rick and the Gang" made peace with "The Lucilles" with the marriage of "the beautiful Carla" to "Neganon" only for a grizzled Carl (voiced by Mercy's Chandler Riggs) to turn up to set the story straight. Rick Grimes (voiced by Afterlife's Andrew Lincoln) fellates a unicorn (voiced by 's ) to get back to his family while his best buddy Shane (voiced by The Punisher's Jon Bernthal) takes his place in bed and the shower with his partner's wife Lori (voiced by Prison Break's Sarah Wayne Callies) while his son Carl loses an eye but keeps his beautifully-coiffed hairdo. Rick's daughter Maggie (voiced by The Boy's Lauren Cohan) and cranially-compromised husband Glenn (voiced by Stretch Armstrong & the Flex Fighters' Steven Yeun) get a spinoff in "Happy Glenndings" where they "play a lot of hide and seek." Rick gets a taste of Herschel's (voiced by The Ninth Configuration's Scott Wilson) life before he gave up drinking, Carol (voiced by The Mist's Melissa McBride) administers mercy killings with extreme prejudice, and Morgan (voiced by Snatch's Lennie James) finally comes to terms with loss when his walker wife calls in a zombie master locksmith. Dale "The RV King" (voiced here by Robot Chicken series director/writer/actor Tom Sheppard) gets a musical number, as does racist, misogynist, bigot Merle (voiced by Henry: Portrait of a Serial Killer's Michael Rooker) who also finds the "stupid, brainless girl" of his dreams while Daryl (voiced by The Boondock Saints' Norman Reedus), Michonne (voiced by Black Panther's Danai Gurira), and Carl are drawn to the cannibal town of Terminus for the "free musical theater" headlined by Gareth (voiced here by Swiss Army Man's Daniel Radcliffe); but there's not a dry skull in the house when Negan (voiced by Supernatural's Jeffrey Dean Morgan) performs the "Negan Dip" while also recollecting a very familiar origin story for his barbed baseball bat "Lucille" and pinches his fetching red scarf from Snoopy's Red Baron. Penned jointly by the Robot Chicken and The Walking Dead writing staff along with as much of the cast as they could afford Look Who's Walking attempts to fit the highlights of eight seasons into a twenty-two minute episode. Those of us who may have checked out a couple seasons early might be at sea trying to differentiate the content of some of the vignettes from one show or the other at the pace with which the program moves, and the brevity of the program may frustrate fans hoping for more than a rapid succession of cameos; however, the show delivers enough chuckles for the uninitiated and probably more for the diehards (and the special really is just an Easter Egg for the fans). The animation is up to the show's standards and the character design quite ambitious for a special that was only going to be twice the length of an ordinary episode (usually ten to eleven minutes in length), but the degree of detail that went into the finished episode probably also would have made a feature-length parody cost prohibitive.


Warner's HD-mastered anamorphic presentation is interlaced but this is largely undistracting in motion when combined the jerky movements of the stop motion against a combination of practical and animated backgrounds (the Blu-ray edition is listed on its back cover as 1080p). The bitrate is high but the combined feature, extras, and menus amount to only 2.21 GB of a single-layer DVD.


The sole feature audio option is a Dolby Digital 5.1 track that stays fairly active with music and directional effects, but do not expect a lot of atmosphere. Optional English SDH subtitles are also included.


The feature presentation is only twenty-two minutes but it is accompanied by two commentary tracks. In the audio commentary by Robot Chicken producers Matthew Senreich, Tom Sheppard, and Seth Green & The Walking Dead producers Scott M. Gimple and Robert Kirkman, the quintet discuss how they met at a Comic-Con dinner and pondered why they had not yet done a parody of the show. They paint a picture of the writing room chaos which included both ideas and objects tossed around and across the table taken over the top by writer/voice actor Breckin Meyer (Rat Race) who apparently has a habit of breaking things while also expressing surprise at the voice acting talents of Lincoln, Morgan, Rooker, and Riggs (who also voices his grizzled older character here) as well as the stunt casting of Radcliffe. On the second audio commentary by Robot Chicken writers Seth Green, Tom Root, and Tom Sheppard, & The Walking Dead actor Josh McDermitt, the participants provide more of the same in terms of reactions to the vocal performances while also shedding light on the origin of the Carl's hair jokes and some more obscure references that stem from the Robot Chicken universe. The making-of featurette "Inside Robot Chicken The Walking Dead: Look Who's Walking" (7:27) is brief but informative with a look at the writing room and the creative process, the building and painting of sets and props, and how 3D printing allowed them to design the characters and introduce variations on their features. The selection of Cut Sketches feature introductions by the writers who are not always aware which sketch originated with whom and not always sure why they were cut. The ones that were cut at the early stage are shown as animated storyboards with voices while the ones cut from the final edit are in finished form. Since the sketches that they kept are often quite short, the cut ones amount in total to just over five minutes, with some running as short as twenty-odd seconds. "Sketches to Die For" (4:30) finds the crew reflecting on their favorite sketches from the special, while "Bawkward" (0:49) has them trying out their zombie chicken clucking, and behind the scenes (1:40) features talking heads of some fo the design and technical crew for the sole purpose of playing a prank on them.


Running a scant twenty-two minutes, Robot Chicken - The Walking Dead Special: Look Who's Walking is more of a succession of cameos and Easter Eggs for fans of both shows, but it should deliver a fair amount of laughs for the uninitiated.


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