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Feature Film

Brew Review: ‘Aqua Teen Hunger Force Colon Movie Film for Theaters’

I saw this film at a free screening today so you don’t have to. And I urge you not to.

Aqua Teen Hunger Force Colon Movie Film for Theaters is, without question, the worst animated film of the year. It may be the worst film (of any type) I’ve ever seen. A text book example of an unfunny comedy, with poor production values, no craft, no art, no laughs, period. I’ve only seen one episode of the TV series, so I’m clearly not the intended audience for this. But who is? High school drop-outs on pot? I suspect there may be a 7-year-old out there who thinks this is the funniest film they’ve ever seen. If so, I’d be worried about that 7-year-old.

For those unfamiliar with the show, there’s really no premise. It’s about the relationship between three fast-food icons, Master Shake (an idiot milkshake cup), Frylock (a large side of french fries) and Meatwad (a stupid meatball). There is a whole load of unfunny side characters. In an effort to cram as much “funny” into the proceedings, every voice is “funny,” every character name is “funny,” every title card is “funny,” every action is “funny.” All this adds up to incredibly “un-funny.” For those who have been waiting for it, the origin of the characters is explained – and Space Ghost makes an unfortunate cameo (and is killed off quickly).

Needless to say, there’s a fart joke every ten minutes.

Is there anything I liked? The first two minutes, a spoof of the corny “Let’s All Go To The Lobby” trailers (again?) was fun, but after this pre-title skit, it’s all downhill. I also like the elaboratly painted one-sheet poster art (above), but that has nothing to do (visually or conceptually) with the film itself.

I used to imagine the process of making animated films was fun. This one looks like it was a chore for its creators – it certainly was to sit through. I haven’t squirmed so much in a movie theater since the time I saw a 1972 Woody Woodpecker as a teenager at the RKO Keith’s in Flushing, New York.

Don’t see it. If you do, demand a refund. Adult Swim owes me 79 minutes of my life.

Cartoon Network: If you really want to hurt the members of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, you’ll submit this film for consideration, for Best Animated Feature. Now that might actually be funny.

  • Ouch, that bad huh? Oh well, it doesn’t look as though this movie will be released in the UK anyway, so no risk of seeing it here.

  • aquabats.jpg

    Homage, rip off or conicidence?

  • I don’t like any of the adult swim stuff. It’s all dirt cheap and smug. I’ll definitely be skipping this one.

  • Robolizard

    I haven’t seen the film yet, but people’s attitudes towards the film and the show tend to be similar. The idea of the show is similar to that of Godard, South Park, DogStarNight and Seinfeld, to examine the idea of entertainment and what it means. It is meant to insult you, and really if critics embraced it, it would be more of a depressing pretentious affair. Maybe the film does falter in what the show had, unquestionable humanity to its characters… but I’d have to see it first.

    Besides, that poster is simply amazing.

    PS to Tyler Jacobs: they all look like those overdone expolitation posters/ D&D style design/ Conan the Barbarian. They’re both homages.

  • The show episodes are often hit or miss with me, but yeah Jerry, the show is for college students or teens that laugh at anything. I find myself enjoying alot of the humor in it as a guilty pleasure, and I can’t help but stop to think “wow, I’m really immature sometimes…” but just for what it is; stupid. I’d still like to see the movie just for the experience.

  • DanO

    please don’t compare AquaTeenHungerForce with Seinfeld…

  • natlampvacation2.jpg

    Tyler, you’re right. Even the poster is a rip-off. Compare it to this one.

    All of them are take-offs on Frank Frezetta/Boris Vallejo fantasy paintings.

  • Robolizard says: The idea of the show is similar to that of Godard, South Park, DogStarNight and Seinfeld, to examine the idea of entertainment and what it means.

    It’s outrageous that you could compare such nonsense to Godard or even Seinfeld. There is only one idea in the minds of the current Cartoon Network. It’s to make money; it’s a business not an art. Did Godard ever make money? I don’t thnk so.

    The film should be submitted to the Academy at Oscar time. At least it wasn’t done with MoCap.

  • Bob

    according to the poster for Aqua Teen Hunger Force was actually designed by Boris Vallejo, so that wouldn’t really make it a rip off.

    Too bad that seems to be the only interesting thing about this project.

  • Robolizard

    Godard had to outrage you with jump cuts and ‘banal’ dialogue in ‘Breathless’. Aqua Teens comes in during a more jaded time. Instead of cutting out the movement between actions, they cut out the entire plot.

    It is meant to confuse, and some react with anger. People of the high school and college ages like it, because it is a reflection of the times they are growing up in. Carls are a dime a dozen, and the Teens represent three facets of ourselves, the Id, the Ego and the Superego in a world where technology and greed rule all, victories are few, morals are confusing, and the media [and humanity] is made up of naught but overreaction. One has to simply get past its controversial and unorthodox execution and writing style to see this.

    The entire idea of taking 11 minutes of modernist/post modernist art and extending it to feature length seems VERY interesting to me. All of these comments are about the show. The movie could be just about anything.

  • I like occasionally watching ATHF for the absurdist humor but it’s not exactly quality animation. It’s hard to even consider it animation PERIOD since basically they just slide a few cels around like a retarded puppet show.

    The Williams Street stuff has always been about absurdism and seeing what they could get away with without actually spending money on artwork. Some of it (Space Ghost, ATHF, Harvey Birdman, Sealab) is good in 15-minute segments late at night. Most of their other shows that I’ve seen (The Brak Show, Perfect Hair Forever, Tom Goes To The Mayor) annoy the crap out of me.

    I’ve only seen little bits of Robot Chicken and 12 oz. Mouse and wasn’t terribly impressed, but at least those shows are actually animated.

    I wonder how long it actually took them to produce this movie. Considering most of their “effort” is in writing and voice “acting” and then they just do a stupid limited-animation puppet show, probably not very.

  • Jorge Garrido

    Hmm… Jerry, it looks like CGI to me, I can’t imagine the film makers (ahem) would go to the trouble of using traditional media, even in an ironic, nerd-hipster way.

    Thanks for the warning.

    By the way, the title of the movie, very post-modern. Like “Data Movie”

    >The Williams Street stuff has always been about absurdism and seeing what they could get away with without actually spending money on artwork. Some of it (Space Ghost, ATHF, Harvey Birdman, Sealab) is good in 15-minute segments late at night. Most of their other shows that I’ve seen (The Brak Show, Perfect Hair Forever, Tom Goes To The Mayor) annoy the crap out of me.

    What’s worse is, Williams Street has actually made some really cool sci-fi CGI show packaging when they did Toonami. It had good production values, especially for quick bumpers. They’ve really gone downhill.

  • yeah… I know, I worked on that album art with the cover by Brandon Bird. I just got a kick how they’re similar and both have “aqua” in the title. I think theirs is obviously more epic and detailed. But like Bob said, this is the only interesting thing about this project.

    Regardless, I hate adult swim stuff. I used to love Space Ghost Coast to Coast but haven’t really watched it in ten years. It just seems that they cater to the lowest common denominator while thinking they’re “pushing the envelope.” Potty humor is so easy and can only rarely pulled off right, which adult swim never does. It’s like the foul-mouth muppet cliché. BORING. Lazy comedy writing. And I don’t even need to mention the lazy animation.

  • Peter Vincent

    I weep for the “cartoon viewing” youth of today. They’re being cheated and don’t even know it.

    Who remembers talent?

  • I don’t know if ATHF could work in a longer format, since it’s a 15-minute show on tv. Perhaps if a film was structured episodically, like Isao Takahata’s My Neighbors the Yamadas and Jarinko Chie. To my mind, those films are the standard-bearers for comic book adaptations to the screen.

    The problem with animated feature films is that there’s always an attempt to saddle everything with some overreaching plot. Always heavily melodramatic, nearly always trying to “raise the stakes” to some absurd level, like saving the world or some such nonsense. The spirit of the original works are left out, because they were meant for smaller formats – tv, comic strips, yadda yadda.

    Of course, I’m thinking of animation as art, as real filmmaking, not as a cheap cash-in or yet another brick in the cynical corporatist pyramid scheme. So, obviously, none of my ideas will ever happen in this country. Shame.

  • John

    Just keep the film out of Boston — it’s already caused one major bomb scare there.

  • FritzMeaning

    ATHF:MFT is meant for fans of the show, or its type of humor. Granted, a site with its feet planted firmly in quality animation is going to find the ATHF visuals to be the crudest bar none (animatics have found their audience, folks).

    I’m a fan of ATHF for the last 4 years and really look forward to seeing how it extends into a theatrical format. But I have no expectations that I will experiencing something other than ATHF. This film is not for mainstream and am surprised its even getting theatrical distribution.

    That said, the writing for the series has always had its subversive cleverness and I find it much more palatable than the handful of animated fests I get to attend throughout the year.

  • Robolizard – I am pleased you have something positive to say about a project that’s been spat on by even the most open minded folks that I know, but I’d still suggest you are drawing a very long bow with your thoughts on the film.

  • Mark

    The show is awful–what makes anyone think a movie would be better? An idea, even a BAD one, needs to be clearly communicated in order to be understood. This show can’t even do that.

  • Andreas

    Watching the trailer was painful enough for me.

  • Looks like they probably spent more money making the trailer than they did with the actual movie…

  • PriestRevan

    Interesting Review. There’s one problem with your review and it’s this part:

    “I’ve only seen one episode of the TV series, so I’m clearly not the intended audience for this.”

    That was the part that made me not even want to read your review. Now, I personally have not seen too much of the show itself, but I would expect to see a review from someone who watches the show and can compare the movie so that ATHF fans know whether or not to watch it.

    (And yes, you are not the intended audience)

  • I still think the best show on Adult Swim is THE VENTURE BROS. Now THERE was a show by creators (in New York) that poured their blood, sweat and tears into the production, and enjoyed it! I’m already looking forward to Season 3 (which is gearing up for production, as I understand it). I also immensely enjoyed MISSION HILL.

    SPACE GHOST: COAST TO COAST is already a classic by default, IMHO, but many of AS’s shows never really matched up (I do enjoy SEALAB 2021 and HARVEY BIRDMAN: ATTORNEY AT LAW).

    That having been said, I never cared for AQUA TEEN HUNGER FORCE, nor am I seeing this new film.

  • c.tower

    Let’s make it clear: the Adult Swim stuff is not about the animation itself; it’s all about the writing and performances. Something like HARVEY BIRDMAN is essentially a cross between a radio show and a comic book (not unlike the 1960’s H-B cartoons that inspired it). In fact, seeing that poster made me think that AQUA TEEN HUNGER FORCE might have worked better as a comedy album back in the 1970’s, with a big fold out cover, illustrated booklet, and free poster for your dorm wall.

  • I do like Aqua Teen hunger force quite a bit. It makes me laugh. However I do wish the money spent on this were spent perhaps on some more episodes of the lovely “Korgoth of Barbaria” television show by Aaron Springer that seemed to have been forgotten. :[

  • Who would be so desperate to work on such a piece of s…, what idiot would finance it and who would be so braindead to imagine it could be projected in a movietheatre without the xenon bulbs exploding. The first 5 sec. of the trailer made me sick, who would want to watch the whole disaster? Something is very w r o n g . . .

  • percival

    only snooty jerks dont like this stuff.

    it’s hilarious. it’s obvious that they arent trying to be GROUND BEREAKING with any artistic/animation splendor. This type of show is refreshing. I’m tired of seeing shows with thier heads up their asses about how awesome they are and how much money it took to produce and what AWESOME STAR STUDDED voice over crew was involved.

    High school drop out pot heads? Real nice coming from the cat who praised a cartoon named DOOKIE POO.

    Tho I bash the naysayers, I am in complete agreement with the bit about spending that money on Korgoth of Barbaria… so sad to see that beautiful show cast into obscurity much like Wondershowzen and even worse, Kitty Bobo.

  • I’m not entirely sure complaining how a cartoon that’s bad on purpose isn’t very good is a valid criticism. :)

  • Jelwood

    I’m glad John Paul Cassidy brought up the Venture bros, and that Korgoth has been mentioned, because those two never seem to fit into the AS bunch…Their concepts/homages and writing are smarter than any of the drudge that makes up the rest of the block. Plots are developed around internal struggles; you don’t have to know the latest pop-culture trends. Each episode can stand alone and there is actually character development. The creators are pushing their limited budget to try and deliver as good a product as possible. Even a target-audience colleger like myself can see that the majority of AS shows push the budget excuse as a crutch to produce crap animation.

    P. Vincent is on track: If we keep letting schlock like this pass, no matter its target audience or whether its studying the boundaries of entertainment, then animation talent might as well be dragged behind the barn and shot; it won’t have any value.

  • Hans – “The first 5 sec. of the trailer made me sick, who would want to watch the whole disaster?”

    Well, as a cartoon historian, author of a book called THE ANIMATED MOVIE GUIDE, and curator of an annual WORST CARTOONS EVER (at the San Diego Comic Con), I thought I should see it for research purposes.

    David McGuire – “I’m not entirely sure complaining how a cartoon that’s bad on purpose isn’t very good is a valid criticism.”

    Oh! AQUA TEEN HUNGER FORCE is supposed to be “bad on purpose”? I didn’t know that.

    I would define the animation on both South Park and Beavis and Butt-head as being “bad on purpose”, but the difference is that the writing is hilarious, and the voice acting and direction set the tone perfectly. ATHF is missing those crucial ingredients.

    Are the rest of the Williams Street originals “bad on purpose” too? That would explain things.

  • I really have no intention of seeing this movie…but I must say that art posted for it is pretty darn hilarious.

    I’ve watched the show a few times on and off. Not the kinda show that needs to be made into a movie. Please, for the love of God and all that is holy (and not so much), why waste production dough and theatre slots on something that should forever remain a show on late night television instead of something that is worth putting into feature film? I’m sure a lot of good filmmakers cry themselves to sleep when then see projects like this green-lighted while their work was written off.

    ATHF is funny in that “I really don’t want to think about ANYthing at all and just watch a bunch of nonsense action and reaction” kind of way. I enjoy the show more when I watch it that way. But…at least put it straight to DVD or something if it’s going to be feature length, and not let the public know about it.

  • Christopher Lopez

    I can’t believe you mentioned the RKO Keith in Flushing, NY!!! That was my all-time favorite theatre growing up. It’s a shame that it’s been under construction limbo for ages. It’s gonna be transformed into a mall or some other useless thing.

    Anyway, no comments on this crap film you saw. I hate Adult Swim. It’s all crap.

  • I know some of the guys who worked on this. (Yes, I’m aware that there are a lot of things wrong with that sentence.) They worked on the show as well, and I haven’t heard any good things about it from them. I’ve never understood Adult Swim’s obsession with this bad animation programming trend. It’s terrible.

    “Beavis and Butthead” and “South Park” were all great because they were created under authentic low budget conditions and the content was appealing enough to make them into cult hits. But who knew that would turn into Adult Swim trying to make everything into a cult hit by simply letting any random yahoo in a “studio” write a “script”, have a bunch of poorly designed “characters” scribbled out on a piece of paper and “animated” with After Effects?

    And the funny thing is, an ATHF movie now is like, five years too late!

  • tom

    This whole thing seems so played out to me, as do the other chicken scratch cartoons on Adult Swim. The Venture Bros. is the best and only decent AS project in development now. The others seem to rely on the old “unfunny = funny” school of comedy, where long pauses and mumbling are substitutes for actual writing. And animating from a pool of about 6 key frames a season just makes it look like crap. Joke’s over. You’d have to actually blow Boston up to get me to care about this.

  • Andreas

    I think someone at Cartoon Network forgot to send out the memo that this was supposed to be a direct to video production, and somehow it made it to the theaters.

  • Mark

    “That was the part that made me not even want to read your review. Now, I personally have not seen too much of the show itself, but I would expect to see a review from someone who watches the show and can compare the movie so that ATHF fans know whether or not to watch it.”

    Complete horse shit. It’s like saying “Oh–you’d like the Harry Potter movies better if you read the books.” If the movie can’t stand on it’s own, there’s no point in doing it. It’s a different medium, and it needs to be made for that medium–and most importantly, for an AUDIENCE. Preferebly an audience that wants to see crap like this.

    Gimmie Bugs & Daffy any day.

  • Z29

    ATHF not for everyone. Humor is about as subjective as anything in this world can get. But I do get a bit tired of “ATHF sucks, and anyone who likes it is stoooopid!” Give me a break.

    I have two Master’s Degrees. I design high capacity communication equipment for spacecraft. I have nine U.S. patents with my name on them and several industry awards. My latest link design broke three communication world records. And I like ATHF.

    Although I would prefer to see more Venture Brothers episodes. And Korgoth. I also like Metalocalypse because I’m an old metal head from waaaaay back. But, oh, I guess metal fans are dummies, too, right?

  • Brian Lutz

    Before Adult Swim came along, I had no idea it was even possible to water down the 60s-70s Hanna-Barbera dreck any further than it already was. The first couple of seasons of Space Ghost Coast to Coast and some of the old Cartoon Planet stuff that was on TBS were OK in small doses, but about the time Adult Swim started it all turned into utter dreck.

  • The show is deliberately bad. It’s amusing from time to time, but I don’t make a point to catch it either. Why make a movie out of it? I don’t understand. The series has nothing to say, no real point, and no real purpose other than to deliver a cheap (and cheaply produced) chuckle before the audience goes to bed. Why would anyone spend the money to see a feature-length episode in a theater? From your review, Jerry, it sounds like they failed to make a case for it.

    And agreed on comments above about “Beavis and Butthead” and “South Park”. Both of those series are cheap, crude and have had movies, but the difference is, they had a STORY to tell. I used to hate “South Park”, but the more I see of it, the more I like it…believe it or not, it has well-developed characters, tells funny and well-written storylines and at times even has a little heart. Because of that, the movie was pretty good! Same with “Beavis and Butthead Do America”.. You could see either of those movies without having any idea who those characters were beforehand, without ever seeing an episode of the show…and the movie would be entertaining.

    ATHF should be left alone. No bomb scares, no movies, no force-feeding it to us. Let it be what it is…it can’t and doesn’t deserve to be anything else.

  • ZEE

    Guess you can count me as one of the few who feels that ATHF is a lot smarter than it’s given credit for. It reminds me more than a little of Monty Python at its free-associative best. That said, the more recent episodes seem to be aiming a lot lower than before, and I haven’t heard a single good thing about this movie yet. I’m sure ATHFCMFFT will have a long and happy life on BitTorrent, but as far as making any money? Probably not.

  • Adult Swim have really gone downhill as of recent. I’ll admit I liked the first two seasons of Aqua Teen, and especially enjoyed Harvey Birdman (mainly thanks to all the classic characters that showed up in it. Fred Flintstone as a Godfather anyone?) but recently they’ve hit rock bottom, and Aqua Teen has been over done now. The movie is the final nail in the coffin (or is that a role the upcoming video game will take?)

    Anyone ever seen the concept art for the characters? Much more fun and creative than anything that ended up in the series.

  • Corrado (Anthony)

    I don’t think I have much hope in the movie. It’s a decent show yes, but I don’t think 75 minutes of them is a good idea.

    I read that this may be in 2000+ theaters now instead of 500 when it was originally scheduled to be released. That may not be a step in the right direction as its sure to get a lot of empty seats, as I don’t see this as a big money-maker. The hype for this movie has faded ever since the fallout from “Moonitie Gate.” last month. 500 theaters would’ve been better IMO, since they can get a more packed audience with that number.

    And yes VB is the best AS show at the moment. That last season was very well-done, and I’m glad its getting 2 more seasons of brilliance.

  • I was actually surprised they would make a movie as well.
    I own the 1st season on DVD and those episodes have their “moments”.
    The show is made bad on purpose so I can stand 15 minutes, but a full-length “story”?
    Curiousity may get the better of me and I might just wait until it hits the cheap theatre, which shouldn’t take long…

  • I am sorry, but this is a prime example of how current animated features are miscarried.

    Movies just shouldn’t be based on TV Shows. And direct-to-video releases should not follow theatrical releases. It should be vice-versa.

  • Cory Ag

    Nahh, I would think a ballarina recital would be more intresting than this movie, or the show itself even. As an Animator I can tell you, there is no excuse for this. there is no “this is their style of animation” Just poor drawing.. I’ve seen this show loads fo times, I have not laughed once. not once.

  • Beren

    If the glut of animated films of 2006 are any bellwether of animated fare to come, gimme ATHFCMFFT any day. Hollywood needs to take a step back and rethink its concept of “good entertainment.”

  • charles

    I don’t think I’ve ever seen a better review that so completely and utterly missed ‘the point’.

    Also, people, we’re talking about comedy here. Is there a more purely relative concept in this entire world? I think not.

    Trying to pin down why ATHF is so side-achingly funny is impossible, especially when the listener simply will never get the joke.

    Of course, it’s easy to berate it as ‘immature’ and to make fun of the animation. And like another poster said the animation is bad on purpose. I seriously can’t imagine why that isn’t obvious to you. It’s not just art-less, it’s b.a.d.. You don’t get to that kind of bad without trying (see s.p., beevis&butthead).

    As much as I appreciate this blog I’ve had a hard time returning since you’ve started in with your snobby pretension on animation that’s practically critic proof.

  • Steve Gattuso

    “AQUA TEEN HUNGER FORCE (COLON): MOVIE FILM FOR THEATRES is, without question, the worst animated film of the year.”

    Even when compared to “Happily N’Ever After?” Now I REALLY need to see this…

  • personally, i welcome any type of new and fresh animation on the silver screen…unfortunately, ATHF isn’t it. to me, it represents everything i hate about animation.

  • Mooninite

    And so here is another animated film (like “Happy Feet”) that I do not have to watch because NOTHING in the movie itself would be half as amusing as you guys churning up cyberspace over it.
    (That said, I would have rather seen a “Venture Brothers” movie too. Very underrated show.)

  • Siouxfire

    “so I’m clearly not the intended audience for this. But who is? High School drop-outs on pot?” Well, I’m sure there’s a lot wrong with the film but I don’t think a good review should criticise people who might actually enjoy it. Also, the voice talent on the show is the one thing that I think stands tall. Sure they hang a lot off that, but I’m surprised it isn’t acknowledged.

  • IKR

    You think it’s terrible? Come on! When I see this movie it’s going to be great, It’s the f**king Aqua Teens! You want an even worse movie? I got three words for you: Arthurs. Missing. Pal.

  • The problem I have with Aqua Teen and South Park, is that because they are done for so cheap, broadcasters want more productions they can do with very little budget. So it brings down animation budgets all across the board. I guarantee that animation budgets have gone down in recent years, not up. And then broadcasters green light garbage like HEY JOEL, SQUIDBILLES, and BROMWELL HIGH, because they can be done for very cheap, and turn a quick buck or two; rather than pour money into something of quality that will last longer and resonate with an audience forever. It is this short sighted thinking that is killing both the animation and movie industry.

  • There’s a thin line between being downright random and being downright idiotic, and I think that ATHF passes into the idiotic side most of the time. The show’s characters are not very likeable, the animation is ugly with very little effort put into it, and it tries to be way too random, just like post-comeback Family Guy. At least when Robot Chicken tries to be random it works.

    Also, the full title of the movie is similar to that of the full title of the Borat movie in that it has a silly appearance to it. The big difference it that Da Ali G Show was hilarious and so is the film; ATHF is not.

  • geeze louise ! i think many of you need to relax a little. the show is pretty darn funny and has provided me with quite a few big laughs over the years, in spite of its limited qualities. im all for a well crafted cartoon but id rather see this than say over the hedge or hoodwinked.

    and squidbillies is a riot ! im happy to see all the love for the venture brothers but this kind of show is a perfect antidote for saccarine crap and im happy it exits. its too easy to bash stuff like this but there is more room in my heart for this than the loonatics unleashed. you animation purists should loosen your collars a little.

  • Mr. Semaj

    I never found the appeal behind Aqua Teen Hunger Force, and it’s actually one of the weaker shows on the Adult Swim line-up.

    The only time Adult Swim succeeds with their shows is when they help find audiences for shows that were previously mistreated, like with both Futurama and Family Guy. With the exception of Robot Chicken, they just plain suck at making their own shows.

  • For those curious about why this film “is getting a theatrical release,” when, as has been mentioned, the film is so bizarrely crude and unusual that a mainstream audience simply doesn’t exist: a repeat episode of the series last Sunday had a tiny bit less than a million viewers 18-34.

    That’s obviously not enough to dethrone something like “300,” but it’s hard to legitimately say that this film has no intended audience.

    So, basically echoing what others have said in Aqua Teens’ defense: humor is all relative and those of us with possible brain deficiencies but otherwise fine people just enjoy the brand of juvenile Dada-ism that Adult Swim provides, as its such a refreshingly, authentically cheap antidote to glossy, overproduced Hollywood gobbledygook.

  • Anne

    I confess I haven’t watched the show in ages. (I don’t get cable) but there were some things from older episodes that made me laugh…the Moononites, in particular. It’s a one-note joke that’s only amusing for so long. I doubt it would be successful for 75 straight minutes.

    That said, I’ll probably end up watching it when it comes out on DVD. Stoned. While burning my high school diploma.

  • Bryan T.

    I don’t like Aqua Teen either (except for their bomb scares) but I think the hatred for it here might be showing a generation gap. I’m kind of in the middle, I think – a little too old to like it but not old enough to be outraged by its approach. Yes, it is ugly, cheap and stupid as hell, but – while this doesn’t amuse me – that is clearly part of the specific style of comedy they are going for and for many people it undeniably works. People love that show, and they should if it makes them laugh. I do actually laugh at some of the skits they do on the Danger Doom album, so I know that at least at times their writing and voices ARE funny, even to me.

    The hatred for Adult Swim in general is pretty befuddling to me too. Okay, so I’m not so into most of their lineup these days, but to me Space Ghost Coast to Coast and its descendants, Sealab 2021, Harvey Birdman Attorney at Law and The Brak Show (especially in the first seasons for all three) are a golden age of some certain type of postmodern absurdist humor for animation nerds. The awkward pauses with that smiling Alex Toth Space Ghost, the send-up of entertainment magazine shows in the “Tin Fins” episode of Sealab, the Apache Chief episode of Harvey Birdman (and that re-occurring bear character) – these things are so brilliant, original and gut-bustingly hilarious to me that to write them off as brainless crap just because the animation is lo-fi makes you lose all credibility, in my book.

    It seems weird to me that some people don’t see a possibility of appreciating both beautifully crafted animation as an artform AND a very funny comedy where the craftsmanship is simple, or even crude, but other elements make it worth watching. In the real world it is pretty common to love TV cartoons and also love Disney, Pixar or Miyazaki, but some of you guys act like it’s scientifically impossible. Maybe you need to broaden your horizons. It’s two different things, and both can be done well.

    The real reason I wanted to post, though, was to mention what I think is the best Adult Swim show, but which has not been mentioned once above, unless I missed it. I’m talking about The Boondocks, which has animation you guys might not hate as much as those other shows but also has the best writing and voice acting of any of them. I’m not really into the comic strip, but the show has made me fall in love with those characters, and it has some of the smartest satire in recent television, and coming from a perspective you don’t see a whole lot. The Martin Luther King Day episode was especially groundbreaking and I’m positive it will be considered a classic half hour of television years from now, despite it now being best known for controversy over the language it used. Okay, I’m not so surprised the Emmies completely snubbed what should’ve been a shoo-in with that episode, but that no one here even seems to remember the show exists is pretty sad.

  • captain murphy

    Adult Swim comedy originals (as opposed to the anime they show) is intentionally bad animation, and if you knee jerk against it as bad animation, you are sort of missing the point. It all stems from the original slide into banality of the mid to late sixties (and later) Hanna Barbera action adventure properties being recycled in the early content for this particular market– This is when limited animation really started NOT working for HB. Of course ATHF is not from that era, but it takes the same hack it out production values at its core– it is not meant to be high quality, it is merely supposed to get the product out(which is entertaining to many who realize and do not realize the post modern angle that may be involved), and to get it out quickly.

    Because Quality takes time, and it makes for fewer jokes, which is what the audience is watching for. Not good designs or drawings. It is all character humor, illustrated radio, and intentionally bad visually because that is not the point at all. The point is, that American Culture IS screwed up.

  • blob

    You’ve seen the show once huh? Well then me taking this review to heart would be like you telling me how to change the oil in my car when you’ve never been under a car in your life. You are clearly not the intended audience. I enjoy Aqua Teen (it took viewing about 8 different shows until I “got” it). I will be sure to catch this film, and I will no doubt love it, because I don’t let self-pretentious haters such as yourself affect what I do.

  • joecab

    As much as I enjoy the show (without the use of drugs, thank you), I’ll probably pass on the movie and wait for the DVD. It’s really not a movie theater kind of show.

    But I’m still so angry at the overreaction to the bomb thing here in Boston that I just might to support them.

  • I find it amusing that some people think it’s wrong to hate “ATHF”.

    When you work in an industry, it’s important to have standards. “ATHF” is, regardless of whether you like it or not, below the standard of animation production in every way. I have no problem saying that I’ve watched very little of the show, and “worked” on two episodes of it as well. And I think “it’s garbage”. It’s not the only show I feel that way about.

    I’m not saying the fans of the show are stupid, I just think the show is.

    But I will slight someone for lobbing an insult that makes doesn’t make any sense: One cannot be “self-pretentious”. You are either pretentious or not. The “selfâ€? prefix doesn’t add a reflexive value.

  • Matty

    Just as Clerks 2 was greeted to bad reviews by people who were neither fans nor understood the original, this is the same way this movie will be received by the general population. If you have not watched the show in the past quite regularly, the movie will make no sense to you whatsoever. You will regard it as poor and tasteless pothead humor. For the movie reviewer to indicate that he had not watched the show regularly he had no guidelines to base it with. This is a low budget cartoon on Adult Swim that is intended for cheap laughs with its witty humor about the materialistic stupidity of our society.

    I will see this movie, most probably stoned, and am looking forward to see how an 11 minute show can encompasse 86 minutes on the big screen. Again, this movie is for a very limited audience. And for those of you complaining on how much of a waste of money it was, why don’t you just keep it and your money to yourselves and not go waste either time or money on this “cheap” production. Furthermore, it was not your money that was invested on the venture but rather someone else’s who wanted this show to make it to the big screen. I praise that individual for making this move, as the biggest risks can reap the biggest rewards. Who knows, maybe this movie will be a success and become a cult classic. Only time will tell, and unless you watch the show regularly your input has no bearing whatsoever.

  • Bill Field

    Jerry, I know that you always try to fine redeeming qualities in a film as a historian, so if you found this to be that baaaaaaaad, I must pay it due creedence. I am a fan of the show, but I grow weary of the blood, rendered limbs and everyone but Meatwad dying, exploding, or any other grisley demise. I must say, I prefer Brew when it announces,previews and showcases rather than the critical commentary, I find it read-worthy everytime, but a lot of cartoon and cartoonist sites have become these Rage Against The Machine Blogs as of late- more rare and in-depth info and posts please and less “Stan’s Soapbox”– but thanks for saving me 79 minutes of my life Jerry- a noble act, indeed!

  • Shirley

    I guess if drawing is the most important thing to you you’ll never get beyond that. I really enjoy ATHF and it’s obvious to me that the ‘bad’ animation is irrelevant to the comedy. In fact it might be less funny if it was better animated because it’s meant to be cheap and stupid. They live in a dump, they are ineffectual in every way. Yes it’s illustrated radio = most of the really funny jokes are verbal, but there are some hilarious visual bits too.

  • FP

    It’s an interesting review and the reactions to the review are even more interesting. ATHF is certainly polarizing. I can’t stop watching the show, 4 seasons of which I have on a DVD that plays for 12 hours (see the Bay for that one). It’s addictive, even the later seasons which are not so kindly regarded by many fans. It’s a near-constant companion as I work at my desk. When episodes aren’t funny and are more random than usual, as about half of season five has been, it makes a pleasing, relaxing sound in the background anyway. ATHF has great rhythm. It’s comforting. Maybe, when I was a fetus, my mom’s heartbeat sounded like Meatwad. I dunno. ATHF is one of those “illustrated radio shows” that Chuck Jones bitched about – but it’s a good one. Animation can be more than one kind of entertainment. It doesn’t all have to be super-kinetic golden age characters with huge Hollywood personalities zooming around, or design-oriented things that look like a 1950s jazz album cover.

    ATHF stories, such as the one in which Carl is accidentally decapitated by a super-toilet, after which Frylock attempts to transplant his head onto successively-more-disgusting piles of castoff organs, corpses, and toys, are somehow endearing, much like the movies DESPERATE LIVING and FORBIDDEN ZONE. The neighborhood seems simultaneously friendly, deadly, warm, and bizarre. Picture how the ATHF adventures would appear, seen though the eyes of an 8-year-old kid living across the street from Carl and the Force.

    I have heard elsewhere the movie version sucks. The vehemence of Jerry’s review, however, suggests that he is so opposed to the visually-stilted Williams Street style, with its rude audio and deliberately awkward conversational timing, that he could never accept the movie even if it was good by ATHF standards.

    One thing’s for sure – the animation in AQUA TEEN HUNGER FORCE is way better than that of THE SILVERFISH KING.

  • Bill Field – Hey Bill. As you know I rarely go on record, pro or con, about new films or TV shows – unless I like them enough to point them out, so you shouldn’t miss it. I saw ATHF and felt it was my duty to warn our readers. I stand by my words and I believe that those defending the film (which they haven’t seen yet) will agree with me when they do. Even if I don’t watch the show regularly, my opinion is valid.

    And I have nothing against Adult Swim per se. I can’t argue with success. I just think some of their in-house Williams Street shows are poorly made when they don’t have to be. It’s a shame to see their weaknesses magnified on the big screen.

  • Dusty Bin

    Are all of youz 60+ Depends wearing grandmas? ATHF not funny? Master Shake Rulezzzz!! I am so high right now.

  • Anonymous

    Regarding Jerry’s reaction to Bill Field: I agree with you that many of the Williams Street shows are poorly made when they don’t need to be, AND I WORK AT THE STUDIO THAT ANIMATES THEM. I really wish that Williams Street would give the animators the freedom to make something well animated. Instead they bask in the glory of the poorly animated shows they produce (there are many t-shirts worn by Adult Swim/Williams Street/Radical Axis employees that state this clearly “Adult Swim: We hate animation”).

    I’m hoping that someday Williams Street will be aware that adult animated shows can be well animated, well designed and still be funny (ie. Venture Bros., Korgoth, Ren and Stimpy, etc.)

  • Ken B.

    Slamming movies is the exact reason I usually don’t read comment boards, they get me TO’d. ATHF may not be what you call quality viewing, but it does have a market. That market may not include you, and that’s ok. This is what makes the world nice, not everybody is the same. What makes me sick are the IDIOTS that tell me, “this is the worse film ever made� or “don’t waste your money�. How about YOU don’t waste your time or money; nobody makes you watch a movie or a television show. If you don’t like it switch it off. I am 31, went to college, have a good career, own my home, and have never done drugs. Guess what, I love the television show, and will love the movie, and will buy the movie, because that is what’s funny to me, and a lot of other people as well. Will it make #1 in the box office? Not likely, but people will go see it. Does it fall under the 88min, action packed, cookie cutter movies Hollywood puts out? Not likely, thank God. Here’s an easier way to explain it. A lot of movies are made; some I like some I don’t; some I go to see, and some I won’t. When I watch movies or television, I want to be entertained, if I am, guess what: mission accomplished. In closing ATHF good for some, not for all, just like everything else in life. Welcome, we’ve been waiting.

    PS. The poster art is no more a rip off then, Army of Darkness, Star Wars (all), Conan the Barbarian, and many more, if anything the poster is done in the style of…

  • Bill Field

    I agree with your reasoning, Jerry, and this whole chapter of guerilla(sp) animation–“it ain’t pretty but it gets your attention, and if it doesn’t, then our guerilla marketing campaign may cause an actual train wreck, that’s more fun to watch than the train wreck of a feature this is.” I think the timing of this was a couple years late for starters, and it goes along with John K.s points about budgetary waste and lack of animation and too much formula and no creativity in features today. Hopefully there won’t be too many reasons to use the Beck Emergency Alert System Test or BEAST, but we’ll all probably be grateful for it in 10 days– Thanks, Sensei Jerry—

  • Mooninite

    “There is more room in my heart for this than ‘Loonatics’.” – Dany

    Quoted for Truth

  • Adult Swim is a strange block.

    I think that’s all we could agree with.

    It’s not really “adult” (more or less college-based post-adolescent than actual adult). Besides, if it was really mature, don’t you think that they’d air something like uncut cartoons from the Turner library or an O Canada-like series of international shorts every night? Beats 12 Oz. Mouse. It’s like the extreme at The Network (though Techwood prefers that all mentions of AS includes the fact that the block is, in fact, a separate network).

    Extremely overrated.

    Extremely cheap.

    Extremely mean-spirited.

    While The Network only cares about boys ages 6-11 (it’s officially on the record now), Adult Swim will tell you that they hate the audience. And for some masochistic reason, the loyal viewers of the block (and yes, it’s a BLOCK, not a network) love the abuse. And the shows aren’t the best animated on the planet, with the exception of The Venture Brothers (the best show on the block), The Boondocks (seriously, when it that coming back on?), Metalocalypse, Moral Orel, and Robot Chicken. The 7030 shows (the late Sealab 2021 and Frisky Dingo) tend to do better, primarily because they have more of a radio show-like atmosphere, as does Harvey Birdman.

    Aqua Teen Hunger Force is the longest-running show on Adult Swim and is seen as a marquee, but it’s hardly the zenith of animation. It’s rude, crude, and often disturbing. Not really something worth watching, but it sells merchandise, which is what The Network is more focused on nowadays than actually being the home of the best animation on the planet. Instead, shows of that “quality” are preferred like Assy McGee, Squidbillies, Minoriteam, and Tom Goes To The Mayor. It’s awful.

    Still, Mr. Beck, I don’t think you’re the right voice to critique this movie. You’ve already admitted in the article that you’re not in the targeted audience. Neither am I for that matter. At least, I don’t think I am (I’m 29, and Adult Swim skews younger to the 18-24 crowd). However, Mr. Beck, you’ve already prejudiced yourself and already knew you weren’t going to like it. It’s just like Amid reviewing a Family Guy movie or a Dreamworks movie, because he previously admited to loathing the franchise and the studio.

    Regardless, you probably hit a nail somewhere. Not quite on the head, but you have to go deeper. There are some gems within Adult Swim, but you have to dig into the muck to find them. The movie isn’t going to help much though.

  • Matt Wilson

    The generation gap being demonstrated here is hilarious. At first I didn’t want to believe it existed a few months ago but now I want to see it rise to its cataclysmic end. If this just peters off I’ll be very disappointed.

    CB is right though, there is no room in the world of theatrical animation for something like this. You can’t just do WHATEVER YOU WANT. Not in American theatrical animation, a world full of diversity such as Generic Princess Movie #253, Fairy Tales Get Parodied: The Movie: Part 3, Talking Animal Picture, The Other Talking Animal Picture, and Breakdancing Dinosaur in 3D.

    Perhaps if Master Shake was green… was voiced by Joe Pesci… and there were more jabs at Disney… can you say Oscar Buzz??

  • George Kaplan

    Fast, Cheap, and Out of Control.

    saying this show/movie is simple or poorly done is to miss the point. they characters are FAST FOOD. don’t expect gourmet cuisine, this is just total absurd idiocy. expecting more just makes you look a bit foolish. if you hadn’t already guessed, I think the show is great – and if anybody here can say they never laughed at a fart joke please stop living, it must be horrible to be that prude.

    (I also don’t need to use drugs to watch the show – that seems to be a misconception…)

  • Conglio

    I like ATHF, and yes, they are very toilet humor and cheap animation. However, I particularly like the collection of characters’ personalities (Frylock the cool brainy geek, Shake the hot-headed lazy windbag, and Meatwad, the child/Fool), and how they’re portrayed and developed across episodes.

    The show has a decent understanding of technology and can come up with some clever gags as such. My favorite are The Mooninites, who proclaim their superiority like boastful Yankee fans, but are technically very primitive. They are animated and dialogued like Space Invaders to express this irony. That’s what I appreciate about this cartoon. And absurdism is good for a laff every now and then.

    Thanks for the early movie review. My bet is I’ll wait til it gets to the 2nd-tier cinemas.

  • Matt Wilson

    I’ll be clear, I’m not saying this film is particularly good or bad, I just think the hyperbole is a little ridiculous. It’s trying to be something different; you could say it’s a TV movie, but then the show itself is practically an ANTI-SHOW. It challenges the conventions of what people expect from an animated feature, which I think is a good thing.

    There’s really just no reason to be so tremendously condescending. If not this movie, then what’s to counter the never-ending onslaught of recycled animated premises that have been beaten so far beyond death that they have become undead? The answer is not “The Simpsons Movie.”

  • Ginny-N

    Well… this post only tells me 2 things: “Whoa, A ATHF movie?” and “They really need ideas for a movie”

    But I don’t think it will appear in Chile, thank god. Maybe a video…
    Which I won’t touch…

  • Eh. I half-enjoyed ATHF during its first season or so, but it just got old after that. As for the rest of the AS originals, Sealab was great until Frank Goz passed away, and the loss of Captain Murphy took the wind out of its sails. The Brak Show and Space Ghost were great, Harvey Birdman can work in small doses, and the Venture Brothers is outstanding. Everything else I saw I couldn’t stand, and I’ve long since stopped watching AS completely, right around the time The Boondocks premiered (a comic, and show, I can’t stand). I just grab Venture Bros. DVDs these days. Adult Swim lost me, and while I miss it from time to time the current lineup isn’t the AS I enjoyed.

  • Jerry: Are the rest of the Williams Street originals “bad on purposeâ€? too? That would explain things.

    I know you’re being sarcastic, but yes. That’s pretty much EXACTLY what everything Williams Street produces is all about. They use bad animation because it’s easy ironic meta-humor and it’s cheap to produce.

    SouthPark or Beavis & Butthead were a little low budget and artistically primative, but they were never bad-on-purpose. Besides, SouthPark’s art direction has been pretty GOOD lately.

  • Steve Stark

    I’d rather see this than “Cinderella 2 : What if the slipper didn’t fit?”

    I’m glad there is something other than family entertainment animation playing in theatres.

  • JeffyK

    ATHF is not an attempt at high art. It, and many of the AS lineup are intentionally garbage and are overall, in bad taste like, for example, Pink Flamingos. The show itself is a gilmpse into the modern American culture: trash. Wild Hogs made $125 million and you want to knock ATHFCMFFT for having intentionally bad animation? If you want to knock it for that reason, you need to open your perceptions of what is and is not art and stop being so pretentious.

  • KellyG

    How could you review this film without watching the television show? Of course you hated it, this movie was made for fans. Theyre not attempting to break in to the mainstream, or to get an academy award(or to impress pretentious snobs like yourself). The animation looks bad because the creators, and the fans, are focused on having good jokes and characters. So many shitty movies are made each year and this will be a breath of fresh air.

  • Paul

    You must be kidding me. Aqua teen hunger force is possibly one of the greatest animated cartoon series out there. Unfortunately, many people will not realize this. From my experience people have to like it the first time they see it, and they really have to watch it. I have tried to get my friends hooked on it, but I am sad to say that they aren’t smart enough to appreciate it. People today, both adult and kids, have such bad senses of humor. Most people need to be spoon fed comedy in the form of family guy or the simpsons. People find these shows funny because they are supposed to be funny. Family guy used to be funny but has now made a turn for the worst. Aqua teen is unique in that what makes each episode hilarious is that is the interaction between the characters. While at first it may appear that all the characters are in some ways ridiculous extremes of a particular type of personality, each character is in some way related to yourself or someone you know. Lets look at Peter Griffin and Master shake. Both are constantly involved in crazy and random plots. Both appear consistently have the same character traits. The difference is that Peter Griffin has no motivation. He is simply stupid, and he does stupid things because that is what makes money. The most recent family guys almost always lack a plot and are simply trying to jam in as many funny little bits that they can. Master shake on the hand is driven by his own selfishness to either get rich or to get laid, or to just beat the hell out of meatwad. No matter where or when you can always expect shake to be the same asshole he always is, and you always know why hes tryin to drill a whole into carls septic tank.

    Let me just ask you this question. For those of you out there who actually watch the show, who do you think is the funniest chracter? If you say carl, or frylock, or Dr. Weird, or Steve, Even meatwad. Then I am sorry this show is not for you. Unfortunately you only find things funny that require little or no thought. You are missing the comedic genius entirely. Master shake makes the show. I am not saying that the other charcters are not important, but the show thrives on MS as the center of a web of character interaction. There are few other charcters who are also incredibly funny such as the mooninites. Moonitites aside Shake is by far the most crazy f’d up character. The things that he says and does are insane and hilarious. And the fact that he himself if not aware of any of this is the most amazing thing. Master shake is oblivious to almost everything including himself.

    Anyone who goes to see the movie who has never seen the show will most likely hate it. Previous knowledge of the characters and their motivations is necessary to appreciate the comedy to its fullest. In the same way anyone who just watches one episode will most liekly not find it funny. Appreciation for the show is something that must be learned. However, there are people out there who can see high level of humor from the beginning. I am one of these people. From the first episode I ever saw, which was the birthday snake episode, I knew there was something special about this show. I think its unfair for you to say that it is a kids show or that its only good if your a drunk college student. From what I can tell adults have a very hard time appreciating the show. Most likely because they don’t know what the hell is going on . And they will not watch the show again because they didnt like it the first time. In order to give yourself a chance to watch the show you must watch about 4 or 5 episodes. I mean they are only 11 minutes long anyway, so one episode could not possibly allow you to understand what is going on. Not only due older adults have problems with the show but even younger people who are used to other types of comedy found in family guy or others shows of the like. I believe many people are not intelligent enough or do not have the attention span to give Aqua teen a chance.

    I know that Aqua teen is not for everyone, some people coudl never get it or find it funny, while some will think it is the greatest show ever. I think that there are many out there that have potential to fall in love with the show but will never get the chance to do show. Im hoping that the movie will bring more popularity to the show, just for teh sake of having people appreciate it. I dont care about convincing my friends to watch it so they would think its cool too. I dont care what anyone thinks, as long as they keep makin more episodes Ill keep watching them. Every episode makes me laugh, and more importantly every episode makes me think.

  • just lil ole me

    Wow, the overly pretentious, we-took-movie-appreciation-at-college (wow, that is almost impressive!) toon-snobs are already taking potshots at ATHF, the Movie. Personally, i cannot wait for it’s release. No, it’s not going to be anything like your beloved history making cartoons. It is being put out so some of us have something to actually laugh about. If you want run-of-the-mill cgi garbage, why not watch the new Ice Cube movie? Oh, but that would be so beneath you anyway. Not everyone wants to have to be “Wow!”-ed to the point it makes our toes curl. ATHF has never been about that anyway. It’s ridiculous. It’s SUPPOSED to be ridiculous! As well as cheaply done! “Oh really?” Yeah, really. It’s an escape from the mundane life that exists outside. If you are looking for something epic, go back and rent Fantasia, Wizards, or whatever is being played at your local IMAX. In short, if you expected Akira, or a toon version of Citizen Kane, your expectations deserve to be knocked down a few notches. Now if you will excuse me, I do believe i will go re-watch Robot Chicken again. And yes, i for one, cannot wait for the next season of that to come out on DVD.

  • Big V

    Wow! people really seem to have some deep opinions about this movie. The beauty of living in the US is that anyone who doesnt want to go see this movie can stay home, or go ride a bike, or watch TMNT, or whatever they want to do instead.

    This movie is for a small target market. Turner hasnt even tried any mass marketing activities b/c they know they will be waisting their money. If their advertising prank with the light up mooninites had not caused all those problems in Boston, the name aqua teen hunger force would not have been broadcast all over the news and most of the people who are criticizing this film would have never heard of the name aqua teen hunger force.

    The producers of this movie are hoping that such varied and extreme emotionally charged views of this movie will ultimately boost ticket sales, and they are probably right. But its still a safe bet to assume that most of the people who go see this movie will be the fans and their friends/girlfriends… if they can talk them into it.

    I probably will go see this movie because I watch the show and appreciate the crude ridiculous humor from time to time. I will say that the first time i ever saw the show i turned it off after 2 minutes. two years later I saw another episode and laughed my ass off. I have since then turned 10 other people on to this show and they all enjoy it.

  • elary

    The fact that Jerry referred to kids being “on pot” makes it clear that he isn’t the intended audience for this movie.

    Please, save your money for Pixar.

  • Markmindbender

    I love the ATHF for a long time now, I think its sharp, funny and witty. But I also think it will not do to well on the big screen, It has a limited fan base. I think it will be more of the same, and should be a home video only release. I wait untill then and add it to my DVD collection. MEATWAD RULES

  • Cary Sento

    Question for the person that said the show is all about “the writing and the performances”. First – what “performance”? What the hell are you talking about? A “performance” is generally regarded as the acting. Maybe you’re being generous and trying to claim the voice acting is the performance, because there *IS* no other form of “performing” going on here. So you’re left with “professional quality” voice acting and “grade school humour” writing. Great—you’ve just made a radio play. No crappy animators needed to drag a beautiful artform down further than it’s already been. But oh yeah, people are too dumb to follow along nowadays unless they can see something. This series is crappy animation for people too short on attention to bother listening along to these idiotic characters.

  • dillinger

    oh please… i do love the show and i can see why alot of people dont get it, but imo that review was terrible, even if it is crap, why you felt the need to ‘review’ the target audience as well come on!? “high school drop-outs on pot” “7 year olds” thats just not cool and offensive.

    Its a shame it wont be shown in the uk, i kinda feel cheated that so many people in the states who have the chance to see it that like ATHF, wont go to the cinema and watch it, kinda fed up of being force fed glossy sugar coated kiddy crap cartoons in the cinema and this would of been my cup of tea.

    and to John who said “Just keep the film out of Boston — it’s already caused one major bomb scare there.” i think u will find it was paranoid jittery people who are just waiting for another 911 who caused the scare, the whole affair was just so stupid that i do think that they made a meal of the whole thing, they are the sort of people you want to keep out of boston not the ATHF movie, i honestly thought i was dreaming when i heard the british news telling me that the mooninites had caused such disruption, it just didnt sound real at all :)

    goodluck to the people that do see it, and i hope that review didnt put you off too much! peace…

  • stumpsinger

    There are few things more pathetic than a bunch of animation nerds bashing the animation in ATHF. To critique the ATHF animation is like complaining that the Zapruder film was too grainy and shaky. They use the tools available to get their s**t out there. The same tools all those college kids and high school dropouts on pot have available to them. That’s part of the beauty.

    I personally find it some of the funniest, most absurd, comedy available. But if you don’t get it, fine. You don’t get it. No big deal. They barely want you to get it anyway, so what’s the point of whining on and on about it if you are someone who only watched one episode of it to begin with? Senseless.

  • Demonguy

    Thank you stumpsinger and dillinger, you other idiots clearly don’t realize the whole show is just like a big joke. Only watching one episode doesn’t exactly make you the expert.

  • SpinyNorman

    Ah, the “Only 7 year olds and dropout pot heads like this crap” gambit. Well played, there.

    As for this 40something married executive with a college degree, I’ll be paying full price to enjoy this overpriced bit of silly, amusing, absurdist fluff, because I like the show and will enjoy a bit of silliness at the theater at the end of a work week.

    See, the movie isn’t intended to be the Next Great Epic. The title’s false pomposity is parodical. Way to miss the point entirely.

  • Shakezula

    “I’ve only seen one episode of the TV series…”
    “For those unfamiliar with the show…”

    Wait, so since you’ve only seen one episode, this qualifies you to summarise the entire series as a whole? Kudos to you and your gigantic balls.

  • Michael

    Ok I believe “ALL” of you are missing the point in even writing a review. I have 2 degrees: 1st i’m a doctor & 2nd i’m a civil engineer. And yes I work in both fields for about 60 hrs per week.

    I watch ATHF, VB, Korgoth(while it lasted), Family Guy, South Park, and Metalocalypse and find them to be decently enough shows. I also watch uh *GASP* other networks besides CN which has AS. I watch all kinds of shows on those networks: Heros, Mythbusters, Lost, Grey’s Anatomy, Smallvile, ect….(yeah this isn’t all I watch but I don’t wanna bore ya all with a list of my fav shows)

    Now see what I just did everyone. I just gave ya all a little background info on the varying diversity of programs I enjoy watching. Now what you’re supposed to do is this:

    Option 1: as a reviewer, no as a human being, you hate ATHF
    A) Tell us why
    Ex: I hate the crude sexual humor like in the episode where Carl is violated….um well Carl is kinda violated/taken advantage of in every episode so use some other example.
    This lets us readers know that you’ve seen more than just the first minute where you were channel surfing and your remote broke as you landed on AS and ATHF was on and your lazy butt was contimplating if it was worth it to get up and change the batteries.

    Option 2: You’re a fan of ATHF
    B) Don’t be a fan-boy and praise the Movie even though ya haven’t seen da it yet.
    Ex: Come on guys don’t say ATHF is bad just cause (insert whatever fan-boy reason here).
    instead tell us uh I don’t really know how to defend ATHF against someone who doesn’t enjoy a varying degree of humor. See some kinda comment like that should work.

    Alright now with that out of the way lets go over some more things.
    People ya need to categorize everything ya think is good/bad about this movie after ya seen it.
    Here are some areas of relivant criticism:
    -Voice acting
    -Story line
    -Character Development
    of those areas rank the movie experience from a 10/10 to 1/10 yes 10 being the highest and 1 being the lowest.

    One more thing before I go……Some of you think that you’re being ripped off by AS or ATHF well they’re just following suit with the rest of Hollywood. How many times are they gonna continue to remake old movies. I’m sorry but if ya wanna see another rendition of 300 Spartans taking on the Persian Empire or King Kong then well I guess Hollywood will never learn it’s lesson. I’m from the school of thought were if you’re gonna make several movies about something then it had better be in some chronological order in a Trilogy if that subject deserves it but it had better not be the same movie with different actors released every 10+ years or so.

    I will gladly support a “different” style of humor found in a cartoon movie than watch another movie remake.

    Heh if all you guys aren’t into this movie then go and watch The Grindhouse. I wasn’t dissapointed. At least ya get to see 2 movies for the price of one.

  • 1

    Oh, I know you’re kidding. And you kid because you love.

  • So I need to be stoned or a high-school drop out to get this movie huh?

    How about a 41 year old female CPA and a 32 year old Senior Analyst. People don’t get this movie becuase they’re too uptight and can’t think independently. They need a plot that leads them by their noses in order for the movie to be good whereas ATHF is a loose collection of mad ideas which if studied become familiar. Watch and try to understand where the creaters got there idea from … that’s when it gets fun because suddenly you start to realize you’ve thought the same way about something somewhere in space.

  • JesterJay

    ok ok…So I just saw the movie and loved it…I think that there are some people out there who just can’t appreciate “funny” Im not talking about “Andy Griffith funny” Im talking about rude, crude, and completely uncalled for funny! I’ve been hooked to this show since I saw MC Pee Pants a couple of years ago. “I like candy bubble gum and Ta, Dammit!” Pure dry, rude humor. Some love it others hate it. I highly doubt that any of you actually believed the movie was that bad…I think you’re just upset because you didn’t understand what was so funny about a Milkshake, Meatball, and Large fry walking and talking like human beings… It’s ok though ya know? Not everyone is supposed to get it… If they did, the point of the movie, to offend the oh so offended, would not have been accomplished…. So there thats my two cents.

    I’m not a “teenage pothead”
    Im a Fuel Systems Apprentice in the U.S. Air Force. ;)

  • double l

    so let me get this straight…the guy who has seen only a single episode of ATHF was put in charge of reviewing the movie. is anyone surprised that he didn’t find it funny? dude, the whole point of the show is to function as an antithesis to the standard “rules” of production, plot, humor, character development, etc. this reviewer is basically saying, “this movie is not enough like other movies for me to enjoy,” or in other words, “i am boring.” it’s funny because it doesn’t have a plot, its characters are senseless and inexplicable, and it defies characterization. welcome to the joke, because it’s reviews like these that provide the real punch-line. although i’m sure you would have given the same laughable review of a stoppard play or a magritte painting.

  • Travis

    This movie is not for everyone. But to ATHF enthusiasts and those who can appreciate the art of “random” humor, this movie will have you repeating its quotes for weeks to come. I am a ATHF fanatic, and I would gladly pay ten times more just to see it again in theaters.

  • Travis

    This is what I emailed to our friend Jerry here:

    You can’t be so harsh on a movie that wasn’t intended to watch. Sure, the movie won’t gross alot of money because the intended audience is not a bunch of parents wondering what to watch on a Saturday night, so I can understand where you were coming from. But realize that you can’t shake the fact that cartoons like ATHF, 12 ounce mouse, south park and others that are based around “random” humor are taking over a large demographic of kids ages 7 to 25. This kind of random humor does not appeal to the baby boomers because its not what you were raised on. That’s fine. We enjoy having our own brand of humor our parents can’t understand. But you need to be aware of who is reading your reviews. This movie was a work of art: some can appreciate it, and some can’t. Please don’t write such biased reviews when in reality you really don’t have yet what it takes to appreciate this type of humor. Thanks!

  • poopbutt!!!

    This review had me in stitches. Jerry don’t quit your day job, and if this is your day job, please quit.
    This movie was freakin’ great. I recommend everybody see it at least 5 times. And yes, make sure you do plenty of drugs beforehand to enhance the comedy gold… for the ultimate movie watching experience.

  • gary

    The intention of the movie is to go and have agood time. People who evaluate the movie and give it a poor rating are dumb. It is a show about rambunctious stuff, irony, and a sense of “Blue Humor”. If you haven’t seen at least an entire season your opinion isn’t valid. I didn’t like the show at first, but after seening it a couple times it became hilarious. Now the episodes are amazing and the movie was good. They did seem like they got a little bored with the film, but for making an hour and a half movie out of a 15 min show they did an excellent job! I recommend seeing it, but before get to know it. You wouldn’t want to see Spider-Man 2 before you saw the first one!

  • Matt

    here’s the funny part, granted this isn’t the best movie in the world to alot of people, because they haven’t seen the TV show,STOP. Why go see a movie based on a TV show if you haven’t seen the before said show? AND better yet, why would you review it knowing your point is only valid for the fact of a possible credibility in your name from a magazine?
    If you liked the TV show, you’ll love the movie, if you hated the TV show and yet payed to go see the movie, the opening pre-credit bit is for you, because you are obviously retarded to go and see a movie which the premise and characters are from not just based on, but from a TV show that you didn’t like.

  • Derek

    You know, the best thing people can pick up from movie reviews. Is a better understanding of the assholes that go see the movies. See I still don’t understand why anyone cares what strangers with different likes and dislikes think about movies.Everyones gotta find out for themselfs. I do like to read the reviews though. I’m forced in my highschool newspaper to review movies even though I don’t think their reliable, but I do them anyway. Which brings me to this. When I’m going to make a review about something. I make sure I get some first hand information on what my topic is. Saying you’ve only seen one episode from the cartoon series.Then telling us you understand this movies humor. Really makes you look like an a*****e.Thats like telling star wars fans the last two movies made no sense, but you’ve never seen the first one.(By the way, I don’t care to much for ATHF either. I just don’t understand your way of thinking.)

  • Paul Nicholas Boylan

    I cannot disagree more with your review of the Aqua Teen Hunger Force movie. The reviewer – Jerry Beck (if that is his real name) clearly has no eye for art and no experience with the history of animation. The Aqua Teen movie is brilliant social and political satire probing into the ugly underbelly of the Hollywood “Dream Machine” and the techno-consumer political culture permeating an increasingly decadent but growing global economy. For example, the robot character compulsively humping whatever was at hand (so to speak) is a direct critical reference to Milton Friedman’s view on capital expenditures in emerging markets. The Drum Solo of Life is an obvious scathing satire of liberal efforts to reform our national health care system. I could go on and on, but won’t due to a social function I must attend shortly.

    Mr. Beck (if that is his real name) was so very wrong when he recently characterized this film as “nothing more than the ramblings of a drunken frat boy imagining he is being witty when he is just drunk.” Such shallow analysis does nothing more than reveal that Mr. Beck (if that is his real name) is opining on a matter that he is vastly unprepared to comment upon.

    And now, if you will excuse me, I have a very important kegger to attend.

  • Paul Nicholas Boylan

    To Whom it May Concern:

    Mr. Boylan is currently drinking beer with his frat buddies and talking about how totally cool the Aqua Teens movie is. I am writing to let you know that, when Mr. Boylan is sober, I will tell him that Jerry Beck is an accomplished animation historian, a recognized animation expert and is qualified to review the Aqua Teens movie.

    I, for one, thought the movie was awful and I am sick and tired of hearing about how totally cool it is over and over and over again. Can you imagine what this is like for me? Can you imagine how hard this is working for a slob like Boylan? I hate my job. I hate my life. If I hear another word about the Aqua Teen movie I will explode and who will clean up the mess? Not me. Not this time.

    Thank you.

    Fred Spoor,
    Personal Assistant to Mr. Boylan

  • Patrick Adams

    Jerry: “Tyler, you’re right. Even the poster is a rip-off. Compare it to this one.

    All of them are take-offs on Frank Frezetta/Boris Vallejo fantasy paintings.”

    As long as you folks don’t mind late comments, I wanted to point out to Jerry, if he didn’t realize, that the National Lampoon’s European Vacation poster is a genuine Boris Vallejo work.

    At some point while reviewing a collection of his work I noticed that almost all of the promotional images that I thought were parodies of Vallejo’s style were actually his paintings. I guess commisioning him was the simplest way to “ape” his style.

  • kirsten

    Many of u are bombing the show when u propbably watched at least one episode of the series and that really bugs me. Ive watched every episode of this series and I own all the dvds and I really like this show. When I first watched the show I thought it was really stupid. Than one night I was bored so I switched to adult swim and aqua teen was on. I thought it was hilarious, and it has been my favorite cartoon since.
    Honestly when I first found out that there was going to be a movie of this series I thought it was going to be dumb, but I watched it ought of curiosoty and it was better than I thouht it would be. It could have been better though.
    Oh, in case you are wondering I don’t do drugs and I haven’t taken I drink of alcohal in my life.
    Many of u of course are going to disagree with my opinion on the movie and the show, but I don’t care. I’m a true fan of the show so I don’t care what any of you think about it.

  • Kayla

    I love the show, but this movie sucks so bad, I honestly want a refund.

  • chris gritzmacher

    The first four seasons of this show were awesome! There’s a lot of jokes from pop culture of the past. i.e. Highlander, Foreigner, Space Invaders, Ted Nugent, Danzig, Rush, etc. This movie sucks! I don’t understand what happened! I can’t even finish it. I guess I should have rented before I bought. On top of that any season above 4 sucks! Did we lose a writer or something? Don’t waste your time on this movie! Watch squidbillies until it starts to suck! (hopefully it wont).

  • stephanie crowder

    omg i love your show and i watch it every night

  • stephanie crowder

    meatwad is my fav you are so cool and funny i am watching your show right now it is so funny its with the 3 fruit people
    i love this show
    love stephanie crowder

  • J Roberts

    Wow! What a closed mind convention THIS is! Pretty sad to see there’s this many people out there so anxious to share their thoughts on what they DON’T like. Who the hell cares? Who has the time to send out their negative thoughts, anyway? Nothing else to do? What’s the point of trashing things you don’t like. Are they bullying you into watching it? Does Dave Willis keep barging into your house to change the channel to Cartoon Network? No? Then watch what YOU like and shut the hell up!

    My suggestion to everyone taking the time to tell us all what they hate is to spend a little more finding something they like, and if you still feel so obligated to work your opinionated little fingers on the keyboard, write about that. It’s bad enough that a bunch of pompous fat asses make a career out of their OPINIONS, we definately don’t need a bunch of random nobodies venting their pinheaded views while showing off their astonishing lack of writing skills.

    I too have things I don’t like, but I suspect if they got made and sold that there’s someone who does, and I have never been so full of myself that I felt the slightest need to insult them with my views.

  • Big Larry

    I do not enjoy musicals (i understand others do) – so i would probably not rate one too high on my viewing pleasure list.

    I do not enjoy chic flicks (i understand others do) – so i would probably not rate those too high either.

    I am a cartoon watcher, always have been, always will be.
    In the cartoon genre of movies, this movie was hilarious! The movie was written for the fans of the TV program, and it scored with all of us.

    Thank you Adult Swim!

  • Anonymous

    As a few people have stated on here, ‘ATHF’ is a difficult show to get into when you start watching it. But once it clicks, it is definitely one of the greatest. The same rule applies to the movie, perhaps more so. At first I thought it was just ‘ok’ but like many great films, this one improves with each viewing. Some people will never be able to grasp why this is funny though, and that’s fine, everybody thinks differently. Just don’t pass negative opinions off in such a ‘matter of fact’ manor. On a side note, Paul Nicholas Boylan put far too much effort into bashing a film on a message board.

  • Hey, Anonymous -if that IS your real name – I didn’t bash the film: I loved it. Pay better attention. My beef is with Jerry Beck, whom I suspect of being an evil genius comparable to Ernst Stavro Blofeld. Except Jerry doesn’t sit in a big chair stroking a Persian cat; Jerry is alergic to cats. And he doesn’t have a secret lair. And he was never portrayed by Donald Pleasance. So I guess there are a lot of differences now that I think about it. But my point is that I liked ATHF the Movie. Especially the drum solo of life.

  • Bob Vela

    So a bunch of people who don’t like Aqua Teen are bashing the Aqua Teen movie (and people who like Aqua Teen). Not exactly the point of a review.

  • Jerry, it’s not that this is a bad movie. It’s that this isn’t the KIND of movie you enjoy. The show is intentionally poorly animated, especially when compared with well-animated Adult Swim shows like Moral Orel, Superjail, or Robot Chicken. Does the film attempt to do anything other than being funny? No, but that’s the point. I understand WHY somebody wouldn’t like this show. However, there is indeed a niche market for people who enjoy non-stop oddball humor with no diversions, and for people in that market, this is a HILARIOUS movie.