Another Piece of Animal Kung Fu

Chop Socky Chooks

Chop Socky Chooks is a CG television series produced by Aardman for Cartoon Network UK. The show, starring kung fu chickens, was created in-house by one of its animators, Sergio Delfino. I’m not exactly sure why I’m linking to it other than it’s amusing to keep track of all the kung fu-related productions we’re going to be seeing over the next few years. Just in case you’re keeping score, first there was the TV series Skunk Fu! which was produced by Ireland’s Cartoon Saloon and premiered in September 2007, then there’s Chop Socky Chooks which has apparently been airing since March ’08, and finally DreamWorks’ Kung Fu Panda, released theatrically in June ’08.

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  • http://odwwart.blogspot.com PCleland

    wait? they’re chickens? huh, I’d never made that connection, which I’m ok with for the most part but it just doesn’t seem necessary for them to be some kind of animal at this point they could just be whatever. I’m sure they mention they’re chickens in the show, but the two times it was on I wasn’t listening to what they were saying.

  • http://none Zackery S. Mays

    I have to say this they look like fish not chickens !!!!!

  • http://jmac.org Jason McIntosh

    Those are chickens? …okay.

    I saw an ad for this somewhere last spring, and just thought they were just weirdly stylized little people, especially since I’ve never heard the word “chooks” before. I assumed it was a brand name for a new line of toys or something. (I take it it’s actually a Britishism for poultry?)

    I guess the guy on the left still retains a little bit of chickenosity, with the comb and feet, but you’ve lost me on the other two.

  • Brannigan’s Law

    Lets not forget Hong Kong Phooey, The Karate Kid the animated series, Chuck Norris Kommandos animated series, TMNT, Afro Samurai and the great Samurai Champloo. I remember seeing Skunk Fu on the internet around 2006.

  • http://cupojo.net Jo

    I caught this show on Cartoon Network- s’allright, but does anybody else feel like the title is somehow vaguely racist-sounding?

  • TheAnimator

    To be honest I’ve seen these shows but haven’t really cared about them. Camp Lazlo, Fosters, Chowder, and Flap Jack have been far more entertaining. In all honesty I can’t stand Skunk Fu! The art style is almost like a bad knock off of Samurai Jack.

  • http://www.elliotelliotelliot.com Elliot Cowan

    Jason McIntosh – “Chooks” is a word we Australians use for “chickens”.
    I imagine our brethren across the seas in New Zealand use the word also.
    It seems like a peculiar term to adopt for this show which I am not sure is related to Australia whatsoever.

  • Altred Ego

    The heavy lifting (ie. actual production) for the show thus far has been done in Toronto at both STARZ and now C.O.R.E. Digital Pictures.

  • http://mattjonezanimation.blogspot.com Matt Jones

    They look absolutely NOTHING like chickens! But does that matter?

  • http://exitplanetwhom.blogspot.com gavin

    Elliot…

    Although it’s more commonly used in Australia and NZ, it’s actually old English. Shakespeare used it first and it’s still used in some parts of England. Including Bristol perhaps since that’s where Aardman’s based.

  • Brad

    And if animals weren’t enough, what’s happening in produce?

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nvwYTQgmYDg

  • Jason

    “Camp Lazlo” is the worst piece of TV toon detritus on record. Awful character design, unpleasant characters, shitty animation. Writing’s putrid too. But “Chooks” is stomach-turning. It should be chopped into McNuggets. Hiii-yahh!

  • Baron Lego

    The fact that the chickens look more like alien “greys” is the least of Chop Socky Chooks’ woes. It’s biggest problem is that it’s just another predictable and blandly-written animated television series that’s about as interesting as watching paint dry.

  • http://www.inthebalcony.com Laughing Gravy

    What about the taekwondodos in ICE AGE? I always kinda gave them credit for creating the recent surge in martial animated arts…

  • joecab

    I really can’t get into any series where I can’t recognize what they’re supposed to be. The Chooks look like, fish maybe? And Catscratch … um, demons?

    But Camp Lazlo is great! Unfortunately not as good as Joe Murray’s previous big series Rocko’s Modern Life but still pretty funny, and I like the designs.

    Britain has even more crappy CGI series than we do: I’d rather force myself to watch Back to the Barnyard than Butt-Ugly Martians.

  • http://robcatview.blogspot.com robcat2007

    I saw a poster promoting “Chooks” as kids-meal toys at Jack-in-th-Box, but I had no idea what they were until now.

    I watched one clip, “Oops, we ran out of roof”, and the backgrounds appeared to be in red-blue 3D. I put on some red-blue glasses and yes, there was some depth there. Odd.

  • http://eggheadcheesybird.co.uk Alex

    I preffered the Lucha Libre craze. At least they have fun masks.

  • Annie-Mae

    That Carrotty Kid short is kinda cool. Sounds like they got Jess Harnell to do the Cobb guy at the end.

  • Christine

    You know the design is bad when my four-year-old daughter says “what are those, mommy, balloon people?” The few minutes I’ve seen haven’t convinced me to watch any more.

    I believe all these martial arts shows are playing off the popularity of Avatar, the Last Airbender, which has a martial arts master as a storyboard consultant and uses four specific types of martial arts styles, depending on which ‘tribe’ the person is from. Avatar started early 2005 on Nick, and now three years later, hoo boy, more martial arts toons! Oh well. The Avatar rules ‘em all. I’m sad it’s over!

  • Matt Sullivan

    SKUNK FU actually isn’t half bad, ( and I HATE most flash animation )

    But CHOP SOCKY CHOOKS makes me ill to look at.

  • http://none Zackery S. Mays

    Give Me Disney Afternoon anytime !!!!

  • Nat

    The half of SKUNK FU that IS bad more than makes up for the other half.

  • http://subrosa-rosamundi.blogspot.com Suzanne Dargie

    I worked on Chop Socky Chooks at IDT back in 2007 in the Layout Department and it seemed like it was going to be a great series, but sadly the project ran into financial problems and IDT was being taken over by Starz at the time. I think Starz felt we couldn’t continue working on the project after going through the numbers, and the contract was broken. It ended up going to CORE Digital after we had only completed 9 episodes. I haven’t seen any of the episodes done at CORE, but the stuff done at IDT was excellent…….except maybe the “Would You Like Thighs With That?” episode. Aardman Animation wanted ‘feature’ quality effects on a ‘series’ budget and schedule. It was asking a lot.
    I ended up getting laid off along with quite a few other people.

  • http://www.fatkat.ca Gene Fowler

    We’re doing a kung fu show at Fatkat too.

    http://www.threedelivery.com

  • Martin Goodman

    This reminds me of the highly derivative trend in mainstream comic books back in the mid-eighties in which armies of ninjas appeared virtually everywhere. It seemed to me that every other person in Japan was secretly a ninja. Considering the time and training it takes to actually produce a ninja and the legendary combat skills they are said to possess, they never seemed to do very well against the heroes. They typically fell like black-robed bowling pins, as I recall, in one comic after another. Either that, or shurikins and nunchucks aren’t made as well as they used to be. Oh well, this too will pass…

  • Joel

    I honestly think that my favorite shows of 2007-2008 are Chowder, Flapjack, and Skunk Fu! In my opinion, it’s pretty darned awesome and looks absolutely amazing (especially for Flash)!

  • Juju

    I kind of find the character designs offensive… Chick P is an extremely stereotypical looking Geisha. Chuckie Chan is a very stereotypical squinty eyed, glasses wearing martial artist master who has a name very similar to Jackie Chan. He has broken English too. I dunno, lots of shows have stereotypes that aren’t comfortable to me but they could at least make the characters racial parodies less distracting. The storyline was okay… wasn’t as funny as I thought it was going to be. Humor was bland but okay.