Aqua Teen
Even if I told you what was going on, most of you wouldn’t believe me.


Golden Mug

NOMINEE:
Best Animated Film

Theatrical Release Date: 04/13/2007
Directors: Matt Maiellaro & Dave Willis
Featuring the Voices of: Dana Snyder, Dave Willis, Carey Means, Schooly-D, Tina Fey, Bruce Campbell

Uhhh … check, check it.

So, it’s finally here … the movie that brought Boston to a standstill with lite brites, “Aqua Teen Hunger Force Colon Movie Film For Theaters”. Having been a fan of the show since its inception on the Cartoon Network’s Adult Swim lineup, I had been awaiting a feature length film with caution and skepticism.

For those of you not familiar with the concept, a milkshake (Master Shake), ball of meat (Meatwad), and box of fries (Frylock) get into ridiculous situations involving everything and anything from aliens and Satan to their gruff, mid-life crisis of a rocker neighbor, Carl and his penchant for strippers and porn.

The cartoon episodes on TV each ran about 12 minutes. This meant the show just jumped into a random situation without any pretense of a back-story and a conclusion was reached shortly thereafter.

I love random, senseless and crude humor so the world of “Aqua Teen Hunger Force” kept me laughing over the years. With a full-length feature film (86 minutes), I was worried how a show built on brevity would survive having to tell a story over that span of time. As expected, this is the downfall of the film but that’s not to say everything went to hell on the project.

The opening sequence of the film is an homage / middle finger to the classic “Let’s all go to the movies” skit involving concession candy. This is easily one of, if not the, best opening sequences ever and I wish it ran before just about every film.

From there, the film starts like each episode might, setting up an implausible situation and throwing crazy characters at the audience left and right. This is where “Aqua Teen” will ultimately fail I think, as this film is really not that accessible to newbies.

In order to really get the fun and humor of the film, knowing about each of the characters allows for an easier time of understanding what’s going on and enjoying the subtle character quirks. Also, as fans of the show know, it can be hard to understand some of the characters sometimes (Meatwad, I’m talking to you) and that makes following along a bit more difficult.

Oddly enough, though, I thought the filmmakers did a decent job of providing a substantial enough story to stretch into feature length. Essentially, this is an origin story for the three main characters and makes it all the more clear why Frylock has a picture of Dr. Weird in his bedroom.

As one might expect, there is a ton of nonsensical humor and that’s where the show really struts its stuff. This isn’t your childhood cartoon. It’s rude, crude and often rather gross.

Still, I love it and I had a pretty decent time in the film. If you’re a fan of the show, there’s something to like here and while I might not say you need to see it in theaters, you’ll probably enjoy the film when you do get around to it.

However, if you have never seen the show, I’d stay away and watch something else. Maybe sit down sometime and watch this with someone familiar with the show to help guide you along because while I might have thought all of it was funny and strange, you might just end up thinking the latter.

A 3 out of 5, it exceeded my expectations but fails to make it accessible to a wider audience and as good of a job as they did filling the time, it still dragged on in parts … which is something fans of the show know all too well it can do in certain episodes.