Starring: Andrew Lincoln, Jon Bernthal, Sarah Wayne Callies, Jeffrey Dean Morgan, Michael Rooker, Melissa McBride
Written by: Hugh Davidson, Mike Fasolo
Directed by: Tom Sheppard
Distributor: Warner Ros.
The Walking Dead, on AMC, has been one of the longest and most popular TV series in the last decade. Spawned from a Comic Book with the same name, it only seems appropriate that it would spawn its own Robot Chicken parody. After all, if Robot Chicken can attack Star Wars, why not a TV series about people in zombie wasteland?
From the get-go, the twisted minds behind Robot Chicken’s comedy skit show, featuring toys and actions figures, hits the viewer with the classic “CBS TV Special”, a nostalgic throwback which immediately invokes a quick smile, but that feeling will be lost on many of the Millennials watching
The surprising hook for Robot Chicken’s Walking Dead Special is that the majority of the actual Walking Dead cast, both past, and present (a lot of characters have died on this show), return to voice their Robot Chicken action figure counterparts. So when Jeffrey Dean Morgan voices Negan in a segment on how he got his red scarf, via a certain Peanuts character, the comedy reaches a different level. However, without that added bonus, Robot Chicken may have finally played out its appeal.
Robot Chicken’s social satire and pop culture comedy jabs were fantastic for many years on Cartoon Network’s Adult Swim. Sadly, with how fast the world is now, the jokes supplied by a stop-motion action figure show seem stale in comparison to gifs and memes that are delivered in moments (if not seconds) after events transpire.
With that being said, The Walking Dead Special is ripe with musical numbers, elongated scenes, and raunchy jokes that this long time watcher fully appreciated. To have Michael Rooker perform a musical number, as Merle Dixon, about finding his match in life, was disturbingly fun. To see the residents of Terminus sing a welcoming song about how they are not going to eat you was also a delight. I must admit that my favorite montage, though a little long, was Melissa McBride's Carol Peletier running down various scenarios where she recites the line “look at the flowers”. Oh, and Kudos to the Robot Chicken crew for allowing a zombie to finally inflict pain on Chris Hardwick during his Talking Dead show. These bits kept it fresh in a genre that is beginning to die.
This special, a mere 22 minutes, may not be worth the price of a purchase, but there are a ton of cut sketches, some finished and some not. You also get a better appreciation of what goes into the production of this stop-motion animated show. Again, the appeal is the cast of the actual Walking Dead applying their own voices. Hearing Andrew Lincoln (Rick), Jon Bernthal (Shane), and Sarah Wayne Callies (Lori) riff on the more sensitive and awkward family moments of the first two seasons was fun, however, when Robot Chicken resorted to Mud Butt jokes it makes you wonder if the show needs some revitalization or perhaps it may be time to bury it.
The Robot Chicken Walking Dead Special arrives on DVD and Blu-ray March 27, 2018.
• Behind-the-Scenes Making of The Robot Chicken Walking Dead Special: Look Who’s Walking
• Commentary featuring Scott M. Gimple, Seth Green, Robert Kirkman, Matthew Senreich, and Tom Sheppard
• Sketches to Die For
• Behind the Screams