Animated Discussions
by Rudy Panucci and Melanie Larch

Moral Orel’s Best Christmas Ever

Adult Swim presented a brand new holiday special last Tuesday and Wednesday night at Midnight, when we were treated to the debut of Moral Orel’s Best Christmas Ever. This stop-motion animated short is the pilot for a Moral Orel series, and is the creation of Dino Stamatopoulos, a producer/writer for Mr. Show. A dark parody of Art Clokey’s Davey and Goliath, Morel Orel is a little boy with very deep religious feelings. His faith is supposed to help him deal with all his travails. This was a very, very dark parody. It starts out so nice and light, then quickly veers into Charles Bukowski territory.

The show has an encore airing very late, just after midnight on Christmas Day. This is one twisted, cynical, blasphemous holiday treat–the perfect antidote for all that holiday joy. A Morel Orel series is expected to follow next year.

More Adult Swim News

Adult Swim just wrapped up the latest mini-season of Aqua Team Hunger Force. Despite promises that these new episodes would be “phoned in,”, they’re as funny as ever. We can’t figure out why they buried brand new episodes of one of their most successful shows after Midnight, following repeats of Robot Chicken, but these are worth seeking out, if they run them again soon. Also on the ATHQ front, Season Four is now out on DVD, and a feature film is in the works.

Good news to report about The Boondocks. After a shaky debut, the show has become a solid, must-see program. The animation is still sub-par, but the writing is top-notch, and the subject matter is just uncomfortable enough to make the show very special.

On Christmas Eve at Midnight, Adult Swim will present a marathon of the nonsensical, bizarre Perfect Hair Forever. This parade of non-sequiters masquerading as Anime is one of shows shows that you either love or hate. We love it. The magical singing hot dog won us over.

We finish up with more good news from Adult Swim. A second season of The Venture Brothers has been penciled in on the schedule for early next year. Originally a parody of Jonny Quest, The Venture Brothers has evolved beyond a one-joke show and became one of the most enjoyable cartoons on the air. It’s got just the right blend of satire, cynicism, and adventure. The first-season episode where they parodied The Fantastic Four was more faithful to the comic book than the FF recent movie. We’re looking forward to the new season.

Next week in Animated Discussions, we look at the upcoming movie, Hoodwinked.