Robot Chicken DC Comics Special 2: Villains in Paradise
Robot Chicken DC Comics Special 2: Villains in Paradise is now available on DVD. The special only runs 22 minutes, but there are tons of extras.
Like the previous Robot Chicken DC Comics Special, the show is a string of random gags executed using Mego-style superhero dolls.
The jokes range from annoyances of daily life (sequences in a coffee shop) to bizarre postulations (such as Lex’s “Sexx Luthor” high school band). As I’d expect for the Adult Swim audience, there’s a reliance on gags about body parts and extreme language.
The show was clearly created by someone who really knows their DC universe, since all kinds of characters show up, including Dr. Fate and Chemo. Oddly surprising but my favorite were the musical numbers, particularly the Superboy/Lena Luthor beach duet, voiced by Zac Efron and Sarah Hyland. Those are only a few of the surprisingly well-known voices that participate. Others are Alfred Molina (Lex Luthor), Nathan Fillion (Green Lantern), Breckin Meyer (Superman), Alex Borstein (Wonder Woman), Clancy Brown (Gorilla Grodd), and Giovanni Ribisi (the Joker). Most other voices are done by the writers.
The many extras include:
- A ten-minute making-of lists some of the voice actors and shows the details behind the Swamp Thing cameo scene.
- “Bad Hair, Musical Numbers & Sequels” (9 minutes) discusses making a second installment and how the songs came to be.
- “The Ones That Got Away” (7 minutes) covers the sketches that were cut and the writers talking about how bad it feels to have a rejected idea.
- “20 Questions” (13 minutes) asks the writers and producers questions about the DCU to demonstrate how much they know (or don’t). Sadly, I knew 18 of the answers, which was more than most of them. But it’s not about the knowledge, especially with Geoff Johns backstopping them — it’s about being able to write humor.
- There are six Cut Animatics (5 minutes), showing ideas that made it to storyboard form, and two Cut Sketches (2 minutes), all introduced by writers.
The “Chicken Nuggets” function runs the special with video commentary inserts by Seth Green, Geoff Johns, and Matthew Senreich that you access by pressing an on-screen icon. There are so many of these interrupts, although the content can be light, that I wish you could choose to play it all the way through without constantly mashing OK. The overall feeling is like watching with your buddies.
The two commentaries are divided between actors (Seth Green, Matthew Senreich, Nathan Fillion, Breckin Meyer, and Zeb Wells) and writers (Hugh Davidson, Mike Fasolo, Tom Root, Kevin Shinick, and Zeb Wells). Watching this thing four times was beyond me, so I didn’t check them all out in full, but if you like the special, this goes in-depth in multiple ways.
The previous installment was available on Blu-ray, but this version only comes on DVD, which has dismayed some fans but didn’t seem a significant problem to me. A cheaper price is a good thing for a silly diversion like this. (The studio provided a review copy.)