Though Seth Green may be the most recognized name behind Adult Swim’s Robot Chicken, there are plenty of other talented people who help make the show a success including executive producers, John Harvatine VI and Tom Root. The pair are now branching out from sketch comedy to an all new adult stop motion animated series entitled, Crossing Swords.
The story follows an idealistic and honest young man named Patrick, who was involved in an incident that ended tragically when he was younger. Ever since, he’s tried to live a morally sound life doing all that is good to make amends for his past transgression. After scoring a highly sought-after squire position at the royal castle, Patrick believes he’s well on his way to making a positive impact on society until he witnesses firsthand the corruption and incompetence of the current leadership.
Crossing Swords uses a stockier, squarer Pin Mate style for its characters that creates an adorable visual in contrast to the obscene, graphic, and foul-mouthed actions they regularly carry out. It is very adult in nature with full frontal nudity and gratuitous violence and the cute aesthetic helps make it more palatable and plays up the comedy.
The sets add to the cutesy imagery looking like friendlier set ups to table top games like Warhammer, although the scale can sometimes be off between the characters and buildings in the scenic shots.
Also, for not having any arms, the action sequences are surprisingly well done with exciting and believable choreography. The confrontation with the kraken stands out with the massive size of the sea monster and all the water effects that must have been difficult to create in stop motion.
Considering the pedigree of the creators, the writing is never too profound. There is a storyline covering the benefits of a civilized, ideal republic but other than that, the focus is mainly on lowbrow humor that occurs at locales such as a secret society debauchery gathering, a Coachella-like festival and a super sweet period party. That’s not to say it’s not funny. Who doesn’t appreciate a good drug induced trip or someone else being hit in the groin? One clever aspect though is that mostly everything introduced plays a role in the overall season arc. It’s like placing little breadcrumbs for the viewer to follow gradually building to the finale.
Crossing Swords includes a delightful cast with Nicholas Holt in the lead and Luke Evans, Yvette Nicole Brown, Tony Hale, Adam Ray, and the previously mentioned Green all having supporting roles. A stand out is Adam Pally, whose Broth is an endearing character who serves as Patrick’s fellow squire and friend. The actor brings a lot of warmth to the amiable, simple minded companion who is as upbeat as he is a party animal.
The show may not be a complex and groundbreaking, but it doesn’t have to be. It can serve as a fun medieval escape for ten episodes with effectively executed dumb humor that can allow viewers to unwind and take a break from the seriousness of the current real world.
All ten episodes from the first season of Crossing Swords, a Channel Surfing pick of the week, will be released this Friday, June 12, on Hulu.