Sunday, August 7, 2022

Review: Anime-Inspired Cartoon Genndy Tartakovsky’s ‘Primal’

genndy tartakovsky primal

Brought to you by Adult Swim, (the people that brought you ‘Rick and Morty’, ‘Robot Chicken’ and ‘Family Guy’) ‘Primal’ is the new series from Genndy Tartakovsky:

Tartakovsky is already well-known as the creator of ‘Dexter’s Lab’, ‘Samurai Jack’ and ‘Star Wars: Clone Wars’, and the director of the ‘Hotel Transylvania’ films. Season 1 will be made up of ten episodes, with only the first five airing so far and the second five chapters to be released later this year.

For a series with zero dialogue, it tells a thrilling and often highly emotive story. It creates strong bonds between the viewer and the characters, which can go from high-octane to heart-wrenching in the blink of an eye. The humanity created in a series starring a Neanderthal and a T-Rex is astounding. You will become attached to both protagonists from the first moment onwards…

genndy tartakovsky primal
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If you are not a fan of action, this could be a difficult watch for you, as almost every scene will get the heart pounding. But this is not mindless, relentless adrenaline for the sake of it, it is often beautiful and artistically executed. The crimson grin of a T-Rex will stay in your mind for its visual beauty, rather than its menace.

The series lives up to its name, it is primal in every sense:

It is a dog-eat-dog world, only the strongest will survive, and danger is ever-present and relentless. However, the unlikely friendship between a man and a dinosaur provides comfort in a menacing world.

Together ‘Spear’ (the man) and ‘Fang’ (the Tyrannosaurus) fight off raptors, snakes, Mammoths, and a host of other-worldly beasts in their quest for survival. They learn to work as a team and fight over who gets first dibs on any hunt. The relationship is like that of man and dog, a tussle for obedience, but a loyal bond that goes deep.

The beauty of the series is that it isn’t wall-to-wall action or wall-to-wall adventure, it also makes space for calmer, more subtle moments, moments of depth and delicate beauty. It is this attention to detail, clever writing and the storyboarding of the series that elevates it from being just a cartoon.

Sound designer, Joel Valentine deserves a special mention, and perhaps the lack of dialogue makes us rely more heavily on the wonderful sound effects he uses throughout. The series is as impressive as audio-wise as it is visually. In every sense, ‘Primal’ offers something different from your everyday series. It broadens the genre.

genndy tartakovsky primal
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Cinematography has evolved throughout the years and has tested its art in different areas. Not only have films based on novels and the entertainment sector achieved a place in this sector, but also the anime genre is gaining popularity among this art. ‘Primal’ takes a big step into making animation cool again, focussing on the art itself. The main pull of the series is its sensory beauty. It reminds us of the magic animation can bring. After all, why should it just be a matter of age to enjoy cartoons when there is such a wide scope of what is possible? Let’s be honest, we are all still loving this genre at heart!

Five compelling episodes are free to watch through Adult Swim or Amazon Prime, so, why not try out one of the highly compelling twenty-minute episodes? You will most likely find yourself tearing through all five in one sitting, and they will have you salivating at the prospect of five more on the horizon.

Whether or not you like anime-inspired animation or the art of animation in general, there is something here for you. You may be drawn by the narrative, which is superb and gripping, or perhaps the epic soundscape created throughout; or maybe you are curious to watch something different. It is a visual masterpiece and a treat for all the senses. Open the doorway into a different world and step away from everything you know.

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