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Aardman Animation became famous for their creation of Wallace & Gromit, a show which solely featured models that were being animated so meticulously that it took days (or more) to complete even one scene. Wallace and his pet dog, Gromit, enjoyed three TV adventures, and after the third one Aardman Animation turned their focus onto the big screen. In 2000, Chicken Run was released, and after its success – and proof that their animation could hold up for an hour and a half – paved the way for a film version of Wallace & Gromit, which is currently in production.

Whilst this was going on, a man named Darren Walsh dreamed up a show that would have minuscule episodes, two to three-minutes in duration, charting the rollercoaster ride of adolescence. And so Angry Kid was born…

Angry Kid: Season One
The Episodes
He's an orange-haired 12 year-old kid and he's angry. He is Angry Kid. Angry Kid spends his spare time tearing around on his Raleigh Chopper (wearing his very stylish Parka jacket) getting into all sorts of bother, verbally abusing his father and sister and generally causing havoc wherever he goes.

With this basic premise, Walsh and his team of filmmakers proceeded to produce 25 episodes – season one – complete with some very interesting episode titles such as ‘Blood Juice’ and ‘Hoax Calling’.

In recent months Angry Kid has been thrust into the spotlight somewhat, as 3 video mobiles offer the feature of watching the episodes; so the short running times are perfectly suited to 21st century mobile technology. But, that may also be a drawback – short durations and ‘throwaway entertainment’ are not really suited to DVD home cinema.

Within a few minutes of throwing myself into this animated and very frenzied world, it was clear this was against the grain, so to speak. Full of bad language and various nastiness (copious nosebleeds and other assorted fluids escaping from the disgusting titular character), this definitely isn’t for younger viewers and also may insult more conservative audiences.

Amongst all this foul behaviour, is there anything engaging or entertaining to be found? Well, yes and no. Throughout the 25 episodes there is humour to be found; the type of amusement that is classed today as ‘gross-out comedy’ – funny only because it is so crass and full-on. But, the downside is that this (toilet) humour is repeated almost identically throughout the majority of the episodes, with only a very small handful containing anything that could be dubbed as being original or refreshing.

I was grateful that it was all over quickly, 62-minutes to be precise, as otherwise it would have dragged and made me not like it even more. As it stands, it is OK entertainment, but I really cannot see why anyone would want to buy the episodes on DVD, as not only is the content itself nothing wonderful, but even the sheer format of the show makes it impractical for the home cinema format.

Video
The lacklustre episodes get presented in relatively lacklustre 1.33:1 Standard. The lack of definition is the main thing wrong with the video, as the colours cannot be displayed to their full glory when the transfer isn’t anamorphically-enhanced, and when it is presented in measly fullscreen. Passable, and since there are no artefacts to comment on, I will give the video an OK score. Still, there is a lot of room for improvement.

Angry Kid: Season One
Audio
Again, the audio is nothing special – Dolby Digital 2.0 (English) – but it does do its job, due to the dialogue nature of Angry Kid. When there are any effects, such as cars going past, a surround soundstage would have been preferred, but the front channels are crisp and clear throughout. Again, an average score has been awarded.

Extras
When clicking on the ‘Special Features’ link on the main menu, I was pleasantly surprised to see a good amount of material show up…but is it case of looking good on paper, without delivering the goods? Or will the extras be more than superficial padding?

Things get off to a relatively good start with a 7-minute featurette, ‘Inside Angry Kid’, which introduces viewers to the series creator Darren Walsh, who also serves as writer-director. There is also some behind-the-scenes footage, as well as interviews (short, mind) with other cast and crew. If the featurette had been a bit more extensive, and not as sparse as it is, then it would have made for some good insight.

There is a peculiar feature entitled ‘Director’s Cut’, which is a 2-minute clip from one of the episodes already on the disc. Meaningless.

A short teaser trailer for the second season of Angry Kid is included, with what appears to be some mildly amusing moments (one of the scenes shown is explained in the aforementioned featurette).

Angry Kid: Season One
Following in other shows’ wake, such as The Simpsons, clips from the foreign variants of Angry Kid are included: Spanish, French and Japanese. They are all clips from what we have already on the disc, and offer nothing new, but I suppose there is some attraction to watching something in a peculiar language – complete with bad dubbing (this style of animation is hardly the best suited to being re-dubbed).

‘Reports’ is another fairly pointless extra, in which two features of text display on-screen, the first entitled ‘School’ and the second ‘Police’. They are merely ‘comical’ depictions of what an adolescent nightmare Angry Kid is. The disc is rounded off with a small photo gallery (‘The Gallery’) and a montage of clips from the show, played against background music. Designed like a trailer, the latter offers (again) no ‘special feature’ potential.

The menus are animated well, with clips from the show complete with Angry Kid’s various moans. They are easy to navigate and well designed.

Angry Kid: Season One
Overall
Far off from the excellent Wallace & Gromit and Chicken Run, Angry Kid appears to be the poorer child of Aardman, and although its premise and unique running times may go against the norm, underneath this superficial surface nothing meaningful can be found. Granted, it has its odd moment – hence the score below – but I have no real intention of going back and watching all 25 episodes again.

The disc itself is also fairly poor, with the highlight being the audio, although even that is lacklustre. The extras may look good on paper, but quality-wise they are a far cry from a decent bunch of special features and good insight. Overall, all I can recommend is for subscribers to the 3 mobile services to watch the odd episode when they have a spare few minutes, but for the rest of us, stay clear: it really isn’t worth it.


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