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Aqua Teen Hunger Force (also known as ATHF) is an American animated television series shown on Cartoon Network as part of its Adult Swim late-night programming block, as well as Teletoon in Canada. It is one of four spin-offs of Adult Swim's Space Ghost Coast to Coast (Cartoon Planet, The Brak Show and Harvey Birdman, Attorney at Law being the other three), ATHF is one of the four original Williams Streetmarker series that premiered on December 30, 2000 before Adult Swim officially debuted (the others were Sealab 2021, The Brak Show, and Harvey Birdman, Attorney at Law). ATHF is the longest running original series on the network. In 2007, an ATHF movie, Aqua Teen Hunger Force Colon Movie Film for Theaters, was released in 877 selected theaters throughout the United States. Another movie is planned for 2011, to be called Death Fighter.

The show is about the adventures of three anthropomorphic fast food items and their next-door neighbor in suburban New Jerseymarker. The original crime-solving premise of the show was abandoned early. (In 'Robositter', Frylock mentions to Shake that the Hunger Force 'hasn't detected anything in three years.') The episodes usually involve the characters being visited by a wide variety of strange monsters, most of which are of little power or consequence. The show features surreal and often morbid humor. An initially structured plot is often abandoned as characters' actions take the story far afield. Little continuity exists between episodes: regularly appearing characters frequently die in an episode, only to appear alive and well in the next. Since its release, it has developed a major cult following.

Production

Aqua Teen Hunger Force is directed by Dave Willis and Matt Maiellaro, and produced by Williams Streetmarker. Much of the dialogue is supplemented with ad libs and improvisation by the voice talent. The show is fully scripted but ad libs are included in the final voice recordings and the shows are animated to include this improvisation. Many, if not all, of the crew and cast members formerly worked on Space Ghost Coast to Coast. Rapper Schoolly D performs the theme song, and in early episodes also provided periodic commentary.

The Aqua Teens were originally created for an episode of Space Ghost Coast to Coast called "Baffler Meal", where they were the corporate mascots for a fictional fast-food chain called "Burger Trench". The versions of the Aqua Teen Hunger Force were prototypes which resembled the future characters, but both Master Shake and Frylock differed in appearance, personality, and voice from their ultimate design. The name "Teen Hunger Force" refers to the squad's mission to conquer hunger in teens.

"Baffler Meal" did not air for several years, and was not even animated or produced until after ATHF became popular. Instead, the Space Ghost episode was rewritten as "Kentucky Nightmare," while the Aqua Teens debuted in "Rabbot," the pilot episode of Aqua Teen Hunger Force. Although originally Adult Swim did not feel that the show would do very well, they allowed the show to be produced due to a need for original programming. A full season consisting of sixteen episodes, including "Rabbot", was put into production shortly thereafter. ATHF is now one of Adult Swim's most popular shows.

In early episodes, the trio were identified by Master Shake as the "Aqua Teen Hunger Force," which solved crimes for money. After a few episodes, this premise and the use of the name by the characters were dropped. The premise had originally been added to appease Cartoon Network executives, who "didn't want to air a show about food just going around and doing random stuff." In the show itself, Frylock mentions that they stopped fighting crime because "that wasn't making us a whole lot of money."

Opening sequences

During the first two seasons, which were released on DVD in three volumes, episodes cold-opened with a glimpse into the laboratory of Dr. Weird. He and his assistant Steve use the first several seconds of the show to create monsters, disasters, and random things. In earlier episodes of the first season, the monsters or creations usually formed the basis for the plot, but as the crime-fighting element of the program disappeared, the Dr. Weird segment became a non sequitur opening gag.

In the third season, Dr. Weird was dropped in favor of segments from the pilot episode of Spacecataz, an unaired spin-off created by Dave Willis and Matt Maiellaro. Six episodes were planned for production, but Adult Swim felt that there was little, if anything, that could be made into five more episodes, since all of the characters were destroyed at the end of the pilot. These segments featured the Mooninites (Ignignokt and Err) and the Plutonians (Emory and Oglethorpe) clashing with each other, trading insults, gestures, and practical jokes. The full Spacecataz pilot is available as a special feature on the Volume Four DVD box-set.

The openings were dropped starting in the fourth season. Dr. Weird has not been seen since, except for an appearance in the movie, and in some episodes he can be seen in a photo with Frylock, in the background of Frylock's room.

Location

The exact New Jerseymarker location where the show is intended to take place is never explicitly specified, but there have been clues over the series' run. In the episode "Remooned," Carl's license has the postal zip code 089?? and living at 328 Fairley street. In New Jersey, the only towns with a zip code beginning with "089" are Highland Parkmarker, New Brunswickmarker, North Brunswickmarker, and Waterford Works, all of which are located in central New Jersey. In the episode "MC Pee Pants," Meatwad and Carl are instructed to go to 612 Wharf Avenue, an actual road in Red Bankmarker, NJmarker.

In the episode "Shake Like Me," a close-up shot of a health insurance card belonging to Master Shake presents his address as 1171 Fairley Street, South Jersey, NJ 08957. Neither the city name nor the zip code describe real places in New Jersey.

Characters

Voice Cast

Name Character(s)
Dana Snyder Master Shake
Shrub attorney
Dave Willis Meatwad
Carl Brutananadilewski
Ignignokt
Boxy Brown


Carey Means Frylock
Matt Maiellaro Err
Cybernetic Ghost of Christmas
Past from the Future
Markula
Turkatron



C. Martin Croker Dr. Weird
Steve
Andy Merrill Oglethorpe
Mike Schatz Emory
mc chris MC Pee Pants
Little Carl (one episode)
George Lowe Himself
Minor characters


Film

A feature film based on the show, Aqua Teen Hunger Force Colon Movie Film for Theaters, was released on April 13, 2007. The movie follows the origins of the Aqua Teens, which includes an exercise machine, Neil Peart of the band Rush, a watermelon slice named "Walter Melon", and an appearance by heavy metal band Mastodon in the opening sequence. The film also introduces a fourth Aqua Teen, a chicken nugget named "Chicken Bittle" (voiced by Bruce Campbell). The Plutonians and the Cybernetic Ghost of Christmas Past from the Future, recurring characters, both make appearances in the movie, as well as the Mooninites, Dr. Weird, and MC Pee Pants.

For April Fools' Day 2007, Cartoon Network aired for free Aqua Teen Hunger Force Colon Movie Film for Theaters during the Adult Swim programming block even though it had not yet been released. However, it was aired shrunken and in the bottom corner of the normal programming that was being aired at the time, and contained no sound.

A sequel to ATHFCMFFT called Death Fighter is planned for release in late 2010 or early 2011. Unlike the first film, the sequel may be released straight to DVD rather than theatrically.

Bomb scare

On January 31, 2007, as part of a national guerrilla marketing campaign, Peter Berdovsky, 27, and Sean Stevens, 28, installed LED displays depicting the Mooninites in ten different cities: Bostonmarker, New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, Atlantamarker, Seattlemarker, Portlandmarker, Denvermarker, Austinmarker, San Franciscomarker, and Philadelphiamarker. In Bostonmarker, Massachusettsmarker, the authorities considered the LEDs suspicious prompting the closure of major roads and waterways for investigation. Turner Broadcasting System later admitted placing the LEDs and apologized for the misunderstanding. In spite of the uproar, Berdovsky and Stevens mocked the media and critics in interviews while facing charges for "placing a hoax device and disorderly conduct". Subsequently, all criminal charges were dropped in exchange for Berdovsky and Stevens apologizing during their court date and accepting a plea bargain which consisted of community service at the Spaulding Rehabilitation Center. Turner Broadcasting has paid the Boston Police Department one million dollars to cover the investigation’s cost and an additional million for good will. This action was designed to settle criminal and civil claims, while the general manager of Cartoon Network stepped down because of the incident. Of the 10 cities in which the Lite-Brite-like LED displays were placed, only Bostonmarker saw them as a matter of concern. The installations had been up for weeks prior to the panic.

Stephen Colbert mentioned the incident on the Colbert Report and commented "If you want to get people excited about Aqua Teen Hunger Force, gotta use Frylock." He later blamed Meatwad for ruining his future publicity stunts.

Video Games and Albums

ATHF:CMFFT Colon Soundtrack

Have Yourself A Meaty Little Christmas

In time for the holiday season the creators of the show released an album made up entirely of Christmas themed music entitled Have Yourself A Meaty Little Christmas. The album features classic Christmas songs being covered by the main characters with their own twist on the lyrics and styles of the songs performances, and entirely new Christmas Carols. One song "Santa Left A Booger In My Stocking" featured alternative country star Neko Case doing a duet with Meatwad was the only special guest appearance.

Zombie Ninja Pro-Am

Aqua Teen Hunger Force Zombie Ninja Pro-Am is a PlayStation 2 game published by Midway Games and was released November 2007. In an interview for The Feed on G4, ATHF creator Dave Willis confirmed that there was an Aqua Teen video game in production. In the game, the player plays golf while battling villains that have appeared on the show, including Carl's gigantic crabs, the Brownie Monsters, and the Mooninites.

Destruct-O-Thon

Aqua Teen Hunger Force Destruct-O-Thon is a mobile game released on December 7, 2004 by Glu Mobile. The object was to hit an object from the show across a course resembling the street the Aqua Teens live on, hitting other objects along the way (such as hitting a stick of dynamite into Carl's car), creating momentum and choosing an angle using only the 5 key.

Cameos and appearances

  • Aqua Teen Hunger Force will be appearing Live at Chicago's Lakeshore Theater November 13 and 14, 2009.


  • Carl and Meatwad appeared on VH1's Best Week Ever, congratulating them on their 100th episode.


  • The Aqua Teens appear in a 1-800-Call-ATT commercial, in which Master Shake is wearing a red wig to make people think that he is Carrot Top, the spokesman for the service, although it was never officially aired. Meatwad also makes an appearance in a Dodge commercial, in which he is coughed up by a passenger in the vehicle who is choking, splatters against the windshield, and says "Sweet!"


  • Singer T-Pain can be seen wearing a necklaces with diamond Ignignokt and Err pendants in Ludacris' video "One More Drink" and Lil Mama's video for "Shawty Get Loose". He can also be seen wearing a Meatwad beanie cap in the music video for Dolla's "Who The Heck Is That". Due to his apparent fandom, he played Frylock in the series' first live-action episode.


  • In The Brak Show episode "Brak Street" when Brak is walking down the street rapping, you can see Meatwad in a scooter. Carl's car is seen in the episode "We Ski In Peace" being destroyed by a giant ant. In the episode "Bully," Brak commandeers a stall that sells carrot-catures, or drawings of people as carrots, and one of the displayed examples depicts Meatwad's visage.


  • Starting with the 2008 NFL Football Season, Carl has made appearances on ESPN Radio's The Scott Van Pelt Show. In a segment on Friday afternoons, Carl picks one NFL game's winner every week known as "Carl's Stone Cold Lock of the Century...Of the Week." Meatwad has also introduced Van Pelt's weekly NCAA and NFL football picks. Pictures of Meatwad, Master Shake, and Frylock can be seen on the main desk of Van Pelt's radio show when it is shown on ESPN TV networks. A custom Aqua Teen calendar can be seen as well, it features "nude" pictures of Carl.


  • On Robot Chicken a nerd character is seen wearing a Meatwad t-shirt. Also, Master Shake has appeared on another Robot Chicken episode.


  • In the Adult Swim online game "Five Minutes to Kill Yourself", there is a gold bauble of Master Shake that the player puts into the microwave for it to explode. In the game's sequel, two larger gilded Master Shake statues are seen as part of the community park's entrance.






  • in the 2009 comedy-horror zombie movie Zombieland, in a flashback sequence to the main character's life before the outbreak, "Columbus" (Jesse Eisenberg) has a large Ignignokt poster in his room.


  • in the 2:00 minute comedy film "Dance Lessons (Directors Cut)" the main character is shown wearing an Ignignokt shirt.


See also



Notes

External links

Official sites


Interviews



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