Tartakovsky’s ‘Primal’ is a Bloody Masterpiece

Julien Neaves, Editor

If you don’t know the name Genndy Tartakovsky then you may be familiar with the Emmy-award winning animator’s work. From Dexter’s Laboratory to Samurai Jack to the Star Wars: Clone Wars micro-series he has crafted some of the best animated series of the modern era. With his unique animation style, fast-paced action and minimal dialogue his work is instantly recognizable, and I would argue that his work has reached its zenith with the Adult Swim series Primal.

Set in an anachronistic time period with prehistoric hominids, dinosaurs and Stone Age Homo Sapiens all existing together in a barbaric, dangerous world, Primal primarily (he he) follows two main protagonists, a brave caveman warrior named Spear and a blue-skinned medium-sized female T-Rex named Fang. When the two form an unlikely partnership following mutual tragedy their journey will take them across a world that is as wondrously beautiful as it is grotesquely horrifying.

That’ll do Fang. That’ll do

I freaking LOVE this series. The animation is lush and gorgeous. Spear and Fang make for a brilliant duo. I love their sweet and at times comic friendship and their fiercely bloody battles. And this show is BLOODY! It is like Tartakovsky unleashed. Whatever type of gory action you can imagine you’ll probably find it here, and then some, with neither innocent women, children or beast being spared the onslaught. The gore hound in me loves it and, while quite over-the-top, it fits with the world. And the sight of a caveman riding a dinosaur while destroying a herd of dinosaurs or an army of people will never not be awesome.

But it’s not all Spear’s spear ripping through bodies or Fang biting off people’s and creatures’ heads and limbs (though admittedly, there is a lot of that). The series often gets quite deep, exploring themes of grief, loyalty, belief, slavery and connection. And the tone of the stories also dip into horror and fantasy as well. Think of 1960s cartoons like The Herculoids and Mightor but elevated in every aspect. And with Tartakovsky’s minimal use of dialogue (some episodes have none at all), the expert animation and the haunting music by Tyler Bates and Joanne Higginbottom you often feel like a work of art is unfolding before your eyes.

Dang dude. You really murdered those BBQ ribs

The show is five episodes into its second season and I am devouring it like Fang devouring slug worms. I’m not going into plot details as I just want to whet you appetite, but I will say the story begins simply enough and continues building and building. All I can say is, if you’re sleeping on this series then you have to wake up and watch it. It is one of the best animated series out now, and will likely go down as one of the best ever.

Editor Jules Score: 10 out of 10

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Julien “Editor Jules” Neaves is a TARDIS-flying, Force-using Trekkie whose bedroom stories were by Freddy Krueger, learned to be a superhero from Marvel, but dreams of being Batman. I love promoting Caribbean film (Cariwood), creating board games and I am an aspiring author. I say things like “12 flavours of awesome sauce”. Read more.

Are you a fan of Primal? Gimme a roar in the comments! And check out more animated action below:

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