Aqua Teen Hunger Force has always aired in 15-minute episodes. How well does the show work as a full length feature film? Click through to find out.
Aqua Teen Hunger Force Colon Movie Film for Theaters plays out like a really extended episode of the show, although it is less random than most episodes. The overall plotline involves the Hunger Force trying to find their origin, although there are many sub-plots along the way. Interestingly, with a full plot and much longer length, ATHF works quite well as a movie. After this film was initially released to theaters, I expected the show to change to a 30 minute format, as they had proven a longer running time was possible, but obviously this has not happened. Still, even with the film almost nearing the hour and a half mark, this could have conceivably been cut down into two or three 15 minute episodes. I believe this to be a testament to the moldable nature of the show, rather than the film being drawn out. The running time is perfect, however…even just ten minutes longer may have caused it to feel dragged out. Just when you are ready for the credits to roll, they do.
There is a lot more detail in the backgrounds and the overall look of the film compared to the TV show, however animation and voices for the main characters remains unchanged. There are a lot of small inside jokes that fans of the show will catch, but this is an entirely self-contained movie. Someone could watch this having never seen the show, although I think a lot of explaining would be necessary (which is expressly forbidden, according to the awesome opening jam by the legendary metal band Mastodon.) Still, I would recommend that at least the first 3 seasons be seen prior to watching it. Many of the characters and inside jokes are funny on their own, but being able to place them within the context of their appearances on the show ratchet up the funny factor even more.
Much like the show, colors are bright and the picture is clear. Superimposed real objects look much better in the film as well, appearing sharper and less tacked-on. Sound design overall matches the show as well, although Meatwad seems to go back and forth between his original higher pitched voice and his newer lower pitched voice. The Cybernetic Ghost of Christmas Past from the Future sounds like his voice was over-processed, and at times it can be difficult to understand what he is saying. This issue is mainly prevalent earlier on in the film. Music and sound effects are standard ATHF fare, with many sound effects from various episodes being replicated.
There are many characters that are unfortunately left out of the film. The primary focus is on the ATHF, Carl, the Cybernetic Ghost, Err and Ignignokt, Dr. Weird and Steve, Emory and Oglethorpe, with a small appearance by MC Pee Pants. There are a couple of small cameos by other characters, but these usually involve the character just appearing in the background. I would have liked to have seen the Frat Aliens make an appearance (although their absence makes sense, given their demise at the end of season 3). I would have also liked to have seen Romulox, The Trees, Rabbot, Jiggle Billy, and Major Shake (from the “Bad Replicant” episode.) That said, there are a large number of voice over cameos, with appearances by George Lowe (doing Space Ghost, no less), Bruce Campbell, Chris Kattan, Neil Peart, Tina Fey, and Fred Armisen.
Overall, Aqua Teen Hunger Force Colon Movie Film for Theaters is quite amusing. It isn’t quite as funny as some of the episodes, but if you are a fan of ATHF, you would be foolish to ignore this movie. Highly recommended for fans, mildly recommended for those who have never seen the show.