Release Date(s)2017 (May 15, 2018)
Studio(s)Williams Street/Cartoon Network/Adult Swim (Warner Home Video)
- Film/Program Grade: A-
- Video Grade: A-
- Audio Grade: A-
- Extras Grade: A-
One of Adult Swim’s finest shows since The Venture Bros., Rick and Morty adopts the premise of Back to the Future and takes it to the next level. It follows the adventures of Rick Sanchez, an alcoholic, nihilistic mad scientist, his timid but optimistic grandson Morty, and the rest of the Smith family as they traipse their way to the farthest reaches of the universe and reality itself, making friends, enemies, and generally trying to survive Rick’s increasingly perilous escapades along the way. With three seasons in the can, more seasons on the way, and ratings that continue to climb, Rick and Morty is more popular than ever with no signs of slowing down.
Looking at it from the outside in, Rick and Morty seems like a show that shouldn’t be as mega popular as it is. Let’s face it, we’ve seen shows of this sort before, mostly in live action form of course, but usually cancelled only after a season or two. With the merchandise it has spawned and its social media appeal, it continues to garner more fans. It’s both hilarious and clever, giving us a world of characters that get more and more amusing and interesting as the show goes on. For instance, Rick has the potential to be a completely disingenuous and unlikable character, and I’m sure for non-fans of the show, he is. He’s abrasive, rude, and completely horrible to the people around him. But somehow, he works, as does the show.
As I stated previously, I watched the premiere episode of Rick and Morty and I just didn’t get it. It wasn’t at all appealing to me initially and it wasn’t until I saw an airing of the Pickle Rick episode from Season 3 that I sat up and took notice. It’s definitely the strongest season to date, getting more into the characters and taking some chances with really out there storylines, ideas, and animation. The comedy is just as irreverent and in your face as ever and we learn a lot more about Jerry, Summer, and Beth than we ever have. Besides the infamous Pickle Rick episode, there’s also other great episodes including The Whirly Dirly Conspiracy, Rest and Ricklaxation, and Morty’s Mind Blowers (the latter being a definite fan favorite).
Season 3 of Rick and Morty comes to Blu-ray uncut and uncensored with an excellent A/V presentation. The show’s art style is well-represented in high definition with a beautiful array of colors and textures. Despite the modern nature of its animated renderings, nothing ever appears overly sharp but crisp enough for proper definition. Depth and detail are through the roof with vivid backgrounds, shading, and solid lines around characters and objects. Blacks are inky deep and both brightness and contrast levels are perfect. The only real issue, which isn’t really an issue at all, is some light haloing around the line art, which appears to be inherent in the source. If there are any other minor animation anomalies or encode issues, I didn’t spot any. For the audio, an English 5.1 Dolby TrueHD track is provided with optional subtitles in English SDH. It’s an excellent track with lots of surround activity and plenty of fidelity. Dialogue is always crisp and clear while sound effects and score feature excellent depth and occasional LFE. It’s also free of dropouts or other audio problems. So there are no real complains to be had about this well-produced presentation.
In the extras department, this release comes loaded for bear. There are audio commentaries on every single episode, some containing more than one. The Rickshank Redemption features Dan Harmon, Justin Roiland, Mike McMahan, Juan Meza-León, and John Mayer; The Rickshank Redemption also features another commentary with Courtney Love and Marilyn Manson; Rickmancing the Stone features Harmon, Roiland, Jordan Brock, and Lance Wehrly; Pickle Rick features Harmon, Roiland, Jessica Gao, and Anthony Chun; Pickle Rick also features another commentary with Harmon, Roiland, and Russell Brand; Pickle Rick features yet another commentary with David Benioff, D.B. Weiss, and Peter Dinklage; Vindicators 3: The Return of Worldender features Harmon, Roiland, Sarah Carbiener, Erica Rosbe, and McMahan; The Whirly Dirly Conspiracy features Harmon, Chris Parnell, and Erica Hayes; Rest and Ricklaxation features Harmon, Roiland, Tom Kauffman, and Kari Wahlgren; The Ricklantis Mixup features Harmon, Roiland, Dominic Polcino, and McMahan; Morty’s Mind Blowers features Harmon, Roiland, James Siciliano, and Bryan Newton; The ABC’s of Beth features Harmon, Roiland, and McMahan; and The Rickchurian Mortydate features Harmon, Roiland, Wes Archer, and Jeffrey Thompson. There are also animatics and Inside the Episode segments for every episode, the Inside the Recording Booth behind-the-scenes segment, the Rick and Morty Origins: Part One and Part Two featurettes, a paper insert with a Digital HD code, and a Morty Adventure stamp card.
Endlessly quotable and fun, the future looks bright for Rick and Morty. It’s a terrific show with an amazing voice cast, beautiful animation, and hilarious dialogue and situations. If you were like me and you initially tossed it aside, give it another chance. It’s definitely worth your time, and this Blu-ray presentation of the show’s third season is an excellent way to experience it. Highly recommended.
- Tim Salmons