Death and Dysfunction on award-winning Rick and Morty animation, Entertainment News & Top Stories

SINGAPORE – If there’s one thing fans of the Rick And Morty animated series love, it’s death. The poetically and spectacularly bloody dying characters are a hallmark of the show.

Take, for example, the third episode of Emmy-winning Season 3, Pickle Rick. In an orgy of violence, scientist Rick Sanchez destroys an army of monstrous rats and evil humans with sharp, searing, and explosive improvised weapons.

Rick And Morty writer and producer James Siciliano, 37, said that for the creative team, the death of characters is not only a means to an end, but in itself is a feast. visual.

“A writer can write a death scene, but there are also times when artists and animators bring their element in and make it so cool,” he says.

Giving artists the freedom to design death scenes and fight sequences, such as the Season 4 finale battle between Rick and Bird Person – now reborn as the Phoenix Person – ensures that the quality of the animation remains. high.

“It’s really a cool marriage of writing and design,” said Siciliano, speaking online to the media to mark the launch of Season 5. New episodes air on Monday on HBO Go.

In a typical episode, genius scientist Rick trains shy teenage grandson Morty across planets and dimensions to steal treasure without worrying about the suffering he brings to other civilizations. Rick aims to be Morty’s primary influence as he despises Morty’s father, Jerry, whom he sees as a weak intellectual and a bad match for his daughter, the tender-hearted vet Beth. Morty’s older sister Summer is initially self-absorbed and tasteless, but in recent episodes she has proven that she can stand up to her grandfather and brother.

Rick’s behavior causes family feuds, which hamper any attempt they make to prevent the end-of-the-world situations brought on by Rick’s interdimensional antics.

“People connect with dysfunction – it’s human. They care about things like, why is Jerry a punching bag? They connect with how Jerry wants to be a good dad, but he is getting in its own way, ”says Siciliano.

The characters of Rick and Morty are voiced by series co-creator and executive producer Justin Roiland, while actors Chris Parnell, Sarah Chalke and Spencer Grammer voice respectively Jerry, Beth and Summer.

The series has won a Primetime Emmy for Outstanding Animated Program twice: in 2018, for the Pickle Rick episode, and in 2020, for the Season 4 episode The Vat Of Acid.

A hallmark of the show is its conceptual density. A typical episode is full of sci-fi tropes from movies and books, included for the purpose of enhancing or making fun of them.

Siciliano says the writers come up with “thousands and thousands” of episode ideas each season. Most never see the light of day while others may flicker on the screen for a moment.

The series has twice won a Primetime Emmy for Outstanding Animation Program. PHOTO: WARNERMEDIA

“An idea can be reduced to a scene, or even a joke. Writers try to outdo themselves,” he says.

Producer Scott Marder, 41, who was attending the same conference, said the fact that the editorial staff have diverse interests in sci-fi and fantasy helps.

“Each staff writer is an encyclopedia of a particular niche. There are anime fans, Dungeons & Dragons role-playing fans. It’s a nice spectrum of specializations.”

New episodes of Rick and Morty 5 premiere Mondays on HBO Go. The previous four seasons of Rick and Morty are available on HBO Go.

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