As a big fan of Genndy Tartakovsky’s work, Primal is the kind of project I’ve always wanted to see from him. The man is a master of animation timing, with a special flair for dramatic fight scenes. So when a new series was announced that was nothing BUT these scenes, you better believe I was at my couch at midnight October 5.
And Primal didn’t disappoint. The wordless action sequences were some of the best moments in Samurai Jack or Star Wars: Clone Wars, and now that all that pesky dialogue has been eliminated completely, Genndy can do what he does best: communicate paragraphs through a glance, establish high tension with staging alone. Primal is delicious, if a bit more harsh and brutal than what we’re used to seeing from him.
If Primal loses next year’s Emmy in favor of the ten billionth Simpsons episode, it’ll be a huge injustice. But it actually has a shot at an Oscar. How is that even possible? Because Adult Swim threw together two episodes of the series and screened them somewhere under the title Primal: Tales of Savagery. The Academy’s only two requirements for the Best Animated Film category are that the subject be over 40 minutes long and that it play in theaters for at least one week.
It would be cool to see Primal on the big screen, but the sole purpose of Primal: Tales of Savagery was to qualify Genndy’s animation for Oscarization, and AS has no plans to show the “movie” version anywhere else.
The Primal “movie” is one of 33 animated films submitted to the Academy; only five will be picked as nominees. The other entrants include pretty much every single animated film coming out this year, including Frozen II and that movie where the spy turns into a bird.