Titan Maximum is another twisted animated series on Cartoon Network’s great Adult Swim block of programming. In contrast to fare such as Aqua Teen Hunger Force or Superjail however, Titan Maximum utilizes the incredibly laborious method of stop motion animation for each episode. The results are impressive, and have raised the bar for everyone.
The premise is pretty basic. In the future, our solar system is defended by a team of spaceship pilots who call themselves the Titan Force Five. In the pilot, a member named Lt. Gibbs has become so bitter towards leader Commander Palmer that he quits and becomes the team’s evil nemesis. His replacement is a silent monkey called Leon.
Thwarting the nefarious schemes of Gibbs forms the basis of each episode. Since he is a former member of TFF, he knows all of the strengths and weaknesses of the team. As voiced by executive producer Seth Green, Gibbs is the perfect villain, charming and sophisticated one minute, and diabolically sinister the next. His seduction of sweet TFF pilot Jodi Yanarella is a perfect example. This innocent girl next door is swept off her feet by the suave Gibbs, who uses her as a pawn in his grand scheme.
The other female member of TFF is Sasha Caylo, a self-described “space slut.” Nearly every other expression out of Sasha’s mouth is a double-entendre, but she is far from being all talk. Whenever we encounter a rumbling elevator or closet it is almost a certainty that Sasha will be walking out of it, usually mouthing an insult at the poor chap she just had her way with. Her backstory is perfect. Sasha is a spoiled brat rich kid, whose daddy is president of the world.
Commander Palmer is the young, egotistical leader of TFF. His nerdy little brother Willie idolizes him, and gets the chance to join the team in the pilot episode, after the death of member Spud Cunningham.
Titan Maximum incorporates a great send-up of the venerable eighties classic Transformers. Whenever the team is seriously threatened, they connect up their five ships Transformers-style into one giant robot called Titan Maximum. While the robot is supposed to have a number of various defenses, the team always seem to forget how to engage them, so they fall back on simply punching whatever it is into submission. Luckily for them, this seems to work every time.
The new DVD release Titan Maximum Season 1 contains all nine episodes from the show’s first season, which originally aired in 2009. There are also about an hour’s worth of bonus features, including a behind the scenes segment, table read, and pop-up trivia. These are all worthwhile extras, particularly the pop-up trivia, which I found to be the most interesting. There are also commentaries, stills of the crew, deleted animatics, and trailers included.
As part of Adult Swim, Titan Maximum is obviously not intended for little kids, and neither is the DVD. While some DVD sets bleep out the swear words, Titan Maximum does not. And the language gets a little strong at times. Otherwise, this is another fine entry into the world of Adult Swim, and a DVD worth checking out for those of us who enjoy such prime examples of arrested development.