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Triple Emmy winner ‘Primal’ is back with new episodes

Showmax is releasing new episodes of Adult Swim’s Primal. This comes after the show won three Outstanding Achievements In Animation Awards at the 2020 Emmys, for creator Genndy Tartakovsky’s storyboards, art director Scott Wills, and character designer Stephen DeStefano. 

About Primal

Primal follows a caveman at the dawn of evolution and a dinosaur on the brink of extinction. Bonded by tragedy, the two creatures, one on the way out and one on the way in, become each other’s only hope of survival in a treacherous world. 

Tartakovsy is an animation legend. He’s won Emmys for Samurai Jack and Star Wars: Clone Wars, been nominated for Dexter’s Laboratory and The Powerpuff Girls, and directed the Golden Globe-nominated Hotel Transylvania and both its People’s Choice-nominated sequels. But Primal “feels both completely different from anything Tartakovsky’s done before and also like the culmination of an entire career,” to quote Rotten Tomatoes

The hit series has an 8.7/10 score on IMDb and a 100% critics’ score on Rotten Tomatoes, where the critics’ consensus is, “Epic in every sense, Genndy Tartakovsky’s Primal is a stunning feat of visual storytelling.”

A ‘masterpiece’

Comicbook.com calls it “an intense masterpiece”; The Hollywood Reporter praises it as “eye-popping… like nothing else in the current landscape”; Rolling Stone hails it as a “stunning, soulful achievement… genuine pulp poetry. Primal restore a genuine sense of awe regarding how you can use the format”; and Collider heralds it as “one of the most amazing animated series ever… It’s a pure visual wonder and a complete distillation of what makes Tartakovsky one of the most exciting filmmakers working today (in animation or otherwise).”

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For Primal, Tartakovsky was inspired by the brutality of nature. “There is no bad guy,” Tartakovsky told Deadline. “Spear and Fang, the caveman and dinosaur, have to survive and they have to eat… It’s kind of like watching a nature show. Like, you want the polar bear to live, but you also don’t want him to kill the baby seal. And that’s the great drama of nature that we really wanted to focus on; that we don’t necessarily, in every episode, have a ‘bad guy.’ It’s just survival, and survival itself is hard and complicated.”

Extraordinary visuals

Apart from the occasional grunt, Primal is entirely dialogue-free, relying rather on the extraordinary visuals and an exquisite score from Tartakovsky’s Samurai Jack collaborators Tyler Batesand Joanne Higginbottom. “Through most of my career, the things people react to the most are the really visceral sequences — the ones with just sound effects or music,” Tartakovsky told Cartoon Brew. “And I thought, ‘Could we make a whole show or movie with just those sequences put together?’”

Common Sense Media recommends Primal for ages 14+, saying, “The emotional weight of the story is surprisingly heavy for an animated show, and violence includes children being eaten by wild animals, the killing of dinosaurs, and near-constant threats to the life of the main character, a caveman. That said, this is a great show for animation fans who are ready for a complex story… The art, while not complicated, is simply gorgeous; each minute feels like a study in animation.”

The first five episodes of Primal premiered on the Adult Swim corner on Showmax in April 2020. Now you can catch the remaining five episodes every Mondayjust 24 hours after the US premiere, first and exclusive on Showmax. Primal has just been renewed for a 10-episode second season in 2021.

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