Film

A Brutally Simple Tale of Primeval Survival

Master animator Genndy Tartakovsky pares the action genre down to its purest elements in Primal.

From Primal (image courtesy Adult Swim)

Genndy Tartakovsky has one of the most distinct sensibilities of any animator working today. The directorial mind behind Dexter’s Laboratory, The Powerpuff Girls, and the Hotel Transylvania films, he is uniquely attuned to the rhythms of animated action. As the title suggests, his newest show, Primal, is incredibly stripped down.

Focusing on a caveman called Spear and a dinosaur called Fang working together to survive in an incredibly dangerous world, it features no spoken dialogue and minimal plots. The most recent episode, for instance, simply features Spear nursing Fang back to health after a vicious fight, building to a confrontation with a pack of hyenas. Though an incredibly violent show, it also finds a great deal of power in prolonged sequences of quiet. With top-notch art direction and incredibly intricate fight scenes, it’s the best action series on television right now.

Primal is currently airing new episodes Sundays on Cartoon Network, and can be streamed on Adult Swim and HBO MAX.

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