30 December 2000
| 8/10 |
| Court show
Richard Ferguson-Hull (also supervising director)
Vincent Waller (also supervising director)
J. J. Sedelmaier
John Michael Higgins
Hanna-Barbera, Michael Ouweleen, Erik Richter
Cartoon Network, Adult Swim
Gary Cole, Stephen Colbert, John Michael Higgins, Thomas Allen, Peter MacNicol
Harvey Birdman, Attorney at Law is an American animated courtroom black comedy series created by Michael Ouweleen and Erik Richter for Adult Swim. The show revolves around the activity of the Sebben & Sebben law firm, which is staffed mainly by superheroes and other characters who had originally been featured in past Hanna-Barbera cartoons, most notably Birdman and the Galaxy Trio.
Harvey Birdman's pilot first aired on Cartoon Network on December 30, 2000. On September 2, 2001, the series moved to Adult Swim, continuing for four seasons and 39 episodes before ending on July 22, 2007. The show is also a spin-off of Space Ghost Coast to Coast, where Birdman got his first name from. Both Space Ghost and Birdman original series were based on action / adventure script, and, decades later, applied in comedic contexts.
Harvey Birdman, Attorney at Law Wikipedia
Harvey Birdman, Attorney at Law features ex-superhero Harvey T. Birdman of Birdman and the Galaxy Trio as an attorney working for a law firm alongside other cartoon stars from 1960s and 1970s Hanna-Barbera cartoon series. Similarly, Harvey's clients are also primarily composed of characters taken from Hanna-Barbera cartoon series of the same era. Many of Birdman's nemeses featured in his former cartoon series also became attorneys, often representing the opposing side of a given case.
Harvey usually fills the role of a criminal defense attorney, though he will act as a civil litigator or other such job when the plot calls for it. The series uses a surrealist style of comedy, featuring characters, objects, and jokes that are briefly introduced and rarely (if ever) referenced thereafter. Also, because the series relied heavily on popular culture references to classic television animation, Harvey Birdman, Attorney at Law constantly delves into parody, even featuring clips of these series or specially-created scenes which mimic the distinctive style of the animation being referenced. Harvey Birdman, Attorney at Law is the first Williams Street cartoon to maintain continuity through the entire series. Various episodes reference Harvey's (or another superhero's) former crimefighting career. The episode "Turner Classic Birdman" even serves to bridge the gap between Birdman and the Galaxy Trio and Harvey Birdman, Attorney at Law.
Instead of rigid plot structure, much of the humor is derived from the fact that superheroes and supervillains are given more realistic and human qualities, such as a mad scientist named Dr. Myron Reducto, who becomes a paranoid prosecutor. Also, several of the plots revolve around the popular myths about classic Hanna-Barbera characters, such as Shaggy and Scooby-Doo being stoners.
Although the first season was animated using traditional cel animation, the remaining seasons were animated using Adobe After Effects. The reason for the switch was that the animation studio was having difficulty maintaining the fast pace of the show, and thus the production of episodes slowed down due to constant retakes.
By animating the later episodes at Turner Studios in Atlanta with Adobe Flash, not only were problems corrected more quickly, but production costs were much lower. Some animation was also done for the show at Bardel Entertainment in Vancouver, British Columbia.Gary Cole: Harvey Birdman, Hiram Mightor
Stephen Colbert: Phil Ken Sebben, Myron Reducto
Peter MacNicol: X the Eliminator
Thomas Allen: Peanut
John Michael Higgins: Mentok the Mindtaker, Zardo, Grape Ape
Joe Alaskey: Peter Potamus (first)
Chris Edgerly: Peter Potamus (second), DVD, Mr. Finkerton, The Funky Phantom, Augie Doggie, Cumulus the Storm King, Captain Caveman, Fancy Fancy
Debi Mae West: Gigi
Maurice LaMarche: Azul Falcone, Stan Freezoid, Apache Chief, Fred Flintstone, Yogi Bear, Der Spuzmacher, Inch High, Speed Buggy, Hi-Riser, Doggie Daddy, Droopy, Quick Draw McGraw, Wally Gator, Morocco Mole, Garok, Cavey Jr., Magilla Gorilla, Mr. Peebles, Benny the Ball, Dum Dum, Shazzan, Atom Ant, Nitron
Grey DeLisle: Debbie, Daphne Blake, Dr. Gale Melody, Mary
Michael McKean: Evelyn Spyro Throckmorton
Tom Kenny: Boo-Boo Bear
Neil Ross: Vulturo, Dr. Benton Quest, Ding-A-Ling Wolf
Phil LaMarr: Black Vulcan
Matt Peccini: The Bear
Paget Brewster: Birdgirl
Bill Farmer: Secret Squirrel
Lewis Black: Elliott the Deadly Duplicator
Scott Innes: Shaggy Rogers, Scooby-Doo, Scrappy-Doo
Steve Blum: Yakky Doodle
Harvey Birdman, Attorney at Law was named the 91st best animated series by IGN. They compared it to Space Ghost Coast to Coast, a show that is also based on an old Hanna-Barbera cartoon, and described it as a clever show.
Each DVD is in the shape of a law book. Each season's box art is nearly identical, and the only change for each season is the background color (Volume 1 is brown-purple, Volume 2 is blue, and Volume 3 is black). The small picture next to the title and the title itself also appear different.
The theme song is an edited version of the song "Slow Moody Blues" written by Reg Tilsley. Other notable songs used in the show include Charlie Steinman's "It Is Such A Good Night" (AKA "Scoobidoo Love") and a lyricless version of Gianni Morandi's "La Mia Mania" (AKA "Okay Maria").
A video game based on the series has been released for the PlayStation 2, Wii and PlayStation Portable video game consoles. It was developed by High Voltage Software and published by Capcom, with gameplay mechanics similar to Capcom's Ace Attorney series. It was released on January 8, 2008.