‘Tigtone’ Review: Adult Swim’s Animated Fantasy Insanity Series Is Visually Hypnotic

     January 10, 2019


Back in 2017, I had a chance to check out the wholly original animated series Tigtone thanks to Adult Swim’s previews at RTX. I’ve been waiting for this insane fantasy series to see the light of day ever since. But some fans have been waiting even longer, namely those who first heard of this twisted brain-child of Andrew Koehler‘s back in 2011 and 2014 when a pair of Kickstarters were launched to get it off the ground. The result was the oft-viewed (but not often enough, in my opinion) YouTube video “The Begun of Tigtone”, a skewed fantasy tale that blended gorgeous art that could have come from a Renaissance painting or a D&D book with an over-the-top hero hungry for quests. I’m happy to say the spirit of the original imbues the new Adult Swim series, and the facial animations are more bizarre and hilarious than ever.

Starring Nils Frykdahl, Blake Anderson, Debi Derryberry, John DiMaggio, Tom Kenny, Alan Oppenheimer, Jill Talley, Bill Corbett, Lucy Davis, Brandon Johnson, Cree Summer, and Gary Anthony Williams among others, Adult Swim will livestream the first two episodes of Tigtone this Friday at 3:30pm ET, followed by the network premiere on Sunday, January 13th at midnight ET/PT. The quarter-hour series is created by Koehler and Benjamin Martian, who also serve as executive producers with Anderson (Workaholics).

Before we get into the review, take a look at the recently released trailer for Tigtone to get an eyeful of what you’re in for:

The quest begins January 13th at Midnight ET/PT on adult swim.

So now you have a good idea of the visuals at play in Tigtone. The bizarre effect of 2D painted characters and faces coupled with facial performance capture makes it seem as if something just under the skin of the characters themselves is forcing their faces to stretch, swell, and grimace with every line of dialogue. It’s fantastic. It fits in perfectly with Adult Swim’s particular brand of weirdness and is a clever use of animation technology that Koehler has been honing and shaping over the last seven years or so. The rest of the animation is both gorgeous and grotesque as well, as if a Rococo painting has come to life only to carve a bloody path through a fantasy landscape. All things in service of the Quest.


Image via Adult Swim

Tigtone, the title hero of the piece, wants two things: To be left alone so that he can write journal entries, and to be left alone while on his quests. More often than not, he’s teamed up with a partner (or sometimes a Fellowship) for whatever specific adventure takes him away from his beloved journal. And just as often, those partners are used, abused, and left in the dust so that Tigtone can complete his quest. His challenges range from discovering the source of bland chicken dinners in the royal banquet, to helping a vile villain make his kingdom ugly once more. No matter the quest, it’s bound to be violently bloody, unpredictably hilarious, and flat out insane.

Tigtone is an enticing visual oddity which helps to get viewers in front of the screen, but there’s more to it than just a bizarro fantasy story. The series takes all the tropes of classic and beloved fantasy tales and either pays a loving tribute to them (the taverns, the classes, the endless variety of magical weapons) or twists them to the point of submission, usually when Tigtone sacrifices his teammates to secure his quest’s trinkets and baubles. I’ve only seen a few episodes of Tigtone as of this writing, but everything I’ve seen shows a lot of promise. The legend beguns!

Review: ★★★ Good

Adult Swim will livestream the first two episodes of Tigtone this Friday at 3:30pm ET, followed by the network premiere on Sunday, January 13th at midnight ET/PT.


Image via Adult Swim