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Episode 101: Rabbot

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Aqua Teen Hunger Force
RABBOT SSHOT
Air date December 30, 2000
Writer Dave Willis
Matt Maiellaro
Director Dave Willis
Matt Maiellaro
Dancing is Forbidden

"Dancing is forbidden!"

Powerpuff Mall
Rabbot-ATHF

Rabbot is the first official episode of Aqua Teen Hunger Force, which first aired on December 30, 2000 and its production code was 101.

Summary

The notorious Dr. Weird and his assistant Steve, also known as "Gentleman!", created the Rabbot, as a way to destroy all vegetables. Dr. Weird sprayed his creation in the eyes with hairspray, causing it to go on a rampage throughout New Jersey. The first thing it is shown destroying is Carl Brutananadilewski's car. Later, Master Shake, Frylock, and Meatwad, track the Rabbot through town to the Powerpuff Mall, which it partially destroys. It is in the Mall that it picks up the hair growth formula which it sprays on everything it does not destroy. In the ensuing battle, Master Shake is sprayed with hair growth formula and promptly goes to Indigo's for a perm.

Production

"Rabbot" is the pilot as well as the first episode of Aqua Teen Hunger Force.[3] It was written and directed by series creators Dave Willis and Matt Maiellaro, who have since written and directed every episode of the series.[4] Several backgrounds were borrowed from other Cartoon Network properties: Johnny Quest and SWAT Kats: The Radical Squadron for use in "Rabbot". The "Powerpuff Mall" featured in this episode, were taken from the pilot episode of The Powerpuff Girls, "Meat Fuzzy Lumkins", the same mall appears in later episodes.[5] Additional backgrounds made original for the series were done by Jon Schnepp and Bob Pettitt.

"Rabbot" is one of the few episodes to feature the main protagonists as detectives, a premise was added to appease Cartoon Network executives, who did not initially understand the series' concept at first. By the fourth episode, "Mayhem of the Mooninites", this premise and the use of the name by the characters were dropped. The use of this premise was satirized and mocked in some later episodes.

The 2010 episode from season seven, "Rabbot Redux" is named after this episode. This episode features multiple clips, references and lines taken directly from "Rabbot". The Rabbot also makes a third appearance in this episode, where he crushes Frylock, Master Shake, and Meatwad's newly purchased house.

Original pitch pilot

A rough cut version of "Rabbot" with a 15-minute run time was made as an original pitch pilot to the network. The original pilot was produced over the course of a year, just as an episode of Space Ghost Coast to Coast. In this version characters are seen in low resolution and are featured several times with transparent eyes and mouths as a result of fast keying to get the characters behind the background, as the production crew was focusing more on story telling then appearances. It features backgrounds and settings that differ greatly from the series, including a scrapped laboratory that was to be in the protagonist's house, seen right off the living room.[8] Frylock is depicted as a wizard-like sorcerer who performs spells, and Master Shake constantly refers to things as being "forbidden" and calls the team to assemble, both of these concepts were soon dropped. The opening scene featuring Dr. Weird and Steve was not animated for the most part, it is instead presented as a series of inanimate sketches from a story board, featuring an additional team of scientists who never appear in the series or the final cut of this episode. The sketches of Dr. Weird and Steve used are significantly different from the final versions of the characters. Willis stated that the sketches almost got the project killed mainly as a result of the animation transfer.

Broadcast history

An unfinished version of "Rabbot" originally aired unannounced at 5:00 am (EST) on December 30, 2000 on Cartoon Network, several months before the official launch of Adult Swim. It aired alongside the unfinished pilot episode of Harvey Birdman, Attorney at Law and two different episodes of Sealab 2021. Nine days earlier on December 21, 2000 the unfinished pilot episode for The Brak Show and the first episode of Seablab 2021 had also aired in the same fashion. These programs were listed as "Special Programming" on official listings.

The version that aired on December 30, 2000 featured scenes from the original pitch pilot that were eventually cut from the final version of the episode. There was no theme song or opening titles, the segues that cut to another scene were also different – instead of Schooly D narrating over rap music, they showed the old "outer space zoom" segue from the Hanna-Barbera Super Friends cartoon, with the instrumental of the Aqua Teen Hunger Force theme played over it. In the cold open, after the Rabbot escapes, Dr. Weird says "Unleash the mechanical frog!" and the giant garage door opens again, showing a huge mechanical frog. There was also a scene of Master Shake sitting in the hair salon talking about things he hates. After Meatwad says "everyone likes dancing" it cuts to Shake getting his hair done and saying "..And I HATE dancing. It's one of my LEAST favorite things to do. Other things I hate are work, exercise, people, stupid people—". This version of the episode has never been re-aired or digitally released, but the recording of it can be found online.

"Rabbot" was never aired again until the final cut made its official television debut on September 16, 2001 on Adult Swim in the United States, only three weeks after Adult Swim launched on September 2, 2001. The series had already made its official television debut a week earlier on Adult Swim with the second episode "Escape from Leprechaupolis" on September 9, 2001.


Credits


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