Why Rick and Morty Roasting Pop Culture, Embracing Consumerism Works

With the summer about to become a big one for Dan Harmon and Justin Roiland's Rick and Morty beginning this week (more on that in a minute), we're taking a minute to appreciate the way the Emmy-winning animated series can walk up to the line of selling out without crossing over. Now, should we take issue with the fact that the dimension-hopping duo will occasionally shill for Wendy's and other brands when they also release a "Best Of" video compiling the best shade they've ever thrown at pop culture? No, and the recent press release for the Rick and Morty/adidas team-up is a perfect example that proves our point. Because as impressive as the X SPEEDPORTAL football boot ("soccer" for you "Ugly Americans" out there) looks, we were already sold because it meant we got our hands on some new content. But it's much more than that because they also never go a route that wouldn't be true to the core of the series. They're able to get the sponsor to shift their vision to match what works best for the pair, never watering them down to make them more "family-friendly." And if we're being blunt? Harmon & Roiland found an animated "lightning in a bottle" that won't last forever, so I don't begrudge them makes some sweet change from their creation (especially seeing how they maintain such a strong level of quality control).

rick and morty
Image: Screencap

Over the course of the following 90-second teaser, the pair take the boots (which you can check out here) out to break them in across the multiverse. Now here's a look at Rick and Morty competing for the International Unlicensed Cup, followed by a rundown of some pop culture hot takes from the pair over the past five seasons:

Later this week, the digital spinoff series Rick and Morty: The Vindicators will be getting a screening panel and Q&A during San Diego Comic-Con (SDCC, running July 21-24). Executive produced by Harmon, Roiland, Erica Rosbe, and Sarah Carbiener, the panel invites you to "Answer the Vindibeacon and join your old pals Supernova, Vance Maxiumus, Alan Rails, Crocubot, and Noob Noob as they fight crime, avert genocides, and yuk it up without Rick and Morty." Carbiener & Rick and Morty producer Nick Rutherford are set to be on hand for the session. And then two weeks later (August 5-7), the Adult Swim Festival Block Party is unleashed on Philly and that's the one to really watch. On August 6th, the Rick and Morty panel will feature the cast & crew discussing the upcoming sixth season and will also include a preview of what's to come. And if we're really lucky, maybe we'll learn more about Rick and Morty: The Anime from Takashi Sano (Tower of God). Now here's a look back at the initial trailer for August's Adult Swim Festival Block Party:

Rick and Morty: Tales from Alternate Dimensions

Directed by Masaru Matsumoto (Starship Troopers: Traitor of Mars) and stemming from Sola Entertainment, the Halloween-inspired The Great Yokai Battle of Akihabara sees Rick looking to build the ultimate AI toaster until a trip to Akihabara for spare parts takes a twisted turn for our dimension-hopping duo. Think screws. Now here's a look at The Great Yokai Battle of Akihabara, followed by looks at four previously-released shorts:

Directed by Takashi Sano (Tower of God), produced by Sola Entertainment, and animated at Telecom Animation Film, the anime short Rick and Morty vs. Genocider finds Morty going on an adventure to Tokyo, Japan to try and help stop "The Genocider." And yes, it's beautiful, emotional, and some really weird stuff happens:

Sano returned with the new short (produced by Sola Entertainment and animated by Telecom Animation Film) Summer Meets God (Rick Meets Evil)– following up on his previous short, Rick & Morty vs. Genocider. Here's a look at the newest short, with a focus on Summer and Jerry that goes in ways we didn't expect:

Written and directed by Kaichi Sato, and produced by Studio DEEN, "Samurai & Shogun" finds Rick WTM72 (Yohei Tadano) and Shogun Morty (Keisuke Chiba) in a Lone Wolf and Cub-themed dimension. A nasty group of Ninja Ricks isn't willing to let go of Shogun Morty without a fight – an option that Rick WTM72 is more than willing to oblige. From there, we have a look at the follow-up short that was released last month continuing the story, Samurai and Shogun Part 2:

In the creative spirit of Samurai & Shogun by Kaichi Sato and Rick & Morty vs. Genocider from Takeshi Sano, here's a look at Rick and Morty in the Eternal Nightmare Machine– where even the "Rick-mobile" can prove deadly and you'll wonder like we do why Scary Terry isn't a downloadable character for a fighting game like Mortal Kombat:

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About Ray Flook

Serving as Television Editor since 2018, Ray began five years earlier as a contributing writer/photographer before being brought onto the core BC team in 2017.
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