A good-hearted peasant dreaming of knighthood becomes a squire at the royal castle. But his dream job isn't everything he'd hoped it would be.A good-hearted peasant dreaming of knighthood becomes a squire at the royal castle. But his dream job isn't everything he'd hoped it would be.A good-hearted peasant dreaming of knighthood becomes a squire at the royal castle. But his dream job isn't everything he'd hoped it would be.
Created by John Harvatine IV and Tom Root and produced by Seth Green's Stoopid Buddy studios, Crossing Swords will feel pleasantly familiar to those who've seen the group's other stop motion comedy series. The show while still based around similar madcap over the top crass and vulgar humor seen in their other productions, finds itself anchored to a narrative (albeit a somewhat loose one) and I'm pleased to say that the results are actually pretty entertaining.
Nicholas Hoult as Patrick is perfect as the show's lead as he's constantly abused not just by his needlessly cruel siblings, but also the oppressively cruel world of Kingstown, it's citizens, and surrounding environments. Patrick isn't the bravest, smartest, and sneakiest of the characters, but he has an inherent goodness in him that he never allows the world to crush even when he's at his lowest point. Patrick's frustrations with the world and his desire to do good are often met with varying degrees of disaster in one form or another (even when Patrick is victorious, it's usually Pyrhic in one form or another) he still manages to find some piece of optimism in his situation that motivates him to keep moving forward. But all this would be for not were the show not filled with a good supporting cast.
The cast of Crossing Swords is filled with all manner of comic/character actors giving good comedic voices to the citizens of Kingstown be it Luke Evans as King Merrimen, Seth Green as charlatan magician Blinkerquartz, Adam Pally as Patrick's dimwitted best friend takes everything in stride, and Alanna Ubach as horny, acerbic, and vindictive Queen Tulip who gets a lot of laughs from her annoyance at King Merrimen's antics.
The animation as expected from Stoopid Buddy is really good. The characters in Crossing Swords are limbless and all look like Little Tikes peg people with square bodies and big round heads, but the producers put enough detail and movement surrounding the character models that style feels charming and fitting with the aesthetic choices. Also as expected the humor is lowbrow and based on all manner of sex references and four letter words, but the show keeps itself moving at such a quick pace and never drags on any particular gag that it feels like it's using these elements effectively and organically as part of the comedy rather than just relying on them wholesale as we've seen so many other lesser series try to do. Not every joke works as there's a scene involving peaches and semen that I thought was more cringe inducing than funny, but the jokes are so rapid fire that I never felt like they were overly drilled in and quickly moved on from them.
Crossing Swords is funny show that manages to bring the raunch and the funny. While it probably doesn't rank with some of the best shows in adult animation, I had enough belly laughs in the course of the 10 episode first season that I'm excited for a second installment.
- Dec 26, 2020