Tenacious D tends to take a long time between projects. Part of that has to do with the fact that Jack Black has himself a very busy career as an actor in Hollywood. The other part of that equation seems to be that the duo of KG and JB doesn't ever do anything as Tenacious D unless it feels right. After a handful of years away, they're back with a new animated series titled Post-Apocalypto and it's decidedly the most Tenacious D thing ever. Longtime fans of the greatest band in the world should be very happy with this utterly ridiculous, silly, cheap and downright hilarious new entry in the band's catalog.
While many fans seemed to be into the idea of a sequel to The Pick of Destiny, this isn't exactly that. But it's in many ways a much more fitting spiritual successor to that movie. Even though Jack Black is, himself, a big star, Tenacious D works best when the whole joke of them being the greatest band in the world that somehow manages to struggle just to pay their rent is at play. A big Hollywood, live-action movie like The Pick of Destiny is in direct combat with that notion. Post-Apocalypto, on the other hand, is right at home with the band's original M.O.
Post-Apocalypto is told over the course of six animated installments, each of which roughly ten minutes in length. The shorts will be released episodically via the band's YouTube channel leading up to the release of the new album, which will basically just be the soundtrack to the series. The plot sees Jables and Rage Cage trying to pull off some nonsense in order to pay their rent when, unexpectedly, a nuclear bomb is dropped and they wind up being two of very few survivors left on Earth, who manage to stay alive in something of a brilliant homage to the worst moment in Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull. The duo is then forced to navigate the landscape and, through a series of adventures that takes them to scary caves, Washington D.C., the pyramids of Egypt and even space, they must try and save the world.
Fans of Tenacious D's early work, be it the HBO show or their self-titled album, should find that this new project should hits all of the right buttons. It's completely screwy, lowbrow, foul-mouthed and totally on brand. The songs are hysterical and weave a narrative that only these guys could tell. The voice work by both Jack Black and Kyle Gass recalls some of the skits from their first album, with a very improvisational and relaxed feel. There are also more dick jokes in here than one could possibly imagine. I can't emphasize that point enough. Those who are not into very direct jokes centered on phallic imagery need not tune in.
This is all set against the backdrop of some of the most crude animation you're likely to ever see. Jack Black drew every frame by hand and, though it takes some getting used to, once the viewer settles in, the rough animation style really suits what's going on. It works in stark contrast to the excellent production value displayed in the songs themselves.
The band even manages to throw in quite a bit of not-at-all subtle political commentary, in addition to some references, some might argue blatant copyright infringing homages, to some classic sci-fi flicks that inspired the material. For fans of Tenacious D, Post-Apocalypto is the perfect thing. It's going to feel like a comfortable return to form and, childish as it may be, it's sure to deliver the laughs. The series is set to debut on September 28 on the Tenacious D YouTube channel.