Tripping the Rift

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Tripping the Rift
Tripping the Rift Logo.png
Title Card
Created by
Directed byBernie Denk
Jon Minnis
Starring Stephen Root
Carmen Electra
Maurice LaMarche
Jenny McCarthy
Gina Gershon
ComposerMario Sévigny
Country of originUnited States
Canada
No. of seasons3
No. of episodes39
Production
Executive producers
  • Jacques Pettigrew
  • Michel Lemire
  • John Hyde
ProducerAndrew Makarewicz
Running time20 minutes
Production companies CinéGroupe
Film Roman
Release
Original network Sci Fi Channel
Space
Teletoon
Original releaseMarch 4, 2004 (2004-03-04) 
December 13, 2007 (2007-12-13)

Tripping the Rift is an adult CGI science fiction comedy television series. It is based on two short animations published on the Internet by Chris Moeller and Chuck Austen. The series was produced by CineGroupe in association with the Syfy network. Following its cancellation by that cable network, CineGroupe continued producing the series for the other North American and International broadcasters. [1] The series aired on the Canadian speciality channel Space in 2004. Canada's cartoon network Teletoon has been airing the series since August 2006. Teletoon participated in the production of the third season, and aired it in 2007. [2] A feature-length movie version was released on DVD in 2008.

Contents

Setting

The universe is modeled largely after the Star Trek universe, with references to 'warp drive' and 'transporter' beam technology, occasional time travel, the Federation and the Vulcans. The series also includes elements borrowed from other sources such as Star Wars , 2001: A Space Odyssey and Battlestar Galactica .

The general setting is that known space is politically divided between two superpowers: the Confederation (led by Humans, and a parody of the Federation from Star Trek) and the Dark Clown Empire (a parody of the Galactic Empire from Star Wars). The Dark Clown Empire is a totalitarian, tyrannical police state, led by the evil Darph Bobo. In contrast, the Confederation is technically a democratic and free society, but in practice, is dominated by mega-corporations and bloated bureaucracies. Ultimately, both superpowers end up exploiting and restricting their inhabitants, albeit in different ways. For example, the value placed on life is so commercialized in the Confederation that clearly sentient robots and androids are reduced to essentially slave-status. The Dark Clown Empire practices actual slavery, and while the Confederation does not, most of its inhabitants (including the Human ones) are openly described as living in wage slavery. The only place that anyone can truly be free is in the border region between the two superpowers, which is directly controlled by neither. This borderland is known as "the Rift", hence those outlaws on the fringes of society who cling to their freedom by moving back and forth around the Confederation/Dark Clown Empire border to evade detection are said to be "Tripping the Rift". The series follows one such group of outlaws led by Chode aboard the Spaceship Jupiter 42, taking odd-jobs and usually pursuing various get-rich-quick schemes.

Characters


Production and development

In 1997, Chris Moeller, who was working on the animated TV series King of the Hill and who had been producing animation shorts with Dark Bunny Productions, met Chuck Austen and pitched their idea for a science fiction comedy to animation studio Film Roman. In early 1998, they launched the first pilot Love and Darph on the Internet. The Chode character first appeared in the 1994 short, Wisconsin. [4] In 2001, Film Roman released the Oh Brother teaser for episode 2, and Chris claimed the full version was made, but its release was left up to Film Roman. [5]

In 2002, CinéGroupe acquired the rights to the five-minute short Love and Darph and approached animator Bernie Denk to direct the series, which was produced in association with Sci Fi US. Bernie Denk's team worked in Montreal on preproduction (character design, modeling and textures) while the Malaysian studio Shanghai Cartoon worked on animation using Autodesk 3ds Max software, lighting and compositing. Keyframe animation was chosen for its quality and animating control capabilities. [6]

Episodes

Pilots

Season 1 (2004)

  1. 03/04/2004 "God is Our Pilot" [7] Chode and Gus hijack a time-traveling vacation ship to the dawn of time, and accidentally kill God, causing a reality where impossible things happen because of God's death.
  2. 03/11/2004 "Mutilation Ball" The Federation will drop all charges against Chode if he can bring in Malik, a retired Mutilation Ball player for one last game...and things get complicated when T'nuk has sex with Malik and discovers that he's a robot while the real Malik has become a bloated mess whose being exploited by his wife.
  3. 03/18/2004 "Miss Galaxy 5000" Chode enters Six (who despises beauty pageants because of how sexist and demeaning they are to women) in a beauty contest against the daughter of his archenemy, Darph Bobo. Meanwhile, Gus trains T'nuk to be a beauty pageant contestant.
  4. 03/25/2004 "Sidewalk Soiler" Chode is set to be executed for spitting gum on a planet where littering is punishable by death.
  5. 04/01/2004 "The Devil and a Guy Named Webster" Chode sells his soul to the Devil to avoid a catastrophe and his only hope is Emmanuel Lewis (TV's Webster).
  6. 04/08/2004 "Totally Recalled" Gus's model has been recalled while Chode gets a visit from his grandfather.
  7. 04/15/2004 "2001 Space Idiocies" Chode is suckered into a scheme by Darph Bobo to corrupt a planet of primitives.
  8. 04/22/2004 "Power to the Peephole" The crew arrive on planet Floridia 7 in the middle of the Dark Clown Confederation's presidential election. Chode is chosen to get dirt on the Dark Clown Federation's candidate, George Goodfellow, while T'nuk takes a page from Monica Lewinsky's autobiography and tries to trick Goodfellow into sexually harassing her so she can get famous.
  9. 05/06/2004 "Nature vs. Nurture" Chode trades places with his long lost twin brother, the king of Muldavia 5.
  10. 05/13/2004 "Aliens, Guns & A Monkey" On the way to deliver a monkey diamond, the crew get stuck on a planet where everyone carries a gun.
  11. 05/20/2004 "Emasculating Chode" Darph Bobo kidnaps Whip (who feels like he's being treated like a child) and severs one of Chode's tentacles, which causes Chode to have a crisis over his masculinity.
  12. 05/27/2004 "Love Conquers All...Almost" Chode plays matchmaker to the children of his mortal enemies (Darph Bobo's daughter and Commander Adam's son) in order to get money to repay a huge debt.
  13. 06/03/2004 "Android Love" Six comes across an old boyfriend working in a male strip club.

Season 2 (2005)

  1. 07/27/2005 "Cool Whip" [8] Whip becomes famous on a planet after accidentally taking control of the ship.
  2. 07/27/2005 "You Wanna Put That Where?" Chode and company try to sell off cases of lubricant to a planet where homosexuals are the minority and heterosexuals are discriminated and punished for being straight.
  3. 08/03/2005 "Honey, I Shrunk the Crew" After Chode steals his identity and credit card, Darph Bobo seeks revenge.
  4. 08/10/2005 "Ghost Ship" After running out of fuel, the crew must face their greatest fears on a ghost ship.
  5. 08/17/2005 "Benito's Revenge" Chode's grandfather is caught up in one of Darph Bobo's schemes.
  6. 08/24/2005 "All for None": Chode's crew quits after Chode won't give into their demands for better amenities.
  7. 08/31/2005 "Extreme Chode"
  8. 09/14/2005 "Roswell"
  9. 09/21/2005 "Santa Clownza"
  10. 09/28/2005 "Chode and Bobo's High School Reunion"
  11. 10/05/2005 "Creaturepalooza"
  12. 10/12/2005 "Chode's Near-Death Experience"
  13. 10/19/2005 "Six, Lies and Videotape"

Season 3 (2007)

  1. 09/06/2007 "Chode Eraser"
  2. 09/13/2007 "Skankenstein" [9]
  3. 09/20/2007 "To eBay or Not to eBay"
  4. 10/11/2007 "23 12"
  5. 10/18/2007 "Chuckles Bites the Dust"
  6. 10/25/2007 "The Need for Greed"
  7. 11/01/2007 "Hollow Chode"
  8. 11/08/2007 "Raiders of the Lost Crock of */@?#!"
  9. 11/15/2007 "Witness Protection"
  10. 11/22/2007 "The Son Also Rises"
  11. 11/29/2007 "Extreme Take-Over"
  12. 12/06/2007 "Battle of the Bulge"
  13. 12/13/2007 "Tragically Whip"

Broadcast

The show aired on Space in Canada and the Sci Fi Channel in the United States in March 2004. Sky One began airing the show in the United Kingdom in early 2005. Space and the Sci Fi Channel aired the second season in the fall of 2005. In Australia the show appears on the Sci Fi Channel.

In Latin America it appeared on Adult Swim. In Russia, a music television channel Muz TV aired season 1 & 2 in 2007, and season 3 in early 2008. Later it aired on channel 2x2. In Germany, DMAX (TV channel) is showing season 1 & 2 starting in March 2009. In Bulgaria, PRO BG is airing season 1 & 2 starting in September 2009 and season 3 in October 2009. Other major territories include France, Italy, Belgium, Portugal, Sweden, Spain, and Central Europe. [10]

Re-runs of the show aired in Canada on SPACE. In 2006, the series was picked up for rebroadcast on Razer and The Comedy Network.

Tripping the Rift: The Movie

Anchor Bay released the 75 minute unrated Tripping the Rift: The Movie on DVD on March 25, 2008. [11] The story revolves around Chode's birthday party and the events that occur during and after it, all of which prompt his nemesis Darph Bobo to dispatch a time-traveling killer clown android to assassinate Chode.

The movie consists of footage from the season three episodes "Chode Eraser", "Skankenstein", "Raiders of the Lost Crock of *@#?!" and "Witness Protection" with new bits of additional footage stitching them together into a loosely cohesive whole.

While the movie was promoted as uncensored, only dialogue was left uncensored, with nudity still obscured by "censored" balloons.

The main DVD extra is "Captain's Log: Making of Tripping the Rift: The Movie". A Best Buy exclusive featured a second DVD with three episodes of the series centered on Six.

See also

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References

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  5. Dark Bunny blog Chris Moeller, 2002-11-23
  6. Tripping the Rift: Interviews: Director Bernie Denk SadGeezer.com, 2004-04-24
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  8. "Tripping the Rift - Cool Whip". Archived from the original on 2021-12-13. Retrieved Oct 16, 2019 via youtube.com.
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