Regular Show may seem like a series intended for children on the surface. This long-running Cartoon Network series is truly for adults that grew up in the 80s and early 90’s, however. Any member of Generation Y can appreciate Regular Show for its references to retro movies, video games, and technology. Seeing how Regular Show drapes itself in old school nostalgia, it’s only appropriate that its feature film would tackle the past, present, and future.
The movie of course centers on Mordecai, a 23-year-old slacker blue jay, and Rigby, a 23-year-old raccoon who’s another level of slacker. They both work a dead-end job at an ordinary park that just so happens to be a magnet for chaos. On this particular run-of-the-mill day, the park is visited by the future Rigby. He tells his past self and Mordecai that they need to travel back in time and prevent a science experiment gone horribly wrong. Otherwise, a Timenado is going to tear apart the universe and their friendship.
The plot really isn’t anything that special and it unfortunately succumbs to one of those “liar revealed” tropes in the third act. The story is rarely the appeal of Regular Show, however. We’re here more for the offbeat humor and characters. Regular Show: The Movie is consistently silly and makes good use of its cast. Muscle Man, Benson, Pops, Hi-Five Ghost, and Skips all tag along for the ride as Mordecai and Rigby confront their past demons. On top of that, the film is occasionally quite poignant in its commentary on growing up.
Given the lousy economy and job market, we live in an era where becoming an adult is harder than ever. Most people nowadays aren’t able to make it on their own until their late twenties and even then they don’t have everything figured out. Some millennials, like Mordecai, would like to move on to greater things one day. Others, like Rigby, are not only content with things remaining the same forever, but are scared by the very idea of change. Regular Show: The Movie presents its themes in a fashion that’s smart, goofy, and surprisingly character-driven.
What prevents Regular Show: The Movie from being Best Animated Feature quality is that it doesn’t really up the ante from the show. Sure, the film may have a longer running time than a standard episode, but it never feels as cinematic as something like South Park: Bigger, Longer & Uncut or The Simpsons Movie. It feels more like an extended episode, which isn’t at all a bad thing. I’d be lying, however, if I said the film ranked up there with the series’ best episodes. Even if it’s not Exit 9B, Eggscellent, or The Last Laserdisc Player, though, this is a fun treat for fans that’s more satisfying than an every meat burrito.