Primal, the return of blood and savagery
Spear comes back, and he’s not happy. By the end of the first season, the caveman and his mate Fang, a tyrannosaur, had met Mira, a runaway slave. Both will have to cross an ocean and new lands to find her, because she is once again under the thumb of rough-hewn Vikings. Faced with new tribes from this part of the world that seems more evolved, Spear and Fang will discover that the most civilized is not the one we believe… Genndy Tartakovsky, to whom we owe Hotel Transylvania, Star Wars: Clone Wars or the already violent SamuraiJack, warns: “Prepare for a high degree of savagery and epic barbarism! »
The result, developed with a French animation studio, la Cachette (Love, Death + Robots), is incredibly gore… But, unlike the first season, the heroes have an avowed goal, far from the succession of critical situations which followed one another in gonzo mode. They need « save the princess » and confront other ways of being » human » – which Fang sometimes succeeds better than some characters encountered. There is (a tiny bit) of Rahan in this Proto-Sapiens and this carnivore who learn from others that there is more to violence than to resolve conflicts. Although having a good spear or huge fangs can sometimes help!
Primal earned seven Emmy awards in 2020 and 2021, including Best Animated Program. A challenge, the series focusing on action and emotion, without dialogue: « It leaves so much room for sounds, music, to create a real atmosphere, an immersive experience », Tartakovsky explained to us, at the end of 2020. He also wanted to show the implacable nature: “You see a cute baby seal, and a polar bear is coming. You know that one of the two must die for the other to live. (…) That’s life, there is no bad guy, no good guy. » But, « from time to time, a real monster appears, and there we know that there will be blood”. And as with this slave tribe, it is the distancing with its share of animality which makes man a monster, excludes him from the natural cycle. For the chronological veracity, we will go back, but Primal has the sincerity of raw sensations. « It’s wild, but it conveys emotions, promises Tartakovsky. We always come back to the title, the return to the primitive. »