Genndy Tartakovsky's resumé of completely original content and characters continues to grow with Primal, an animated series he created to tell the story of a caveman and a T-Rex becoming unlikely pals. Not only are the friends but they're so close that they actively go out of their way to protect and help one another, all the while having their story unfold with no dialogue. Tartakovsky honed in on brief moments from Samurai Jack which expounded upon the story and emotions without characters saying anything. With Primal, he dove in head first for a cleverly animated and impressively written adventure which returns on October 4.
"It actually started off as a kid's show," Tartakovsky said, describing the series which evolved into an action-packed adult-oriented show. "I was doodling this little caveman type kid, and the little baby T-Rex, and they would have adventures together, but it never went anywhere and it didn't feel original. And then later, when we were doing the adult Samurai Jack, there was such a strong reaction from the silent sequences. The ones without dialogue that I started to think about, 'I wonder if I could do a show with just meet up of these sequences.'" Light bulb: a caveman and a dinosaur are the perfect candidates for this.
The full interview with Tartakovsky can be seen in the video above.
"I started to mine that relationship more, about these two characters who suffer loss and that bonds them together, and they find a way to survive together," Tartakovsky said. "And then it just started to write itself. And I'm a huge Conan fan, Conan the Barbarian, but from the books. The books are written so fun and so interesting. And I kind of wanted to do those types of stories. In the books, he's walking in the desert, there's a sand worm that comes out from the desert, he's got to run to a city... He has to deal with this things. And it's so fun and you explore his character through these events and stuff." Primal, however, unravels into some more bizarre themes, including monsters and zombies.
While the world could certainly benefit from the sentiment of being willing to bond and protect one another despite differences, Tartakovsky insists there is no specific message he is trying to send with Primal. "If there's a message that people read out of it, that's great. But certainly, I was never that type of storyteller. I think as a kid, we grew up in the seventies and early eighties, and back then, we were talked down to. 'Don't do drugs!' 'Are you good at this?' You know what I mean? It's all very in our face. And so, I hated that as a kid. I wanted to be treated on an equal level. And so, I think I have this kind of being very reserved about teaching lessons. Certainly, It's like you said, like if you picked it out of that, it's great. I'm trying to do a character story, and build the relationship, and build characters that are memorable, and that will become alive. That's kinda the goal."
Primal has new episodes on Adult Swim beginning October 4.