|Country of origin||United States|
|No. of seasons||1|
|No. of episodes||10|
Duplass Brothers Television|
|Original release||February 5, 2016 – present|
Animals. is an American animated comedy television series created by Phil Matarese and Mike Luciano. The first two episodes were independently produced and presented at the Sundance Film Festival in January 2015. In May 2015, HBO picked the series up with a two-season order, which premiered February 5, 2016.
Each episode features a different cast of special guests besides creators Matarese and Luciano. The show primarily features retroscripting, improvised dialogue based on plot outlines.
- Phil Matarese as Phil Matarese (Rats, Pigeons, Cats, Dogs, Flies, and Squirrels)
- Mike Luciano as Mike Luciano (Rats, Pigeons, Cats, Dogs, Flies, and Squirrels)
- Lauren Lapkus as Jacob
- Katie Aselton as Rebecca/Mom
- Claudia O'Doherty as April
- Jay Duplass as Dennis
- Mindy Sterling as Psychic Lady
- Kurt Vile as Himself
- Jon Lovitz as Old Ben / Jon Lovitz
- Eric Andre as Alex
- Aziz Ansari as Charles
- Scott Aukerman as Drug Dealer
- Mitchell Hurwitz as Larry
- Nick Kroll as Jerry
- Jason Mantzoukas as Fink
- Nathan Fielder as DJ Lab Rat
- Alia Shawkat as Sharon
- Adam Scott as Shane
- Molly Shannon as Olivia
- Jessica St. Clair as Kaitlin
- Jennifer Lafleur as Wife
- Wanda Sykes as Chance
- Ben Schwartz as Antonio
- Cobie Smulders as Anni
- Zach Woods as Brian
- Steve Zissis as Husband
- Ellie Kemper as Princess
- Kumail Nanjiani as Rusty
- Jenny Slate as Snake
- Casey Wilson as Queen Ant
- Melanie Lynskey as Linda
- Jessica Chastain as Sarah
- Danny McBride as Gregory
- Chelsea Peretti as Angela
|No.||Title||Directed by||Written by||Original air date||U.S. viewers|
|1||"Rats."||Phil Matarese & Mike Luciano||Phil Matarese & Mike Luciano||February 5, 2016||0.239|
After witnessing the unintentional death of a hooker by the mayor, two rats named Mike and Phil attend a party where it is discovered that Phil has never made babies while Mike raises his newborn daughter Rebecca as she grows into an adult over the course of the party. As Phil falls in love with Rebecca, he learns that he ate rat poison and spends his final moments finally having sex with Rebecca raising their son Phil Jr. Meanwhile two police horses, voiced by Paul Scheer and Matt Walsh, discuss a friend who has become a race horse; also two bed bugs voiced by Mark Duplass and Rob Corddry, move into the mayor's pubic hair and talk about one of their divorce and subsequent midlife crisis.Guest starring Jason Mantzoukas as Fink, Nathan Fielder as DJ Lab Rat, Mary Holland as Bow Rat, Katie Aselton as Rebecca, Jet Eveleth as Scarf Rat, Jennifer LaFleur as Wife, and Steve Zissis as Husband.
|2||"Pigeons."||Phil Matarese & Mike Luciano||Phil Matarese & Mike Luciano||February 12, 2016||0.235|
As the mayor deals with a blackmailer who took pictures of him with the hooker, unaware that one of his goons is an undercover detective, a golf ball hits a sleeping Phil's nest as he believes it to be an egg he laid. He joins his friend Mike and Mike's wife Megan to their son Jacob's Little Flyers Club where Mike is challenged to race to the Green Lady with the Ice Cream Thingy by Jerry, a pigeon from New Jersey, voiced by Nick Kroll. Meanwhile two caterpillars named Alan and Brian, voiced by Ike Barinholtz and Zach Woods respectively, deal with one of their metamorphosis.Guest starring Lauren Lapkus as Jacob, Meghan O'Neill as Megan, Joe Mande as Branch, Scott Aukerman as Drug Dealer, Bartholomew Birdman, and Andrée Vermeulen as Clarissa.
|3||"Cats."||Phil Matarese & Mike Luciano & Wes Archer||Phil Matarese & Mike Luciano||February 19, 2016||0.188|
As the mayor's wife is having an affair with her husband's opponent in the upcoming mayoral campaign, her pet cats Mike and Phil discuss their plans for the day when they are interrupted by an alley cat at the window named Alex, voice by Eric André. Mike and Phil let Alex in to use the kitty litter and give him a tour of their apartment where he steals various things. But when Alex comes clean after how friendly his hosts are, he learns that Mike and Phil are crazed sociopaths and barely escapes being tortured by them. Meanwhile, a goose named Shane, voiced by Adam Scott, explores Central Park and meets a swan named Olivia, voiced by Molly Shannon, who is led to believe that Shane is a Black Swan. His secret is found out later at a club and has to come clean.Guest starring Neil Casey as Max and Justin Roiland as H&M.
|4||"Dogs."||Phil Matarese & Mike Luciano & Dominic Polcino||Phil Matarese & Mike Luciano||February 26, 2016||0.282|
A Papillon named Phil is taken to a dog park, which is viewed as a prison by the dogs in it. Phil is challenged to a showdown by a poodle named Angela, voiced by Chelsea Peretti. Phil and a pug named Mike plan an escape to avoid the showdown. Meanwhile, a secret is revealed among four dogs being walked also; two dogs, Rusty and Princess, meet on a first date, voiced by Kumail Nanjiani and Ellie Kemper, respectively.Guest starring Aziz Ansari as Charles, Rory Scovel as Ronnie, Lauren Lapkus as Hollie, Mary Holland as Mabel, Stephanie Allynne as Josie, and Erin Whitehead as Sugar.
|5||"Rats."||Phil Matarese & Mike Luciano & Wes Archer||Phil Matarese & Mike Luciano||March 4, 2016||0.290|
As the mayor covers up the death of a business partner who overdosed, a teenaged Phil Jr. takes credit for the pants that his friend Mike invented to impress a girl he has a crush on. Meanwhile, two moths, voiced by Duncan Trussell and Kate Berlant, talk to their friend Kevin, voiced by Pete Holmes, as he tries neon light for the first time while a fish couple, voiced by Thomas Lennon and Kerri Kenney, argue in front of another couple, voiced by Mary Holland and Tim Baltz, during dinner, causing a tense situation.Guest starring Alia Shawkat as Sharon, Ali Wong, as Dana, Marc Maron as Rat Marc Maron, Neil Casey as Reporter & Security Guard, Kate Berlant as Fashion Rat 1, John Early as Fashion Rat 2, James Kyson as Floor Manager, Amir Blumenfeld as Chinese Food Rat 1, Jake Hurwitz as as Chinese Food Rat 2, Meghan O'Neill as Announcer, and Declan Carter as Child Rat.
|6||"Pigeons."||Phil Matarese & Mike Luciano & Dominic Polcino||Phil Matarese & Mike Luciano||March 11, 2016||0.247|
Pigeon Phil runs into trouble after being reunited with the father who abandoned him while Mike struggles to encourage his son to be a seagull scout. Meanwhile, two turtles fight over the love of a mechanical frog while a skunk learns the truth about his date's past as a sexual deviant.Guest starring Mitch Hurwitz as Larry, Lauren Lapkus as Jacob, Meghan O'Neill as Meghan, Horatio Sanz as Julio, Jessica St. Clair as Kaitlin, Lennon Parham as Ashley, Ben Schwartz as Antonio, and Nicole Byer as Stephanie.
|7||"Flies."||Phil Matarese & Mike Luciano & Wes Archer||Phil Matarese & Mike Luciano||March 18, 2016||0.187|
Within the course of a day, a pair of flies experience the highs and lows of life in all its stages; a self-conscious horse is encouraged to let it out; bodega-dwelling cats rap.Guest starring Lawrence Matarese as Phil's Dad, Liz Luciano as Mike's Mom, Robert Morse as Old Phil, Jack Axelrod as Old Mike, Meghan O'Neill as Eliza, Wanda Sykes as Chance, Cobie Smulders as Anni, ASAP Ferg as Bodega Cat #1, and ASAP Rocky as Bodega Cat #2.
|8||"Squirrels. Part I."||Phil Matarese & Mike Luciano & Dominic Polcino||Phil Matarese & Mike Luciano||March 25, 2016||0.256|
The mayor attempts to smear the politician by planting drugs in his house. But as all hell breaks loose when the mayor learns the politician was sleeping with his wife, two squirrel brothers find their survival skills tested while on a journey to freedom after their tree was knocked down by lightning. Meanwhile, at a pet shop, a snake and her mouse prey face off while pet store puppies settle a turf war.Guest starring Claudia O'Doherty as April, Katie Aselton as Mom, Jay Duplass as Dennis, Jake Hurwitz as Older Bully, Amir Blumenfeld as Younger Bully, Mindy Sterling as Psychic Lady, Kurt Vile as Kurt Vile, Jon Lovitz as Old Ben, Jenny Slate as Snake, Gabe Leidman as Mouse, Shawn Wayans as Tommy, Marlon Wayans as Ry-Ry, and John Witherspoon as Jimmy.
|9||"Squirrels. Part II."||Phil Matarese & Mike Luciano & Dominic Polcino||Phil Matarese & Mike Luciano||April 1, 2016||0.149|
|While the mayor managed to cover up the deaths of the politician and the detective, the latter having sent his intel to the news media, the squirrel brothers' adventure concludes with narration by Jon Lovitz.|
|10||"Turkeys."||Phil Matarese & Mike Luciano & Wes Archer||Phil Matarese & Mike Luciano||April 8, 2016||0.246|
|Having lost his wife, a turkey vows an vendetta on the mayor who picks him to be pardoned during the Macy's Thanksgiving Parade at the same time that Phil Jr. and Mike come to the surface despite warnings of the "giant demons". The turkey gets his chance of revenge when the mayor's illegal activities are revealed, shooting him dead before later dying from his own injuries. The season ends with Phil Jr. and Mike abducted as test subjects at a laboratory.|
The first season has received mixed reviews from critics. As of April 2016, it holds a 60% "Fresh" rating on review aggregator website Rotten Tomatoes, based on 15 reviews, with an average of 6.3/10. On Metacritic, the series holds a rating of 54 out of 100, based on 12 critics, indicating "mixed or average reviews". Maureen Ryan of Variety gave the first season a negative review, writing, "The animated HBO show has a lot in common with programs like Girls, Louie and Baskets, and like Togetherness, it boasts Mark and Jay Duplass as executive producers. But the extraordinarily tedious Animals., unlike those shows, fails to hit any of its chosen targets. It is unfunny, its animation is unexceptional and the studied banality of its dialogue is excruciating." Conversely, David Wiegand writing for the San Francisco Chronicle gave the season a positive review, writing, "The deadpan approach only enhances the delicious off the wall comedy of Animals. The series is batty and brilliant as it turns the whole notion of anthropomorphic cartoon animals on its fuzzy ear."
- Andreeva, Nellie (January 20, 2015). "Animated Series 'Animals' Adds Indie TV Flavor To Sundance Film Festival". Deadline. Retrieved February 14, 2016.
- Andreeva, Nellie (May 29, 2015). "HBO Gives 2-Season Order To 'Animals' Animated Comedy From Duplass Brothers". Deadline. Retrieved January 2, 2016.
- "HBO Confirms Debut Date for Animated Adult Comedy Series "Animals"". The Futon Critic. November 25, 2015. Retrieved January 2, 2016.
- "Animals". HBO. Retrieved April 3, 2016.
- Radish, Christina (February 3, 2016). "Animals': 14 Things to Know About HBO's Bewildering Animated Series". Collider.com. Retrieved April 3, 2016.
- Metcalf, Mitch (February 8, 2016). "UPDATED: SHOWBUZZDAILY's Top 150 Friday Cable Originals & Network Finals: 2.5.2016". Showbuzz Daily. Retrieved February 14, 2016.
- Metcalf, Mitch (February 16, 2016). "UPDATED: SHOWBUZZDAILY's Top 150 Friday Cable Originals & Network Finals: 2.12.2016". Showbuzz Daily. Retrieved February 21, 2016.
- Metcalf, Mitch (February 22, 2016). "UPDATED: SHOWBUZZDAILY's Top 150 Friday Cable Originals & Network Finals: 2.19.2016". Showbuzz Daily. Retrieved March 27, 2016.
- Metcalf, Mitch (February 29, 2016). "UPDATED: SHOWBUZZDAILY's Top 150 Friday Cable Originals & Network Finals: 2.26.2016". Showbuzz Daily. Retrieved March 27, 2016.
- Metcalf, Mitch (March 7, 2016). "UPDATED: SHOWBUZZDAILY's Top 150 Friday Cable Originals & Network Finals: 3.4.2016". Showbuzz Daily. Retrieved March 27, 2016.
- Metcalf, Mitch (March 14, 2016). "UPDATED: SHOWBUZZDAILY's Top 150 Friday Cable Originals & Network Finals: 3.11.2016". Showbuzz Daily. Retrieved March 27, 2016.
- Metcalf, Mitch (March 21, 2016). "UPDATED: SHOWBUZZDAILY's Top 150 Friday Cable Originals & Network Finals: 3.18.2016". Showbuzz Daily. Retrieved March 27, 2016.
- Metcalf, Mitch (March 28, 2016). "UPDATED: SHOWBUZZDAILY's Top 150 Friday Cable Originals & Network Finals: 3.25.2016". Showbuzz Daily. Retrieved April 3, 2016.
- Metcalf, Mitch (April 7, 2016). "UPDATED: SHOWBUZZDAILY's Top 150 Friday Cable Originals & Network Finals: 4.1.2016". Showbuzz Daily. Retrieved April 7, 2016.
- Metcalf, Mitch (April 12, 2016). "UPDATED: SHOWBUZZDAILY's Top 150 Friday Cable Originals & Network Finals: 4.8.2016". Showbuzz Daily. Retrieved April 12, 2016.
- "Animals : Season 1 (2016)". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved February 18, 2016.
- "Animals: Season 1". Metacritic. Retrieved February 18, 2016.
- Ryan, Maureen (February 3, 2016). "TV Review: 'Animals'". Variety. Retrieved February 18, 2016.
- Wiegand, David (February 1, 2016). "'Animals' cuts the cute, but remains wildly kooky". San Francisco Chronicle. Retrieved 10 April 2016.