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I vaguely remember this series, and I decided it was worth revisiting, so I watched few episodes recently to see what was up with it. A lot of people who talk about this show treat it as an atrocity, calling it a racist piece of garbage that made no sense. Honestly, it's alright in my opinion. Aardman Animations has certainly made better things, but it's nowhere near as horrific as most people make it out to be. The premise of three martial artists fighting an evil genius who rules a super-mall/city does have its potential, and the series executes it pretty okay. The CGI is fine, the action scenes aren't too shabby, and the writing and dialogue are decent. The characters are also okay - they're obviously based on the kinds of stock characters you find in martial arts B-movies, and they are kinda fun to watch.
As for the characters not resembling chickens, I do agree that they should probably be more obviously chickens, it's honestly a rather irrelevant nitpick - almost none of the other character designs resemble the animals they're meant to be (that is if it's even clear what kind of animal they're meant to be in the first place), so it's clear the animators were aiming for heavy stylization. And for some reason, people are equally offended by the show using the word chook, which is a rather esoteric word for a chicken, but nothing to get mad over.
Now for the tricky part, and I'm definitely opening a can of worms here. Is this series racist? Speaking as somebody with a Chinese background, I'm not sure, but I'm leaning towards "not really". If anything, the show is clearly an Affectionate Parody of low-budget Hong Kong martial arts films ("chop socky" being a slang term for those kinds of movies). The only thing I would consider racist would be Chuckie's accent, but it didn't ruin the show for me at all. Overall, I don't think the show is that offensive towards China. While maybe a little bit of it might be somewhat offensive, there has been far more racist media directed to Chinese people than some cartoon about kung fu chickens.
Honestly, I think the hate for this series is rather overblown. It's not amazing, and neither is it super special, but the way people talk about it make it sound like the 21st century version of those anti-Japanese WW 2 cartoons. It's a pretty average and forgettable action-comedy cartoon that kids could enjoy without too much trouble, but older cartoon fans can look elsewhere. I'd give it a 5 out of 10. It honestly didn't deserve to get Screwed by the Network the way it did, but there is definitely a lot of room for improvement, especially in regards to the stuff that has made people decry the show as racist.
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