The Mooninites

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Ignignokt and Err
Aqua Teen Hunger Force
(alternative titles) / Spacecataz
character
The Mooninites.png
Ignignokt (left) and Err
First appearance "Mayhem of the Mooninites" (Aqua Teen Hunger Force)
Created by Dave Willis
Matt Maiellaro
Portrayed by Dave Willis (Ignignokt)
Matt Maiellaro (Err)
Information
Species Mooninite
Gender Male
Family Unnamed estranged father of Ignignokt
Unnamed estranged father of Err
Unnamed estranged mother of Err
Relatives Cliff (Ignignokt's uncle)
Residence The Moon

Ignignokt and Err (known collectively as The Mooninites) are fictional characters on the Adult Swim animated television series Aqua Teen Hunger Force (also known by various alternative titles). Ignignokt and Err are both two dimensional alien villains from the Moon who frequently visit Earth and cause senseless destruction and chaos for the main protagonists. Ignignokt is the larger of the two who frequently appears as more calm and patient, whereas Err appears more temperamental and hyper. Both characters were created by series creators Dave Willis and Matt Maiellaro. Willis provides the voice of Ignignokt and Maiellaro provides the voice of Err.

The Mooninites were also the main protagonists in a television pilot for a potential Aqua Teen Hunger Force spin-off entitled Spacecataz, which was never picked up for a full series or aired on television, outside of clips during cold openings during the third season. The Mooninites also received national controversial attention on January 31, 2007 during the 2007 Boston bomb scare when LED displays resembling them were placed in various locations in Boston, Massachusetts and were mistaken for bombs causing a panic. The duo has received a positive reception from reviewers at IGN, and have appeared in various forms of media relating to the series including the 2007 series film adaption Aqua Teen Hunger Force Colon Movie Film for Theaters.

Characters[edit]

The Mooninites were both created and designed by series creators Dave Willis and Matt Maiellaro and first appeared in the Aqua Teen Hunger Force season one episode "Mayhem of The Mooninites", an episode in which they were centric. The episode first aired in the United States on October 14, 2001 on Cartoon Network’s late night programming block Adult Swim.[1][2] Willis himself provides the voice of Ignignokt and Err is voiced by Maiellaro, whose voice is digitally altered for the role.[3] When appearing in the series Err is never written into the script as all of his dialog and actions are completely improvised.[4]

The duo were originally created as ghosts from the 1982 video game E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial, an Atari video game adaption to the science fiction film of the same name. The protagonists house was to be revealed to be built on top an ancient Indian burial ground filled with old copies of the game. This premise was based on the Atari video game burial, when huge surplus of an over million copies of the game, alongside with several other Atari games were buried underground in New Mexico in 1983.[3] They are both recurring characters of the series, who both have appeared more than any other characters besides the main protagonists. They are usually the main focus in the episodes were they appear, and also make several brief cameos in certain episodes as well. A person from standards and practices at the network originally saw issue with Ignignokt and Err smoking cigarettes, Willis and Maiellaro argued that they are negative characters and that them smoking would depict smoking cigarettes as a negative action. Willis and Maiellaro claimed that they would remove the smoking cigarettes aspect of the characters from the script, however, never followed through on their claim.[3]

Design[edit]

The Mooninites appear as two dimensional pixelated figures with crude eyes, eyebrows, mouths, arms and legs, all composed from basic blue rectangles.[5] Neither Ignignokt or Err can open their mouths to speak but rather the size of the rectangle used for their mouths changes size to the rhythm of what they are saying. Ignignokt is colored with a solid shade of light green, and significantly larger than Err and has on somewhat more complex shape with several perfectly symmetrical grooves across his head.[1] Err is light purple and square shaped with a second rectangle on his head, which fits perfectly in the groove on Ignignokt's head, which is used to form the Quad Laser and the Quad Glacier.[2][6][7] Neither Ignignokt or Err wear clothing on a normal basis, but can be seen wearing them on occasion.

Err’s facial expression is set as angry and is never seen to change, even during an emotional monologue about his childhood in "Moonajuana",[8] whereas Ignignokt's facial expression is predominantly set as calm and relaxed, although unlike Err his facial expression occasionally changes to express anger.[9] Ignignokt's facial expressions never skew from calm or angry, however, his plain rectangular mouth reverts to the shape of a smile briefly during the pilot episode of Spacecataz, his mouth in the shape of a smile is never seen again outside of this one-time isolated appearance. In "Deleted Scenes" they are both hypnotized and their eyes become spinning circular spirals, a very rare alteration of their eyes. However, their facial expressions remain the same. Ignignokt has the ability to extend the size of his middle finger, and also the ability to increase the size of his entire hand immensely in order to be more prominent when giving the bird to Earth.[9][10]

Role in Aqua Teen Hunger Force[edit]

The Mooninites after forming the Quad Glacier.

Both of The Mooninites live on the surface of the Moon, which they frequently mention on a consistent basis.[6] Besides Ignignokt and Err, other Mooninites are not commonly seen with the exception of Ignignokt's uncle Cliff and a giant mooninite monster named "The Gorgotron".[9][11] Despite the apparent lack of mooninites on the moon a human female police officer patrols the surface of the Moon, as seen in "Jumpy George".[12]

The Mooninites periodically visit earth in order to harass Master Shake, Meatwad, Frylock and Carl Brutananadilewski, arriving in a purple-and-blue spaceship. They particularly target Meatwad to take advantage of his childlike naivete, often encouraging Meatwad to participate in bad behavior such as shoplifting, burglary or smoking cigarettes and marijuana.[6][8][10] Frylock, who sees right through their schemes, has a very condescending view of The Mooninites and often strives to keep them away from Meatwad, himself, and their property. Master Shake is more welcoming to them then Frylock, and only slightly less gullible than Meatwad when it comes to their lies. The Mooninites seem to welcome Master Shake to a degree by giving him shoplifted items as gifts, inviting him to help cash a stolen government aid check, and offering him marijuana, although they frequently try to trick Shake so they can steal from him as well. Carl is often the primary victim in The Mooninites plans and schemes. They often end up stealing or destroying his possessions, causing damage to his home or car, and physically assaulting him in some cases. Most encounters The Mooninites have with the main protagonists often end with them rushing to their ship and shooting the bird to them from outer space as they return home, as a running gag.

Both of the Mooninites are equipped with a small laser gun that fires a small, slow-moving square bullet (despite Ingnignokt's insistence on how fast it goes). Err and Ignignokt also possess the ability to lock their heads together to create the "Quad Laser", which results in them firing four laser guns at once, although this only results in them firing a much larger and much slower-moving projectile.[6] In "The Last One", the Mooninites created an even larger weapon consisting of multiple copies of themselves formed into the shape of a giant gun which they call "The Quad Glazer" (although they argue over whether it's actually called "The Quad Glacier"). The bullet fired was even more massive and seemed to not move at all, and the sheer size of the gun caused Err to break his legs under the sheer weight of the weapon.[7] They also have the ability to jump very high (but only on the Moon) and spin around in place flashing bright colors.[6]

Little is known about their family lives, however, it's revealed that both Ignignokt and Err come from broken homes and neither had a father in their lives while growing up. Err went on to explain that his father was an alcoholic who abandoned him when he was three, and his mother later abandoned him at a summer camp, causing him to slip into a deep depression, and his frequent bad behavior is a desperate cry for attention. Ignignokt didn’t go into as much detail but did express some sorrow that he didn’t learn to "steal or drink the right way" from his father.[8] In "Remooned" it is revealed Ignignokt has an uncle named Cliff, who suffers from post-traumatic stress disorder as a result of serving in the "Lunar Wars" and requires home care as a result.[9]

Neither Ignignokt or Err appear as religious but they claim their god is an "Indian who turns into a wolf", however, this was more than likely not the truth.[10]

Spacecataz spin-off pilot[edit]

Both Ignignokt and Err served as the main protagonist for a Aqua Teen Hunger Force spin-off entitled Spacecataz. A pilot episode for the spin-off was produced, however, Adult Swim did not pick it up for a full series as executives couldn’t see it going anywhere with all the characters dying towards the end of the pilot, despite the parent series having a long history of non-canon plot twists and storylines. Spacecataz was created by Willis and Maiellaro, and intended it to begin with a five episode first season. The plot revolves around both of The Mooninites and The Plutonians, another villainous duo featured in Aqua Teen Hunger Force, having an ongoing back and forth mean-spirited string of practical jokes between each other. This follows up the hostility between both groups depicted in Aqua Teen Hunger Force.[13]

The pilot episode was never aired on television but was released on the Volume Four DVD set on December 6, 2005.[14] The pilot was also broken down into several parts and used as cold openings throughout the third season of Aqua Teen Hunger Force; replacing short bits from Dr. Weird and Steve, which were used throughout the first two seasons.

Connection to the 2007 Boston bomb scare[edit]

Further information: 2007 Boston bomb scare
An LED display of Ignignokt which amongst others, were placed in various locations in Boston, Massachusetts and were mistaken for bombs, causing a panic on January 31, 2007 during the 2007 Boston bomb scare.

The Mooninites were subject to National attention during the 2007 Boston bomb scare on January 31, 2007. During the incident LED displays depicting Ignignokt and Err were placed in eleven different cities: Boston, New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, Atlanta, Seattle, Portland, Denver, Austin, San Francisco, and Philadelphia. In Boston, the authorities considered the LEDs suspicious, prompting the closure of major roads and waterways for investigation. Turner Broadcasting System later admitted placing the LEDs and apologized for the misunderstanding. In spite of the uproar, Berdovsky and Stevens mocked the media and critics in interviews while facing charges for "placing a hoax device and disorderly conduct".[15] Subsequently, all criminal charges were dropped in exchange for Berdovsky and Stevens apologizing during their court date and accepting a plea bargain which consisted of community service at the Spaulding Rehabilitation Center.[16] Turner Broadcasting has paid the Boston Police Department one million dollars to cover the investigation's cost and an additional million for good will.[17][18] This action was designed to settle criminal and civil claims, while the general manager of Cartoon Network stepped down because of the incident. Of the 10 cities in which the Lite-Brite-like LED displays were placed, only Boston saw them as a matter of concern.

Willis and Maiellaro responded to the incident by satirizing it in an episode entitled "Boston", the episode was meant to serve as the premiere of the fifth season in 2008 but was pulled by Turner Legal to avoid further controversy surrounding the incident. Subsequently “Boston” has never been aired on television or released to the public in any format.[19] Willis and Maiellaro also worked a stealthily hidden image of Err dressed as Osama bin Laden onto the artwork for the Aqua Teen Hunger Force Volume Five DVD set.[20]

Reception[edit]

Eric Goldman and Dan Iverson of IGN have listed The Mooninites as number one on their list of top ten villains featured in the series. They stated that the extremely slow speed of the laser was “hysterical” and said it was only topped by their battlecry of “Mooninites, Unite!”. They also credited the duo for several lines they contributed to the series and claimed that Ignignokt and Err’s debut episode, “Mayhem of The Mooninites”, as one of the best thought the series.[5]

In other media[edit]

Ignignokt and Err both make appearances together in Aqua Teen Hunger Force Colon Movie Film for Theaters, a 2007 feature film based on the series and the video game Aqua Teen Hunger Force Zombie Ninja Pro-Am.'[21] They also make a non-speaking visual appearance in the music video “I Like Your Booty But I’m Not Gay”."[22]

Aside from their appearances in anything related to Aqua Teen Hunger Force or Spacataz The Mooninites have also made a few brief cameos in other media. A hidden image of Ignignokt can be seen on a bathroom stall in the Adult Swim online flash game Five Minutes to Kill (Yourself) Family Reunion.[23] An animated interpretation of T-Pain, whom was voiced by himself, is seen wearing a necklace of Ignignokt in the Squidbillies season five episode "Asbestos I Can".[24]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Ignignokt official character guide from Adult Swim. (archive)
  2. ^ a b Err official character guide from Adult Swim. (archive)
  3. ^ a b c DVD audio commentary for the Aqua Teen Hunger Force episode "Mayhem of the Mooninites", which appears on the Volume One DVD set on November 18, 2003.
  4. ^ Mike Gencarelli. ""Aqua Teen Hunger Force" co-creator Matt Maiellaro chats about new season". Media Mikes. 
  5. ^ a b "Aqua Teen Hunger Force's Top Villains Our Top 10 favorite Aqua Teen enemies.". IGN. 13 April 2007. Retrieved 11 July 2013. 
  6. ^ a b c d e "Mayhem of the Mooninites" (in English). Aqua Teen Hunger Force. Season 1. Episode 4. October 14, 2001. Adult Swim.
  7. ^ a b "The Last One" (in English). Aqua Teen Hunger Force. Season 2. Episode 24. December 31, 2003. Adult Swim.
  8. ^ a b c "Moonajuana" (in English). Aqua Teen Hunger Force. Season 4. Episode 10. November 26, 2006. Adult Swim.
  9. ^ a b c d "Remooned" (in English). Aqua Teen Hunger Force. Season 3. Episode 3. August 15, 2004. Adult Swim.
  10. ^ a b c "Revenge of the Mooninites" (in English). Aqua Teen Hunger Force. Season 1. Episode 8. May 5, 2002. Adult Swim.
  11. ^ "Moon Master" (in English). Aqua Teen Hunger Force. Season 3. Episode 8. September 19, 2004. Adult Swim.
  12. ^ "Jumpy George" (in English). Aqua Unit Patrol Squad 1. Episode 8. July 10, 2011. Adult Swim.
  13. ^ DVD audio commentary for the Aqua Teen Hunger Force episode "Little Brittle", which appears on the Volume Four DVD set on December 6, 2005.
  14. ^ Aqua Teen Hunger Force – Volume 4 (2000) at Amazon.com. Retrieved October 8, 2011
  15. ^ "Probe into Boston ad stunt chaos". BBC News. February 1, 2007. Archived from the original on February 2, 2007. Retrieved February 1, 2007. 
  16. ^ "Community service for defendants in Cartoon Network case". Boston.com: Boston Globe website. May 11, 2007. Archived from the original on December 27, 2008. Retrieved February 4, 2009. 
  17. ^ Associated Press (February 5, 2007). "Turner, 2nd firm to pay $2 million over scare". MSNBC. Archived from the original on December 27, 2007. Retrieved December 19, 2007. 
  18. ^ "Cartoon Network Head Resigns After Scare". ABC News. Archived from the original on April 3, 2007. Retrieved February 22, 2007. 
  19. ^ "Exclusive Interview With Meatwad, Er, Dave Willis, Of 'Aqua Teen Hunger Force'". Star Pulse. Retrieved April 16, 2011. 
  20. ^ Cover art for the Aqua Teen Hunger Force Volume Five DVD set released by Adult Swim and Warner Home Video on January 29, 2008.
  21. ^ Creat Studios (November 5, 2007). Aqua Teen Hunger Force Zombie Ninja Pro-Am (in English). Midway Games. 
  22. ^ “I Like Your Booty But I’m Not Gay" music video released on iTunes.
  23. ^ Ham in the Fridge (November 2009). Five Minutes to Kill (Yourself): Wedding Day (in English). Adult Swim. Scene: On the men's bathroom wall. 
  24. ^ "Asbestos I Can" (in English). Squidbillies. Season 6. Episode 1. September 11, 2011. Adult Swim.

External links[edit]