The Fight Sequences In Primal Season 2 'Almost Broke The Studio'

The animated series "Primal" had creator Genndy Tartakovsky ("Samurai Jack," "Dexter's Laboratory") bring a visceral, vicious, and visually stunning story to Adult Swim. The series follows a Neanderthal and a Tyrannosaurus, both struggling to survive in a dangerous world after the sudden loss of their families. Whether it's other deadly dinosaurs and gnarly creatures or a terrifying mystical cult, there are endless dangers for the characters dubbed Spear and Fang. But you'll probably never hear these names uttered in the series, because it's a dialogue-free show filled with primal sounds and an incredible score. 

After the first season concluded with Spear and Fang encountering a new character, one who could change the entire dynamic of the series, "Primal" is picking up where it left off, and it's deadlier than ever. In fact, the battles that Spear and Fang get into in the upcoming second season took things to a whole new level — so much that they almost "broke the studio," according to Tartakovsky himself.

If you'd prefer to avoid knowing any details about the first couple episodes of "Primal" season 2, then this is your last chance to turn away.

A whole new world

"Primal" season 2 opens by following Spear and Fang as they set off to track down Mira (Laetitia Eido-Mollon), the enslaved Homo sapien who was abducted in the first season finale and led to Spear speaking her name as his first line of dialogue. In their pursuit, Spear and Fang take to the sea, where plenty of adventure and new dangers await. The two encounter a sea turtle and a shark, each proving to be threatening in their own way. As Tartakovsky recalled to IndieWire:

"That whole [first] episode thematically is about going into a new world, so in the middle there's more of this metaphysical, existential type of going through the night [on the raft at sea]. And then they end up in a storm and being attacked by a shark. That was my first storyboard after doing the first season, and we knew what to focus on with more confidence because the relationship [between Spear and Fang] was working."

'I never would've attempted this in the old days'

The relationship between Spear and Fang is the driving force of "Primal." What started as an unlikely alliance has turned into a trusting friendship. With that dynamic standing strong, Tartakovsky was able to shift focus to escalating the drama and action, especially when it comes to the perils awaiting them at every turn. Tartakovsky pinpointed one particular challenge the studio had early in this season:

"The bigger thing was the storm and shark hitting at the same time in an escalating danger. Each one is difficult on its own in animation, but when you throw all these things together it becomes complex to pull off. I never would've attempted this in the old days."

And that's just the beginning of the season. These two unlikely companions have already been through hell, but there's much more to come. Tartakovsky added, "There are a number of episodes where there are eight to 10-minute fight sequences, and each one of those almost broke the studio." Knowing that they're pushing the limits of what the studio is capable of only gets me more excited to see the further adventures of Spear and Fang.

"Primal" season 2 returns to Adult Swim on July 21, 2022, and the next day on HBO Max.