The Disney Joke In The Solar Opposites Halloween Special That Required An Hourlong Argument With The Studio's Lawyers

It’s a bit of a running joke on the animated series Solar Opposites that the family of aliens found at the center of the show don’t understand things about our culture… and that includes holidays. Creators Justin Roiland (Rick & Morty) and Mike McMahan inject their unique sense of humor into Solar Opposites for regular episodes, and pull out the big guns for two (so far) holiday-themed special episodes… this latest one focusing on Halloween. Korvo (voiced by Roiland) remains terrified of Halloween, and his reactions to Halloween horrors are violently extreme. But they aren’t as laser sharp as an hilarious joke aimed straight at Disney, the parent company of Hulu where Solar Opposites streams.

The bulk of A Sinister Halloween Scary Opposites Solar Special alternates between content for audiences who adore the spooky season, and those who think it’s a terrible waste of time. (You know, kind of like our real-life push-and-pull between horror mavens who come out every October to watch the best horror movies ever made, and the rest of us who don’t care.) But as Terry (Thomas Middleditch), Jesse (Mary Mack) and Yumyulack (Sean Giambrone) try to make their home as scary as possible for the season, they open up a coffin, prompting Jesse to observe: 

Whoa, it smells like 101 Dalmatians took a shit in here!

Immediately after making that joke, she receives a cellphone call from Disney’s Standards and Practices over the joke, but she sends them straight to voicemail. So when I got the chance to sit down with the creative team behind this special, I asked them if they have to run a joke about Disney’s Standards and Practices BY Disney’s Standards and Practices to get approval. And executive producer Josh Bycel told CinemaBlend: 

The answer is ‘Absolutely, 100% yes.’ And that joke was not just a cleared joke. That joke was a 45- to an hour-minute long conversation with Mike (McMahan) and I and the lawyers. And I think we had to clear what the joke was before Disney’s Standards and Practices.

To which co-creator Mike McMahan clarified:

No, they didn’t clear it, and then we had to change (it)... We had to change the joke, and submit multiple jokes. They picked their favorite of their least favorites, and then we used that one. … I think they get a cut of Solar Opposites and they go, ‘Why? Why would they do that?’

Because it makes people laugh, that’s why! Halloween doesn’t always have to be about something scary. It can be funny, as well. That’s why Solar Opposites often slips in unexpected references to Seinfeld or Mickey Mouse. They keep their audience guessing, and laughing. This crew seems ready to keep pushing the envelope in terms of what they find amusing (though a crossover with Rick & Morty doesn’t seem to be in the cards). The Halloween special is streaming on Hulu (opens in new tab) right now if you want something funny to liven up your evening.

Sean O'Connell
Managing Editor

Sean O’Connell is a journalist and CinemaBlend’s Managing Editor. He's frequently found on Twitter at @Sean_OConnell. ReelBlend cohost. A movie junkie who's Infatuated with comic-book films. Helped get the Snyder Cut released, then wrote a book about it.