Over the last few years, Adult Swim and WarnerMedia have pulled out all the stops for their hit animated comedy Rick and Morty, and it shows in the new Season 5 home video release. The wordy, nihilistic sci-fi sitcom is likely the biggest Adult Swim original series of all time, and it's nice to see its hard copy releases reflect that legacy. Rick and Morty: The Complete Fifth Season on DVD, Blu-ray or Multi-Format is a must-have for all collectors' shelves.
For this review, I got Rick and Morty Season 5 on Blu-ray with a code for a digital copy included. It arrived in a steelbook case with some incredible cover art – stylized renditions of the Smith family in their squid costumes from Season 5, Episode 2, "Mortyplicity," with the giant hologram of Rick cackling in the sky behind them. The case came shrink-wrapped with a cardboard insert wrapped around it, which has some labeling and details printed on the back. Unfortunately, this isn't a wrap-around dust jacket, so if you're hoping to keep it you'll need to fold it up a bit to fit it inside the case.
Inside is just one disc, packed with the whole season and all the accompanying bonus content. The home video release boasts six featurettes, one of which is exclusive to this set – "Fighting Gravity: The Making of Season 5." It's an in-depth discussion with co-creator Dan Harmon and the crew of Rick and Morty all reflecting on the challenges presented by the COVID-19 pandemic, and the creative process that led them to this season's massive revelations in their show's continuity.
Other featurettes include behind-the-scenes looks at the visual art processes including backgrounds, animation, compositing and coloring, as well as two close looks at the directing process – one for the episode "Mortyplicity" and one for the season finale "Rickmurai Jack." The disc also includes all 10 "Inside the Episode" clips which were aired on Adult Swim and uploaded to YouTube throughout the season, plus a promo from the writers called "Season 5 Hype." Finally, fans of Harmon and his long-time collaborator Rob Schrab will want to catch the two bonus features called "B-Story Generator," where they improvise side plots for Rick and Morty from suggestions in a box.
With all this new content to explore — about 44 minutes in total — Rick and Morty: The Complete Fifth Season earns its spot on your shelf as more than just a collector's piece. However, it seems like it's worth pointing out that there are no commentary tracks for the episodes here, as there have been on previous home video releases. I found this disappointing, personally, but I suppose that's a matter of taste.
Beyond that, the biggest drawback to this collection is the price tag. In the U.S., the set costs $24.98 for a DVD copy, which comes in a more standard plastic case. So does a Blu-ray copy on its own, which costs $29.98, while a steelbook multi-format copy like mine goes for $39.99. Considering how divisive Rick and Morty can be in some circles, this might seem like a hard sell for gift-buyers this holiday season.
Still, I highly recommend Rick and Morty: The Complete Fifth Season for fans of all kinds. This release grants access to a show that can be difficult to stream for many fans, while offering behind-the-scenes tidbits and critical analysis that many fans tend to enjoy. It's the perfect way to revisit a pivotal season in this acclaimed series' run as it climbs reluctantly to the height of its genre as both a sitcom and a sci-fi epic.
Rick and Morty: The Complete Fifth Season goes on sale on Tuesday, Dec. 7. It is available now for pre-order wherever media is sold. The season is also available to rent or purchase on most digital stores, but there is no word on when it will be added to subscription-based streaming services like Hulu or HBO Max.