Harvey Birdman, Attorney at Law is the first animated legal drama/comedy. It currently appears as part of the Adult Swim adult-oriented cartoon block on Sunday evenings on Cartoon Network. The animation of the show is a mix of original Cartoon Network-provided animation and pieces from older cartoon shows in a mixed style, much like the Cartoon Network commercials and the series Space Ghost Coast to Coast.
The cartoon revolves around various lawsuits that occur in the cartoon world, such as Apache Chief from Super Friends suing a coffee shop for spilling coffee on his crotch, thus eliminating his "super power" of "growing large." Harvey Birdman, in actuality the superhero Birdman of action cartoon fame (he was the star of a classic NBC animated series Birdman and the Galaxy Trio, appearing in 1967 and 1968), is a lawyer in a full suit with his spandex superhero costume still evident underneath. He provides legal services for the cartoon superheroes (taken directly from older cartoon series like Super Friends), aided by his large purple eagle, Avenger.
Harvey's legal nemeses are Vulturo, a stuffy vulture in a suit with an incomprehensible voice, and Myron Reducto, a neurotic villain from Birdman's days with the Galaxy Trio. He is now also a lawyer, just as neurotic as he was before. The other regular character is Judge Mightor, a superhero in a wig and black gown; he serves as a comedic commentator of sorts much in the same way as Moltar appears on Space Ghost Coast to Coast.
The show's humor is mostly lost on those who weren't fans of older cartoon series like Super Friends and Birdman and the Galaxy Trio. The laughs of this show involve references and innuendos from these older series.
One particular episode provides a very clear example of this. This episode involving the characters from Jonny Quest was quite humorous, but mostly only to the fans of the old cartoon. Throughout the show, there was nonstop insinuation of a homosexual relationship between Dr. Quest and Race Bannon, two characters from the old show. It's difficult to relate the humor in this situation unless you were a longtime fan of the old show, which tried as blatantly hard as possible to avoid making the fans of the show even conceive that the two could be a couple.
Harvey Birdman, Attorney at Law is something of an acquired taste. It's well worth a viewing if you enjoyed Brak Presents The Brak Show Starring Brak or Space Ghost Coast to Coast, but the humor of Harvey Birdman is perhaps more referential than in those shows.
All voices on the show are provided by Gary Cole (Harvey and the judge) and Neil Ross (everyone else). The creators of Harvey Birdman are Michael Ouweelen, who worked for Cartoon Network making promos, such as Space Ghost on Mars and The Scooby-Doo Project, and Erik Richter. The animation of Harvey Birdman is made by Allied Art & Science. Harvey Birdman, Attorney at Law is written by Michael Ouweleen and Erik Richter. It is produced by Allied Art & Science. The executive producers are Michael Ouweleen, Erik Richter, Fred Macdonald, Matthew Charde, Linda Symensky and Khaki Jones.