Waiting for Rick and Morty Season 4 might feel like we’re all stuck in an endless loop of rewatching old episodes, so it feels pretty ironic that the latest non-canon Rick and Morty commercial is all about being caught in a loop akin to the infinity mirror effect.
The official Rick and Morty Twitter and Instagram accounts shared the new video Wednesday afternoon with the caption, “Eternal loop.” Fun commercials like this, especially when they’re not done in the authentic Rick and Morty animation style, are what’s called commercial bumpers, ident bumpers, or break-bumpers — they’re a fun, quirky way to remind the viewer what network they’re watching during commercial breaks.
Both social media posts also tag Cinema Fantasma, the Mexico City-based animation and design studio that produced the short video in claymation. Unlike Lee Hardcastle’s claymation Rick and Morty horror shorts that crossed over with famous sci-fi and horror films, this new ident feels right at home in the Rick and Morty C-137 universe — or even the Replacement Dimension.
In the video, Morty and Rick emerge from a portal into the garage. After Rick does a little jig, the two begin filming a claymation clip on a miniature set they’ve built of the garage. We zoom in close to see smaller versions of them going through the same motions with hands moving them. When we go one layer deeper (and smaller), Rick goes hostile and shoots at the hands controlling him. They make a quick getaway through another portal that transforms into the Adult Swim symbol.
The whole premise of multiple sci-fi layers is very Rick and Morty. In Season 1’s “Lawnmower Dog,” the duo traveled several layers deep into the subconscious mind of Morty’s math teacher, Inception-style by probing his dreams. “M. Night Shaym-Aliens!” also featured several layers of simulations. And in Season 2’s “The Ricks Must Be Crazy,” we learn that Rick’s car is powered by a Microverse battery, powered by a Miniverse battery, powered by a Teenyverse.
Starting to see the trend here? The Rick and Morty writers love taking a sci-fi concept to the breaking point, and layering some sci-fi premise is a common way to do that.
Rick also shooting his larger self at the end of the video is deeply reminiscent of “A Rickle in Time.” In that Season 2 premiere, time is fractured and Rick fashions a way to shoot at himself in alternate timelines. So “Eternal Loop” is very much so in the spirit of Rick and Morty.
The last time Adult Swim released a short video even remotely like this, it was in early January and it features bizarre, nightmarish clips of Rick as various predators with Morty as his prey. Rick as a black hole destroying Morty as a planet is particularly jarring.
Further back than that in August 2018, Adult Swim released an anime-inspired intro sequence reminiscent of the ‘90s X-Men: The Animated Series. That one was actually pretty rad.
As much as we all wish we knew more about when Season 4 was coming, these kinds of commercials are the best we can get for now. Let’s be thankful that Cinema Fantasma is producing short videos very much in the spirit of Rick and Morty — and they have more to come.
Rick and Morty Season 4 will hopefully be released sometime in late 2019, but there’s no official word yet.