Animals season 3
Animals season 3 debuts this week. Photo by HBO

Later this week, after television exits the coveted prime-time slot, one of HBO’s more popular and weirder, late-night fares returns with Animals season 3 third season. The hit series, created by Phil Matarese and Mike Luciano, who premiered the first two episodes at the 2015 Sundance Film Festival and caught the attention of HBO, is back for another bound of animated, surrealist comedy.

With the help of brothers Mark and Jay Duplass, Animals was initially picked up for two seasons by the premium cable channel. Two years later, HBO was pleased enough with the show’s reception that they renewed Matarese and Luciano’s farce for a third season.

What is Animals about?

Describing what, precisely, Animals is about is a difficult task. That’s because, aside from the New York City rats Phil and Mike, voiced respectively by Matarese and Luciano, the majority of the show’s slightly anthropomorphized animal characters and the stories they participate in are almost entirely improvised by the showrunners and the rotating celebrity cast they have enlisted.

For Animals season 3, the series dives back into the planet’s least-habitable environment for a wide-ranging and genre-bending look at a humanless New York following a massive apocalypse. The island of Manhattan has been divided into distinct districts, each of which is largely populated and controlled by different species - rats, cats, horses, dogs and so forth. Meanwhile, Animals season 3 will also blend live action sketches featuring human characters with the show’s principally animated vignettes.

 

Animals season 3 release date trailer cast

Why you should binge watch ahead of Animals season 3

Due to the sporadic and improvised nature of the series’ plots, binge-watching the first two seasons of Animals is not totally necessary for appreciating season three. Even so, watching all of its previous episodes is not an impossible endeavor, as the episodes are no longer than half an hour (or less) and don’t require a lot of time. What’s more, digging through past seasons is also a great excuse to experience how Animals began.

Meet the cast of Animals

All three seasons feature a massive, rotating cast of well-known voice actors and celebrity guests. For Animals season 3, Matarese and Luciano enlisted Awkwafina, Bob Balaban, Tom Bergeron, Kate Berlant, Bonnie “Prince” Billy, Neil Casey, Marcia Clark, Dinosaur, Jr., Steve Dildarian, Edie Falco, Jon Gabrus, David Harbour, Jared Harris, Mary Holland, Jameela Jamil, Marianne Jean-Baptiste, Jane Kaczmarek, Lucy Liu, Carol Kane, Johnny Knoxville, Lauren Lapkus, John Leguizamo, Donna Lewis, Natasha Lyonne, Anthony Mackie, Tatiana Maslany, Demi Moore, Moby, Tracy Morgan, John Mulaney, Princess Nokia, Aparna Nancherla, Tom Noonan, Soledad O’Brien, Cheri Oteri, Randall Park, Mel Rodriguez, Spencer Rothbell, Paul Rust, Amanda Seales, Michael Sheen, Aisha Tyler, Jacob Tremblay, Joe Wengert and many more.

How to binge Animals

The first two seasons of Animals are currently available on HBO Go and HBO NOW, as well as Hulu, Amazon Prime and other digital streaming services that offer HBO subscriptions.

Animals season 3 release date

Animals season 3 premieres Friday, Aug. 3, at 11:30 p.m. on HBO.

Animals season 3 trailer

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