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Animation Monday: Over The Garden Wall


Last week, Cartoon Network premiered their mini-series Over The Garden Wall.  The series was created by Patrick McHale, and the series centers on two brothers who travel across a strange forest in order to find their way home. The show is based on McHale’s animated short film, Tome of the Unknown, which was produced as part of Cartoon Network Studios shorts development program.  For the first ever mini-series on Cartoon Network, I thought they did a great job!  To get things started, enjoy part one below, while it stays up on YouTube.

The show was first pitched in 2006, and it took eight years before it was broadcast on Cartoon Network, I can’t believe it took that long, because I found this mini-series having some great animation, great action, and some good humor spread throughout.  Two brothers named Wirt and Greg becomes lost in a strange wilderness.  And yes, Greg is wearing a teapot upside down on his head.  And Wirt looks like a dwarf from Snow White, it only gets stranger from here!  And why does Greg have a huge amount of candy in his pants?  The brothers are joined by a frog whose name is undetermined and who can communicate only through singing.  There is also a bird named Beatrice who talks, and follows the brothers to try to undo a curse that has affected her whole family.  And there is also the wise, elderly Woodsman, who looks like Abraham Lincoln.

The mini-series also focuses on a beast who is roaming the forest.  The beast leads lost souls astray until they give up and turn into Edelwood trees.  You don’t want to be turned into the tree!  The first episode, the boys thought they found the beast, but it was only a dog, who liked Greg’s candy.  Other episodes in the series features living pumpkins, a school-house of animals being taught by a human teacher, frogs in human clothing, a cloud city, strange people, teenager love, and near death.  As one of the final episodes reveals, the two brothers almost got hit by a train, fell into a lake, and almost drowned.

One of the final scenes features the brothers in the hospital.  But wait, you see the Woodsman daughter, and Beatrice and her family back as humans.  You think all of this was a dream because the two brothers were knocked out, but you then see the final few minutes, and you see that this was no dream.  Spooky stuff!  Yes, the series is mostly dark, with plenty of horror and scary scenes, but you also see some caring, helping others, and coming out of your shell.  Something all kids watching this should learn.  Yes, the storytelling was weak in spots, but the good animation and music make up for it!

I thought the entire mini-series was a good mini-series filled with some fairy tale stories, folk stuff, strange stuff, and an overall weird environment I know some people would love living in!  I highly recommend you catch the entire 10 part mini-series, and the entire mini-series should come out on DVD.  Cartoon Network, you need to release this on DVD!  This mini-series is something all kids and adults will enjoy, and I enjoyed it, you will too!

All images and videos copyright from Cartoon Network

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