Fantasy stories are a dime a dozen. Every cartoon has elements of the genre, and every network is working hard to get something out there to cash in on the popularity of the genre. This much is true.
This past month, Cartoon Network aired a beautifully written and animated masterpiece, Over The Garden Wall. The story follows two brothers, Wirt and Greg lost in the woods, trying to get home. They are accompanied by Beatrice the talking bluebird, their identity challenged frog, and receive help from a wise woodsman. They’re often in some sort of trouble, whether it be for not paying to toll on the Frog Ferry, or running from the terrifying beast of the woods.
The voice cast is top notch, including Elijah Wood, Christoper Lloyd, Melanie Lynskey, and more. The show is the first mini-series to air on Cartoon Network, and was initially pitched in 2006, but would never get produced as a mini-series. Congratulations Cartoon Network, on getting something right. The show is brilliantly paced and written, and sees the cast traveling through a variety of scary situations, with the show possibly being a little too frightening for younger viewers. Between Auntie Whispers and the beast of the forest, the show had some moments that call back to the Lych on Adventure Time.
The show was envisioned by Patrick McHale, story board artist for Flapjack and writer for Adventure Time. With a brilliant score, great voice acting, and dazzlingly beautiful animation, this series is definitely reminiscent of any film by Miyazaki and Studio Ghibli, with similar content and tone. I would absolutely recommend this series to anyone, and would love to see us talk about it in depth on the show. Props to Cartoon Network for doing something this awesome.