Since I have been reviewing a lot of animated shows like Gravity Falls, I decided to review another show that I have heard nothing but good things about. Over the Garden Wall is a limited series from the people at the Cartoon Network, who has been kind of hit or miss lately when it comes to content.
Over the Garden Wall is one of those shows that tries hard to be original, and it works completely. The show is about two boys named Wirt and Greg, and it begins with them wandering through the woods. Why they are wandering there is not revealed until the second-to-the-last episode, as well as why they are dressed they way they are. Wirt has the outfit of a gnome, and Greg has a teapot on his head. The two brothers, who are from different families, encounter things that are supernatural and have a certain woodland spirit to them. They will encounter things like magical people who live in cottages, talking animals, and all kinds of other things.
For example, the first episode has them meeting a woodsman who lives in a shack all alone, and he tells the boys about a monster out in the woods. Then it gets pretty weird from there, and they also meet a talking bluebird. Maybe I should reverse that last sentence. I’m not certain that it would be a good idea to talk about every episode, but I could, as there are only ten. Also, each episode is only about eleven minutes long, so the whole thing is about two and a half hours total.
The way the show goes feels like something from a dream. Even the way the events unfold in the individual story feel like something plucked from a weird dream. In fact, there are times when it goes into nightmare territory. As an adult, I can honestly say that it never gets too scary, but it does get pretty freaky every once in a while. However, this is part of the charm, and the show is really about overcoming fear, so the show has an odd, if not planned, psychological effect on the audience.
In fact, the reason why it feels nightmarish to me is that it used that old style of cartoons from the twenties and thirties, with a mix of Studio Ghibli. I guarantee that not everyone will like it, but those that appreciate the emotional power that animation has realize that Over the Garden Wall is a gem.
So, is it so good that it will get a second season? Honestly, I hope not. The story is such a closed loop that I don’t want to see a sequel, and this is a good lesson for Hollywood to learn.