By: S. McManus
Over The Garden Wall is a classic example of light-hearted modern day cartoons that take a deeper turn as the series progresses, and in a nutshell. While the total run time of this show is less than two hours, I can firmly say that it is one of my favorites and has me itching to re-watch every Halloween. It is a lovely blend of creepy and cute and is absolutely loaded with unexpected turns at every corner. “Addictively weird”, is how a friend of mine would put it.
The story surrounds two step-brothers; Greg - cuteness personified that has me chuckling at the oddest moments - and Wirt, the awkward, melodramatic, yet heroic older brother. (… as well as their pet frog of many names: Kitty, Wirt, Wirt Jr., George Washington, Skippers and Jason Thunderberker …) They find themselves lost in the woods, and encounter many of its strange inhabitants as they try to get home. Each of its mini episodes is a story of its own, which are sewn together near-seamlessly to form a phenomenal conclusion. Perhaps another weird thing about this show is how long ten minutes can seem as you’re watching.
But characters and Patrick McHale’s (former Adventure Time writer and creative director) genius fore-shadowing and build-up a side, what I really love about this show is how well the woods and the Over The Garden Wall world is created. The mood is consistently uneasy and creepy, yet usually un-scary. The protagonists are constantly in the face of danger, but it can be hard to tell a threat from a diplomatic pumpkin cult chief. And, let’s just say, the same could work for a friendly face. The unpredictableness might just be series’ strongest asset. And I simply can’t talk about the mood without mentioning the songs. They fit in perfectly with the old-timey era the show thrives in and add a whole other layer of surrealism to the plot. Are they Broadway-worthy belts? A long-shot from, but to be fair, they make the show all the more charming.
There really isn’t a person I wouldn’t recommend this to, as it has a flair for all ages, and is immediately captivating, no matter what audience. I can’t find it in me to hate a single character, and in my third run of the series, I have only grown to love and appreciate it more deeply.
And so, what are you watching this Halloween?