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Over The Garden Wall

Overthegardenwall

Over the Garden Wall

Over the Garden Wall is an American mini-series produced for Cartoon Network. It is based on the award winning short Tome of the Unknown, by series creator Patrick McHale. The story follows two young boys as they pass through a strange Forest, trying to find their way home. Along the way the boys meet unique creatures, funny animals and strange characters.

The story has distinct elements from the Brothers Grimm (known for classic Folk tales such as Hansel & Gretel and Snow White). The artwork has a very similar style to Disney’s Ichabod and Mr.Toad; with Horror elements to match.

The story

With each episode the boys progress to another location further through the Forest, for example a Woodsman’s shack or a small village celebrating Harvest. Each character/creature is just as unhelpful as the next as the boys are caught up in the humour and drama of each location. The story is engaging as we learn more about the boys, how they came to be lost and the characters they meet. The characters each have depth and purpose, the relationship between the two boys is believable of two young brothers. The Boys notice they are being stalked by the Woodsman and “The Beast” of the Forest, with no idea who these characters are or why they might be following. Throughout the 10 episodes, the story progresses at an engaging rate. The writing and delivery is heartfelt yet funny, creepy but charming, interesting and thoughtful.

The art

The aesthetic of Over the Garden Wall combines modern cartoon animation style with beautiful backgrounds, not too dissimilar to Studio Ghibli. The characters and creatures could have been pulled straight from classic Brothers Grimm/Folk tales alike. The overall appearance of the cartoon is similar to classic Disney animation; think Sleepy Hollow meets Snow White. The Horror elements are generated from the artwork, with some dark scenes and evil characters. With no hesitation, the artwork of Over the Garden Wall is beautiful and perfectly combines classic Disney elements with modern animation/outlining. The balance of cute and horror works perfectly and makes this animation an instant favourite.

Overall

This is a Dark animation with Horror elements but also undeniable charm and humour to balance. The artwork is brilliant and utilizes the locations to their best. The writing is charismatic; the sound design remains quiet until needed and the characters are delightful.