By T.J. Foster
This miniseries by Patrick McHale, who also worked on the popular CN show Adventure Time, won 2 Emmy’s, and is almost universally praised and adored, to the point where some reviewers have decided not to review it because it would be pointless to repeat that opinion (Top 11 Things). That being said, I am going to review it, and give the exact same opinion on it that everyone else has.
Over the Garden Wall follows the adventure of two kids, a tween named Wirt (Elijah Wood) and a little kid named Greg (Collin Dean), who find themselves lost in a magical wood to try to find their way home. They meet a talking bird named Beatrice (played by Melanie Lynsky) and a woodsman played by Christopher Lloyd, who lead them to Adelaide, and magically lady who is supposed to be able to help them find away, while being ware of a mysterious creature called the Beast.
The story is one of my favorite types of story: a surreal, plot-light, animated adventure. Each individual part is fun and whimsical, but the underlying mystery and menace throughout the series is still enthralling.
Aesthetically, Over the Garden Wall excels in every way. The animation is some of the most beautiful, memorable, charming animation I have ever seen. Only Steven universe compares in my mind among western 2d animation. The design and color scheme perfectly capture the early American fairytale feeling (vlog part 1).
Musically, this series is dazzling. Some of the songs are unbelievably soothing and pleasant, while the opening and closing theme’s mysterious tone and lyrics is beautifully haunting, as is many of the dark tunes throughout the story.
Throughout the entire adventure is a disturbing dreamlike quality that few works can properly capture, where everything is strange and bizarre, there is no real direction, and no perceivable way out. Yet there is still a feeling that because there isn’t a clear direction, one can just linger in the world to a degree and enjoy the weirdness.
All the voice cast was stellar. Elijah Wood was quite likable. Melanie Lynsky’s performance has great sass during her quippy moments, yet her voice cracks excellently during the emotional moments. Greg is one of my favorite characters of all time. The reason is very similar to YouTube critic Doug Walker’s reason for loving Ed from Cowboy Bebop. Greg is the pure concentration of cuteness. He is so completely in his own bizarre world and sees the world in his own way. He doesn’t know how to be or how to feel, but he just owns himself (10th Favorite Character). One episode even goes into a surreal and colorful dream sequence conveying his inner monologue that is both delightful and sad. He is a wonderfully memorable character, as are all the characters in the show.
Honestly, this is one of my favorite pieces of fiction. Its memory is one of the most enjoyable I have ever had in entertainment. Definitely watch it.
“Doug’s 10th Favorite Character.” YouTube, uploaded by Channel Awesome, www.youtube.com/watch?v=GosOm4rBXHI.
“Over the Garden Wall Vlogs: Part 1.” YouTube, uploaded by Channel Awesome, www.youtube.com/watch?v=3j4HTtdZyj0.
“Top 11 Things I’ll Never Review.” YouTube, uploaded by TheMysteriousMrEnter, 7
Jan. 2015, www.youtube.com/watch?v=3yVlA7K6CB4.