In which I fall head over heels with one simple line, as Greg pulls handfuls of brightly-wrapped sweets from the front of his pants while a lumbering, glowing-eyed, black-pelted wolf advances on the two heroes: “Greg, you led the beast right to us with your candy.”
And of course, Greg digs deeper into his trousers to fling more candy at the beast until he runs out and he’s forced to book it.
I am talking about Over the Garden Wall.
Being the dork that I am, I’m taking cues from the intro sequence and the costuming, and assuming that this animated tv show is set in colonial New England, because hello, death’s head grave markers?! Dancing skeletons?? Pumpkin heads?!!!
Greg, you led the beast right to us with your candy.
The above is a line from the very first episode of Over the Garden Wall, which is an animated miniseries created by cartoonist Patrick McHale for Cartoon Network. The series follows two half-brothers who travel across a strange forest (the Unknown) to find their way home. On their way, they encounter odd and wondrous things that verge on the creepy but are consistently very cute.
The story’s pilot sets the stage for the miniseries, and you can watch it on YouTube, conveniently linked below. “Tome of the Unknown” offers the staging Episode 1 hints at, as far as the setting is concerned, and offers the backstory to why Wirt and Greg are wandering in the woods.
The show features Elijah Wood and Collin Dean as the protagonists Wirt and Greg, and Melanie Lynskey as a talking bluebird named Beatrice. Over the Garden Wall was broadcast throughout the week of November 3, 2014 to November 7, 2014, but it’s now available on iTunes, which is where I got my sticky fingers all over it. (Sticky because I was excited, not because I stole it. Ha! Gross.)
Over the Garden Wall
Considering I’m binge-watching this alongside Gravity Falls and The Magicians and The Shannara Chronicles, I’m getting a steady dose of dark fantasy and cryptids all at once. (As I type this, I’m beginning episode three, and there is a ghost. My heart, guys. I hope this show nurtures a hoard of creepy kids into creepy adults. )
It’s really difficult to say this is “too much”, because really there’s no such thing. Hell, I’m a fan of Adventure Time. So, you know, there’s that. There’s also Greatest Heroes, but Catbug is a whole other kettle of fish, and completely off-topic.
If you like a little weird, a little strange, a little bizarre-type show with ghosts, and monsters, and dancing skeletons, and frogs named Kitty, and kids making kid noises but who are possessed of entirely too much wise insight about their future existential crises, this is probably right up your alley. The episodes are short for those early morning commutes, and with Wirt voiced by Elijah Wood, it’s a delicate little dark fairytale with an adorable sidekick.
The bottom line: Over the Garden Wall makes me want to play Limbo, and frolic in a dark forest, and read a bunch of ghost stories or dark fairy tales, or make a creepy children’s book about getting lost and not getting found.
Check out the preview:
Happy watching. 🙂
See Over the Garden Wall on the Cartoon Network.