Review: Over The Garden Wall

Walking Into Our Childhood Dreams

Take everything you ever learned as a child. Mix it in with all the things you feared about growing up. What you should have, are the ideas that drive Over The Garden Wall.

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Cartoon Networks diamond in the rough. After the last episode I wanted to watch it again. The show was both addicting and marvelous.  The synopsis: two brothers, Wirt and Greg are lost in the woods–trying to find their way home. During their adventure, they meet strange creatures and all sorts folks with different background stories. Each episode is unique and thrives off of randomness–with no explanation for why things are, the way they are. The locations they visit vary from a village, to an old school, to an abandoned house. The inhabitants of these locations seem to be unaware of anything else outside of where they are. This adds to the mysterious and ingenious flow of the show. The brothers are about the only consistency throughout the show. Their comical brotherly bickering and interior conflict allows for growth in the overall plot. Besides that, expect the unexpected.

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The best way to describe the soundtrack is like an old circus. Accordion, trumpet, and piano solos are sprinkled throughout each track. As if one of those old time one-man-bands was following along, just playing whatever came to mind.

What made the show even more enjoyable was its confirmed relation to Dantes Inferno. Several connections and themes to the journey through the seven circles of hell can be found throughout each episode. On a more subtle note, the show plays around with lighting and color correction. You may notice, a transition from brighter and warmer colors used with the scenery. To seemingly endless dark and unforgiving woods. This visual transformation not only builds tension with the viewer–by starting to narrow the focus on just the two brothers–but it does create a sense of loss and confusion. The two never know where they are going and who exactly is watching them from the darkness.

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The hidden gem in Over The Garden Wall is the younger brother Greg. While Wirt may be older–he is quite timid and appears to suffer from extreme anxiety. Meanwhile, free spirited Greg steals the spotlight. The kid does pretty much whatever he wants with no regard to anything else. His eternal optimism contrasts the shows darker themes quite comically. Trust me. You will be glad Greg is there singing songs with his pet frog, “George Washington”.

10/10

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