Over the Garden Wall
Except for a few titles (I’m not wrong thinking they used to show much more Hanna Barbera stuff, right?), Cartoon Network has always been the home of some off-beat animations making the trippiest of them all with Adventure Time… which, in all honesty, I can’t follow religiously. So I was quite skeptical when Juan started raving about Over the Garden Wall, since the both of us haven’t been agreeing in many of our favorite watches, but boy~ did this ending up surprising me.
Since I haven’t been able to watch The Tale of Princess Kaguya yet, yes- if the Academy Awards were to consider Over the Garden Wall, it’s the best animation of the year so far, beating out some of my favorites like The Boxtrolls, Until Sbornia Do Us Part or The Boy and the World. Following many of the aesthetics of Disney’s Silly Symphonies, the series follows two unlikely brothers — elder pushover Wirth (Elijah Wood) and his imaginative unruly younger sibling Greg (Collin Dean)… and a name-changing frog — who find themselves lost in a -seemingly quite haunted- forest where they meet a creepy lantern-carrying Woodsman (Christopher Lloyd), as well as a talkative enchanted bluebird named Beatrice (Melanie Lynskey) who will join them in their journey back home.
The series is only ten episodes long of an average 11min. per episode making it the perfect length of a feature length movie, working its arcs better than many other movies. Let me tell you, the last arc pays off no matter how episodic the first few episodes feel like. It’s got the perfect mood — it gets very spooky at times — jokes, quirky memorable character… and silly tunes! The catchiest and silliest of them all is Potatoes and Molasses [clip]. Though many of the episodes have their own charm, my favorites were Hard Times at the Huskin’ Bee (there was a The Skeleton Dance  flare for a moment there, no?), Lullaby in Frogland (that was so Froggy), and I became an Over the Garden Wall convert with The Ringing of the Bell because Auntie Whispers became my most terrifying favorite.
To close this~ YES! Shorter is infinitely better.