Until recently, my exposure to Cartoon Network’s animated miniseries, Over the Garden Wall, was limited. I had seen a commercial or two for it, but didn’t pay much attention. I might have said something to my wife about Elijah Wood being in it. Then my daughter asked me if I knew about it. So this past weekend, the two of us sat down and watched it. Well she watched it already online, but wanted to see it again. So we did.
Over the Garden Wall was a 5 night mystery adventure miniseries created by Patrick McHale for Cartoon Network. Now you are probably familiar with McHale’s other works at Cartoon Network, he was a writer and storyboard artist on The Marvelous Misadventures of Flapjack and creative director, writer and storyboard artist on Adventure Time. Both have seen much success. But Over the Garden Wall is something McHale has been working on for about 10 years.
You could say it is a labor of love and it shows. The 10-part series which originally aired over 5 nights starting on November 3rd, felt like a modern creation of the Grimm Fairy Tales. It is the story of two brothers, Wirt (Elijah Wood) and Greg (Collin Dean), along with Greg’s nameless frog — which he continues to give it a different name throughout the series — get lost in the forest on their way home.
The animation is fantastic and beautiful. It felt and looked like a classic story book brought to life. Throughout the chapters, the brothers are in search of a way home and come across all kinds of interesting characters like the Bluebird named Beatrice (Melanie Lynskey), The Woodsman (Christopher Loyd), Adelaide (John Gleese), Auntie Whispers (Tim Curry) and others. There is even the terrifying Beast (Samuel Ramey), whom remains in the shadows, taunting the kids for the entire series.
This series was a great adventure, with each chapter ranging from 11 to 13 minutes each, it didn’t feel like it dragged out, nor did it feel too short. It would be interesting to see more of this strange adventure land, but I have to wonder how they could do it (you’ll understand better after you see it). If you get the chance and are looking for something different to watch, I suggest giving Over the Garden Wall a try, it is well worth it.