Saturday, February 20, 2016

DVD Review: Over the Garden Wall

Over the Garden Wall
created by Patrick McHale
Cartoon Network Studios. 2014. J DVD.

Wirt and Greg are half-brothers who find themselves lost in a strange wilderness where animals can sing, autumn never seems to end, and their best dreams and worst nightmares come to life. It would be near-sinful to divulge more of this series' secrets.

This 10-part miniseries cannot come with a higher recommendation. In a children's television landscape defined by manic energy and pure volume, Over the Garden Wall is a refreshing diversion that taps into the deep wells of fairy-tales and early 20th-century Americana. Its influences shift in every episode, at times either a musical, a slapstick comedy, or a total dream story -- but it is always a story for children, and one that absolutely understands childlike wonder .

A fair warning: it is at times frightening, but only in a manner similar to The Wizard of Oz and Snow White and the Seven Dwarves' scariest imagery. Older viewers will recognize a style and tone similar to the great early children's cartoons, and this series could be a great jumping-off point for kids interested in animation and its history. Over the Garden Wall is a tremendous experience that should not, cannot be missed.

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