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First Look: Cartoon Network’s ‘Over the Garden Wall’ Mini-Series


Last week at San Diego Comic-Con, Cartoon Network offered the first look at Over the Garden Wall, a ten-episode fantasy mini-series that will debut this fall. Created by Pat McHale (creative director, Adventure Time), the show is based on a pilot he directed called Tome of the Unknown. Indie filmmaker Nick Cross (The Pig Farmer, Yellow Cake) is art directing the series.

  • Mike Scott

    Feels like some of the dreams I’ve had, and kind of reminds me of surrealist work. Diiiiiiiiiiiiig it.

  • Jack Blackstone

    Looks very creative and diffrent!

  • hmm I’m quite intrigued. I don’t think I have ever seen a cartoon mini series, It should be fun to watch a show with a planned storyline and ending. Tho a lot of cartoon networks art style seem to just be slight deviations from AT, and this one looks like a dulled version of AT the premise has got my attention.

  • This looks beautiful! I’m officially excited.

    Love the backgrounds, too, such a classic look.

  • Hey Now

    Keep beating that Adventure Time-design horse, CN…

    • Rocketberry

      The bgs look nothing like AT. The characters do to an extent but at least the characters have noses.

      • Josh Moore

        About those backgrounds, Pretty much the most beautiful out of a Cartoon Network show next to Steven Universe.

    • Koda Motoi

      But it doesn’t really look that much like Adventure Time style? There’s similarities, but not fully?

    • Fried

      Adventure Time has such a plain, general art style that anything involving a forest or noodle arms can be called “Adventure Time style”. That doesn’t make it true.

    • Tony Rosie

      This looks nothing like Adventure Time.

      • It’s certainly not going for that crowd here. It’s much more down-to-earth as I see it.

    • Arnaud

      I don’t see any Adventure time here. A bit of Tove Jansson maybe… And plenty of Nick Cross definitely !

  • megadrivesonic

    I love the backgrounds but the characters here seem a little to simplistic compared to their lavish background paintings

  • tedzey71

    This has such a nice, laid-back and genuine look to it. It also seems like they’re using Dixie land Jazz for the soundtrack. Good choice :)

  • Greg Sharp

    This series looks so mighty throwbackin’ good, maybe it’ll do for animation what twin peaks did for telly? Good on N Cross and P McHale, and good on the execs at CN for greenlighting it.

  • More Nick Cross is never a bad thing! All the people saying this looks too much like Adventure Time are being overly picky. Yes, this does bare some similarities to AT, but the probably has more to do with that art style being a popular trend in TV animation (One could just as easily say this looks like Gravity Falls for example.)

    Over all, though Over the Garden Wall seems to have pretty distinctive art style. It’s definitely Nick Cross’s work with its lush backgrounds contrasted by its quirky, more simple character designs.

    • I get the impression the writing here would not nothing like Adventure Time in terms of pacing and lack of self-aware humor I’m sure the former is best known for. It’s definitely a show about exploration given the world these characters are in.

  • Steele Carter

    Looks pretty cool. I would give it a chance.

  • DangerMaus

    Character design must be becoming a lost art in TV animation. It’s bizarre. In the 70s, in TV animation, Hanna-Barbera had a ton of iconic characters with unique personalities, but their shows had virtually zero production values. Now you have shows with production values such as the backgrounds in this show, but the characters are all ugly with no appeal and nothing memorable about them, other than they are ugly and look like they were designed by somebody’s five year old.

    it’s too bad, because this show does have some interesting things going for it with the lush backgrounds and the “roaring twenties” style music motif. The writing looks like it might be good too. It looks relatively intelligent, thank god. Not like the garbage scow show I got subjected to when I was on the Teletoon site. I hope that show wasn’t a Canadian production, because all it would show was how far Canadian TV animation has sunk from “The Raccoons” days.

    • Too often that’s the case DangerMaus.

    • UsaMiKo

      While I’m probably more attracted to more intricate designs myself, I see nothing wrong with this. Besides, this is nothing new. Simplified/shape based character designs have been around since the days of UPA.

    • Ryoku240

      I can’t say that modern cartoons look bad, but I won’t argue that they are becoming a bit too simplistic.

    • nevilleross

      Please, all that you seem to be familiar with is the toy porn of the 1980’s like G.I. Joe and Transformers. And as I’ve said before, Teletoon’s come up with some original stuff.

  • Jack Daniels Old Number 7

    i dig this whole thing. The characters, the backgrounds, the music. Can’t wait to see this.

  • Ryoku240

    I wouldn’t mind the simple designs if the animation was more inventive and yet its a bit stiff, just watch that dance.

    The palette and backgrounds are nice though, it’ll look good in pics.

    I’m sure the writing will be nice too (or at least tolerable), but a cartoon with mediocre animation is like a car with mediocre build quality.

    • Really? You didn’t see that veggieman cutting a rug at 0:23? Must’ve been my imagination.

      As for me and my “mediocre” tastes, I thought it looked pretty good. But hey, whatever.

  • Axolotl

    Not noticing is an essential part of the process, young man!

  • DangerMaus

    I have to make a correction. Jacob Two Two was a YTV series not Teletoon. “Clone High”, “Quads”, “Eckhart” and “Atomic Betty” were other Teletoon series I didn’t mind.

  • Yeah, it’s a teaser. It’s supposed to only give you a glimpse of the show. They don’t really want to pull out their bag of tricks so soon in the game, do they? You gotta reel them in like a fish or a Weezer fan.

  • nevilleross

    I should also mention Gillis’s “Raccoons” special and TV series as well as Nelvana’s early output of TV specials when they were an actual animation studio.

    They still are, even if the actual animation is outsourced.

  • JEG

    I am BEYOUND excited for this show :D I’ve watched the behind the scenes video probably 20 times and been looking everywhere for more information

  • DangerMaus

    Don’t take my observation that I think a lot of modern animated shows have ugly character design as a sign that I won’t at least look at it. I don’t think that much of the “Adventure Time” character designs, but I heard enough about it that I decided to take a look at it. Admittedly, I didn’t really warm up to the show until Marceline started putting in appearances. The show seemed to improve markedly with her addition to the cast.

    If I wasn’t willing to look at new stuff, I would have stopped watching animation a long time ago. Be that as it may, I don’t have to like all of the trends that are going on in TV animation now. With show after show that seem to dictate that all of the characters be crass morons. A lot of people like “Archer”. I tried watching the show. I found it dull, unfunny and poorly animated.

    I hope that this show, regardless of the dull designs, turns out to have some wit about it.

  • Aimee Thorne

    Much more Moomin meets Early What A Cartoon Shows meets Butterfly Ball and Grasshopper’s Feast than Adventure time. It actually seems like it would not be out of place on Nickelodeon in the 80s.

  • Dede

    Does anyone know when the show will be released?

    • rad-dog

      nov 3 I believe or somewhere around that date

  • kdjets

    Looks a little Gravity falls with old 2D Disney feature film backgrounds. I’m at
    work watching with the audio off, but this is a nice eye feast. Looks pleasent