secretmountain secretmountain

“Secret Mountain Fort Awesome” Talkback

Secret Mountain

Secret Mountain Fort Awesome, a new series by Peter Browngardt (of Uncle Grandpa fame), recently debuted on Cartoon Network. Have you seen any of the episodes? Comments below are open to our readers who have seen the show and wish to offer an opinion. (Note: One-line reviews will be deleted.)

Speaking of Secret Mountain, its character designer Robert Ryan Cory has an impressive Flickr gallery of his distinctively styled work from the series, such as this drawing:

Secret Mountain
  • fiachra hackett

    when i saw the trailer and I really thought I was going to like it, but I have to say I was dissapointed, the animation is nice enough and the character design is really beautifully interesting I liked the guy made of butts the best but the story was only okay it feels like they’re trying too hard to fit in with the adventure time,regular show superjail crowd or something.

    Maybe if I was a kid I’d like it more.

    I like the art direction the best, the mish mash of different styles and the colours are all over the place.

  • Daniel J. Drazen

    Why does new animation like this, “Adventure Time,” “Regular Show,” and the upcoming “China, IL” have to fall back on really fugly design? After seeing yesterday’s ep, I was totally in the mood to watch ponies.

    • joe

      But every pony in MLP has the same design

    • Deaniac

      Because loose, free form designs automatically means fugly, right?

      Some logic YOU have.

    • hash

      I dont think Adventure Time or Regular Show have ugly designs. Im actually a big fan of how Adventure Time looks.

      • I love The Fart! He’s so cute!

    • Funkybat

      It’s the “vogue” right now, that’s all. Seemed like everything in TV animation 10 years ago was trying to look like The Powerpuff Girls or Dexter’s Lab. The past few years have seen a revival/reinvention of underground comix/street art styles, a bit reminiscent of 70s animation fashions, but far more bizarre and outlandish.

      Like all trends, some of the end results have more artistic merit than others. For “ugly” designs, I have to say these are much better than average. Incredible level of detail in some of the characters. This kind of thing can be done well, but I understand why some people might be getting tired of seeing so many “grotesque” looking shows. I must admit, as soon as I saw the first picture, I thought “Cartoon Network.” That at least proves they’re doing well in the “brand consistency” department!

      I’m hoping this show is as entertaining and appealing as the still artwork is!

  • Inkan1969

    I like the character design for this show. It’s evocative of “The Fabulous Furry Freak Brothers”. But I was cool to the main cast from the three episodes I’ve seen. The Disgustoids seem to be nothing but a bunch of overgrown kids who spend all day goofing around. They can put a smile on my face, but they’re not all that interesting. I hope they get more character development in the future.

  • DonA

    Uncle Grandpa was much funnier. Shame on the CN for not running with Pete’s original idea.

  • I just checked out an episode, I loved it. The whole tone is really abrasive, so I can understand a certain audience not following along through a whole show. But for me, the show grabbed me by the throat and dragged me along. The artwork was totally rad, over all I think it’s a awesome addition to CN lineup. I wanna meet the kids that grow up watching this show…however they’ll probably beat me up.

  • D

    I thought it was well animated with a unique and refreshing style. I also thought that it had very little substance in terms of storyline and characters. This show could have been great if everything in it was trying to be as unique as its artwork unfortunately the writing, plot lines and characters feel like too much of the same old same old especially when you look at the shows it’s airing alongside.

  • I watched this – it has an “aggressively ugly” design and the tone of the writing seems to be consciously aping the style of Adventure Time and Regular Show with a little of that Problem Solverz ugliness thrown in. I think “D”s comment above is right on – it feels like the same old thing, seen alongside those other shows.

    I like the drawings, I guess, but it was tough to sit thru an entire episode. Maybe I’m not the target audience…

  • Jon

    I like the show but uncle grandpa was better.
    I’ve heard that pete got to make UG without any
    involvement from the studio and with SMFA he was
    was put through the ringer. They made him change
    the title, main characters, and tons of other stuff.
    It’s a bummer… They should of let him make UG into
    a show and stayed out of his way.
    But I’m gonna keep watching SMFA cause it looks amazing
    and has some really crazy ideas throughout.

  • tredlow


    The thing I love about Adventure Time and Regular Show is that they feel different than most other CN shows (that aren’t Adult Swim, of course). Adventure Time, while on the surface is full of absurdity and weird concepts, has hidden depths in it that gives layers to the show. Regular Show, on the other hand, is very down-to-Earth. Sure, every episode ends with something crazy and otherworldly happening, but the characters feel like everyday people; they have jobs, they drink at a cafe, they go bowling. These days, most kids’ cartoons are about kids, or childish people/creatures, so it’s quite refreshing to see a show that isn’t.

    So when I watched Secret Mountain Fort Awesome, I kinda felt disappointed. Yes, the art direction is great, but it just feels like The Grim Adventures of Billy and Mandy; it’s watchable, and it can be really funny and creative, but that’s all there is.

  • I immensely enjoyed SMFA! I was laughing throughout the entire episode! I really don’t think they’re trying to be like Regular Show or Adventure Time at all… since AT and RG episodes are so character driven it’s nice to see a cartoon that embellishes what it is..just pure crazy, wild, weirdo random entertainment. I also like that it has that grotesque 90’s feel to it. I really hope it stays on CN for a while and maybe the humor and designs will eventually grow on people.

  • Gobo

    I was really excited to see the 70s-retro color schemes and character designs of this show and was hoping for something funky and wild — sort of a Big Daddy Roth monster cartoon show. Instead I got a really annoying, utterly unfunny show that’s just a string of fourth-grade gross-out jokes. No thanks.

  • Jumpman

    I really love the MAD Magazine inspired artwork and last night’s episode was pretty funny. It’s a shame this show is being written-off by people because of its art style or the occasional fart joke or two the show tends to deploy. It reminds me too much like Robotomy, an unappreciated show that didn’t get the love it deserved until it was canceled too early for its time.

  • Steven M.

    I can’t I like it. I would say the designs are really creative, but they’re also just on the really fine line between “appealing Ugly,” and “Unappealing Ugly.” It seems to leans slightly more on “Unappealing.”

    Also the jokes and the writing in general was garbage. I can see this show being good if the jokes, characters, and writing weren’t so abysmal.

  • Maya A.

    I’m not a fan of the artstyle they chose for this. Too much emphasis on the disgusting features can be hard to look at after a while. The humor in this is also awful. I enjoyed Uncle Grandpa, but this show doesn’t seem to capture the same feeling. It just seems like it’s trying way too hard to be randomly and disgustingly funny. So off-putting.
    I hope this doesn’t turn into a trend.

  • Clint H

    I thought it wasn’t too bad. There were some funny moments, the character designs are fine (feels like a crossover between Robert Crumb and Basil Woolverton), and it’s target audience should find it good. I dunno if I’ll watch it episode after episode, but I catch it on TV, maybe I’ll watch some of it.

  • Jorge Garrido

    I actually did like some of the art style, but I thought the writing was typical ironic distance modern comedy… I’m sick of animated shows that look amazing but are a pain to sit through because of hacky comedy and storytelling.

    One of the problems with the storytelling, though, was that it looked like cool still drawings and designs, sort of Basil Wolverton and Crumb style, but in stiff paper cutouts.

    Also, how much longer is this “AWESOME” meme going to last? I’m not sure if it started with How I Met Your Mother, but that’s sort of the go-to buzzword right now. Until the internet makes another one. Cue “badass,” “winning” and “epic” style backlashes.

    • tredlow

      I think “Awesome” has transcended the meme status and had landed itself inside the modern English language. It’s never going to end.

    • Zib Zabzo

      Awesome has been in popular culture at least since the 80’s.

  • Pez

    I love that the show is not afraid to be a cartoon. So many post Simpsons cartoons are based on realism and its great to see strange , cool colors, weird character designs mixed with some good old fashion slap-stick and squash and stretch. I like the fort coming to life episode. Festro comes off a a real jerk. love that

  • workin’ontheshow

    I admit the animation isn’t that great because of the overseas studio, tiny budget, and difficult-to-move designs. However, this is one of the last few (studio produced) cartoons out now where cartoonists can write the show (board driven). Coming from a script based show before where I had to adhere strictly to the lame hack writer jokes, this was quite refreshing. On this show If any artist had an idea/gag to contribute it was/is welcomed. Pete Browngardt is a great guy and a serious lover of classic cartoons and animation. Unfortunately the studio system makes it difficult to produce quality cartoons because they just want to shit it out. Given the cards he was dealt by CN I’d say the show turned out pretty good.

  • Keegan

    I really enjoy the art style of the main characters.

    The animation and the color choices however, are pretty terrible. The writing is also bad.

    The pure primary/secondary colored backgrounds eat up the foreground, it’s like nobody knows you can mix grays and create more harmonious/subtle colors anymore.

  • manny

    i’m glad this has been released! this completes my monday night (the double adventure time didnt suit me well, but this really fills all out) and entertains me and my need for good wholesome non adult swim programming for my cartoon network appetite/// the butts character is a great refreshing look on a character, im glad cartoon network is really stepping up its game

  • Franky B

    I liked almost nothing about this show. The characters are programmed and forced to be edgy and make kids feel like they’re getting away with something when they’re watching it, when what they’re really getting is an empty show that looks kinda nice. It’s really disappointing. The show is practically generated for this “ADD bro” generation and it’s just capitalizing on the things that I dislike about the shows do I like. *Good Morning* I did enjoy Uncle Grandpa, but even though I liked the Uncle Grandpa character and concept, I wouldn’t want to see that every week. But on an almost positive note, I liked The Fart in the beginning of the episode, but then he started reminding me of Beast (Hank McCoy) from X-Men. haha

  • Brad

    I’m happy that Cartoon Network is taking chances. Shows like Smfa and Problem Solverz probably wouldn’t have been made at any other studio. At least they are not trying to redo everything in their library. (Although their facebook page is inundated with people demanding remakes of “Ed, Edd and Eddy” and “Codename Kids Next Door) CN has taken a pounding for their live action stuff and now they’re back letting cartoonists try things. Of course there will be some meddling, it is their money after all. It’s hard to rave and rant about “artistic freedom”, demand no interference and then ask them to pony up a few million for your show. Yes maybe in the “good ole days” nobody messed with the creators but that is not going to happen today. From what I understand the first few shows of SMFA were changed and rewritten and patched up. Not the best way to get started. A lot of shows don’t really find their groove until they are a season in to production. The first few shows are rarely the best. But these are the shows that are aired first and the entire show is judged upon. I can think of a lot of shows that were allowed to grow and became huge hits after a few seasons. (Rugrats, Family Guy, Futurama) Shows like SMFA and Problem Solverz are not going to appeal to everyone but I think they will develop dedicated fans given time. Today it seems that if you’re not a hit right away you are pretty quickly ended. I’m also thinking about “Symbiotic Titan” here too, a beautiful show that wasn’t given enough time to grow. So while I’m happy that CN is taking chances I wish they’d give the shows more of a chance to grow. I also don’t think we can judge an entire show on the first few episodes.

  • Carlos G.

    It’s probably too late to review, but I’m putting my four cents on the table.
    I honestly think it’s a brilliant show, it’s gross, it’s vile, it’s zany, it’s wacky, it’s genius! I could have asked for a better cartoon about monsters wanting to spend some quality bro-time!
    People who turn their backs on the show for it’s ugly appearance miss the point of the show. It’s about monsters called the Disgustoids, getting into wild antics. With a name like Disgustoids, I hope you know what kind of characters you’ll be getting.

  • Crazy Jay

    Stop hating, this show is the ultimate gnarness! Although, I do vibe adventure time and regular show … neither of those shows have such gross/gnarly animation and humor. I can agree with everyone who says that its very similar to AT and RS as it probably has many of the same writers. I have high hopes for the second season… haven’t watched it yet lol

    • josh delgado

      i agree

  • Taylor

    Adventure Time and Regular Show are really popular because their was nothing else like them. With SMFA they were trying to hard to be At and RS.
    Lets be honest, Cartoon Network was alot better with The Misadventures of Flapjack and Chowder.

  • josh delgado

    i thought this show was absolutely weird but hilarious at the same time. I think it was really creative and they should bring it back.

  • Two Cent Thoughts, Dime Words

    What do you expect, Cartoon Network is in need of good material.
    On the other hand, there’s now Uncle Grandpa, and with help from Gravity Falls’s guys, Browngardt may just make something that can be done in a week, something this cartoon largely failed at, putting it at Thursday night, and due to the quality blowing up with this, it ultimately died because of the very rushy media.