I tend to avoid doing reviews and related pieces on the blog for the simple reason that I’m not great at writing them. However, I feel it’s necessary to write a short note about the Cartoon Hangover series, Bee & Puppycat.
The series is created by Adventure Time alum Natash allegri and basically follows a girl, Bee, and her, uh, puppy/cat Puppycat. It’s a mythical series in the same fashion as Adventure Time with the two main characters being drawn into far off worlds for galactic adventures.
The first two episodes have aired and have apparently done alright for themselves; garnering 970,000+ and 540,000+ views respectively. The show itself is quite decent. Allegri’s designs are attractive, and the jokes are entertaining.
What concerns me though, is that there has been next to no character development over the course of the two shorts. After nearly 11 minutes of animation, we still don’t really know a lot about Bee or her Puppycat. We know Bee is fired/poor, socially awkward, has an unusual pet and apparently has some latent fighting skills. Yet her actual character remains a bit of a mystery.
Compare that to the pilot for Futurama; by 11 minutes in, we know who Fry is, where he lives, what his job his, why he hates his job, how he ends up in the year 3000 and what his new career is going to be! We also know he’s lazy, has amorous feelings for Leela and isn’t all that intelligent.
There are of course large differences between the two series; not least of all the budget. However, Futurama accomplished far more character development in the same amount of time than Bee and Puppycat. Now it is fair to say that Futurama had another 11 minutes or so to finish what they started, but even if the episode stopped there, it would have been a fine setup for the next.
So that begs the question as to why Bee & Puppycat neglects character development so much. The series has great potential and the look of the show fits in very nicely with the look and feel of its colleague; The Bravest Warriors.
I just can’t shake the feeling that it’s gunning for cheap laughs and action at the expense of making the show truly watchable. It’s still early days, and it’s a certainty that we’ll get more of an insight as the series progresses. It would just be nice to get a bit more of the characters up front.