After decades of animation gracing our TV and movie screens, it would not be a stretch to believe that all the greatest ideas have surely been used up. After such a great legacy, some modern animation can drift towards the cliche or most obvious option, giving you sustenance, but with only a subtle hint of flavour.
Every once in a while, however, a new show comes along that electrifies your imagination with an originality, charm, and intrigue so unique that it not only rises above its peers, but crafts its own ladder to get there.
This is the experience offered by ‘Bunnicula’ - the sensational new series lead by the very talented Jessica Borutski and airing on Cartoon Network.
‘Bunnicula’ is a dark comedy adapted from the acclaimed children’s book series to tell the story of a vampire rabbit who prefers carrot juice over blood to strengthen up his super abilities in new paranormal adventures. Similar to the books, the show focuses on the three pets - Chester, Harold, and Bunnicula and how their strong characters bounce off one another to both get them into and (hopefully) out of a range of funny and weird scenarios.
Adding to the beautiful 2D animation is an impressive voice cast of Chris Kattan as the title character, Sean Astin as Chester the cat, Brian Kimmet as a dog named Harold, and Kari Wahlgren voicing Mina, the loving owner of the aforementioned characters.
The design of each character, along with their comedic interplay, is a obvious strength of the series, offering a bouquet of comedic frustrations merged beautifully with a deep emotion and empathy that will touch viewers of all ages. The way they balance Chester’s restrained nature against the flamboyant, gibberish-speaking Bunnicula is enthralling to behold and manages to maintain the sense of empathy for both characters as all times.
The beauty of Bunnicula’s gibberish-style language is that it allows the show to flourish in their adept visual story telling, while combining this with the more comprehensible language of surrounding characters to also demonstrate the talent of the writing team.
The background design, colour palette, and traditional animation style are impressive in their own right, but come together like a visual fruit salad, not only tasting good but leaving you feeling invigorated.
Ironically premiering on the same day as the Annie Awards, which honor the greatest achievements in animation, ‘Bunnicula’ has already placed itself among tonight’s contenders and we can only hope to see its name read out this time next year.