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The Amazing World of Gumball: The Mystery

Score: 74%
Rating: TV-Y7
Publisher: Cartoon Network
Region: 1
Media: DVD/1
Running Time: 132 Mins.
Genre: Animated/Family/TV Series
Audio: Dolby Digital Stereo 2.0
Subtitles: English Subtitles for the
           Hearing Impaired


Features:

  • Character Gallery

The Amazing world of Gumball: The Mystery follows the story of the daily life of Gumball, a small blue cat. He goes to school with quite a diverse group of characters including a banana, an ape teacher, a potato, a robot, an 8-bit graphics style spider, a T-Rex, a ghost, and some sort of peanut creature. This DVD contains some scattered episodes from Season 1, but it is named for the first episode in the list called The Mystery. Itís basically a mystery theater where the characters try to figure out how their school Principal got into the strange predicament of being wrapped in toilet paper, covered in paint, and basically shaved of all the hair on his head. For special features, there's a character gallery that has some short bios about the characters in the show.

The first thing youíll notice about The Amazing World of Gumball is the art style. Or perhaps you should say itís a lack of a single style. It looks like each character was designed by someone different, in a different medium. Some characters like Miss Simian are CG. Some are animated in traditional hand-drawn style, like the main character, Gumball Watterson. One character is just someoneís upside-down chin, painted with a marker to make a face. The backgrounds range from live action sets to CG, to everything in between, just like the characters.

Again, Iím going to say this is along the same lines as The Regular Show. Cartoon Network seems to be developing lots of cartoons with as much weird, "wacky" content as possible, then throwing them all against the wall to see if something sticks. The Amazing World of Gumball is at least upbeat and pretty funny, even if it does seem a bit pointless at times. Per the current formula for all these shows, there are also lots of references for the older folks watching the show. I spotted a Big Lebowski (the car bashing scene) reference and nerdy D&D references to name a couple.

Although itís trying to be different, it does still follow some classic cartoon formulas. I guess you canít really get away from this, but itís that classic episodic formula, slapstick comedy, and squeaky-voiced dialogue that just says cartoon. Yes, itís one of those shows that tries to bridge the gap between audience ages with some throwback references, but itís just not enough for me. Most of the stories revolve around home life and school. At least itís not one of those moral-based cartoons, which pretty much lets the show fly off in any direction for no real reason.

This show just sounds like a cartoon when youíve got it playing in the background. Itís that squeaky, sound effect filled chaotic drone thatís typical of a cartoon. But past that, there actually is some decent voice acting in this show. The main character Gumballís slightly raspy voice is pretty cute. Gumballís family is full of diverse characters, including a mom with anger management issues and a goldfish that sprouted legs. Some characters have those annoying, dopey, over the top types of voices, like Gumballís rabbit father, Richard. And the music at least has a rather creative, modern flair to it. So at least itís not filled with that Looney Toons type of orchestrated cartoon music.

I had some fun with The Amazing World of Gumball. This is one of those shows that you really need to see in action to appreciate. If you look at stills or the box, well yeah, youíll have no idea whatís going on. The blend of art styles actually makes the show feel more like a more realistic sitcom at times. But then at times it just reverts to bland cartoon formula tropes. I wouldnít say this is a very unique cartoon overall (save for the jumble of art styles), but it is at least entertaining, and feels pretty upbeat and funny overall.



-Fights with Fire, GameVortex Communications
AKA Christin Deville

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