This is a special Halloween mini episode about our favorite animated miniseries, Over the Garden Wall! We explore the children’s fantasy literature and fairy tales that influenced the series, as well as our own nostalgic twinges inspired by the Unknown.
Thanks so much for the special episode idea, Amy! If you have a request of your own, get in touch at email@example.com.
We discuss a TON of pieces of animated ephemera in this episode - you can find links to all below!
I went into Over the Garden Wall pretty blind, knowing only that it was created by an Adventure Time storyboard artist. Within the first 10 minutes, I had forgotten about Adventure Time, up to that point my most beloved cartoon, entirely. The muted brown forest backdrop overlaid with striking, searing blazes of color depicting an eternal autumn; two oddly matched brothers in a cone hat and a teakettle, accompanied by an erstwhile frog and sharp-tongued bluebird; the layers of buried memories of my favorite 70’s and 80’s-era animations that went rented from Blockbuster or taped off basic cable coming to an abrupt head.
Each successive episode adds a new layer to the enchanted wood, weaving together miniature personal dramas like a woeful schoolteacher’s no good two-timing Jimmy Brown of a fiancé and life or death stakes culminating in a frozen Greg marching determinedly through the snow, alone but with hope still in his heart. To say that this series is rewatchable is to do it a disservice. It must be rewatched, again and again, and the jokes will still make you laugh, and the art will still make you marvel, and Greg and Wirt and Beatrice will still make you wish that you could spend a day exploring alongside them.
Tome of the Unknown
Art of Over the Garden Wall from Dark Horse Comics
Journey Back to Oz
The Ichabod Crane Song (*note - contrary to Madeleine’s memory it is not actually 9 minutes long)
Higglety Pigglety Pop! or There Must Be More to Life by Maurice Sendak