The Amazing World of Gumball – Season One

The Amazing World of Gumball 1

This cartoon series could be described as a bit of a crossbreed for various reasons. The series is an Irish-British-American production, with the creator Ben Bocquelet being a French-born Englishman. The series also mixes a series of animated styles. There is 2D animation and 3D animation, interwoven with real-life images.

The series, set in the fictional city of Elmore, follows the odd adventures of a 12-year-old blue cat called Gumball (Logan Grove in this series – he is played by someone else in later series). He lives with his adoptive goldfish brother Darwin (Kwesi Boakye in this series) and together they get into constant trouble, often annoying the rest of their family, consisting of their workaholic mother Nicole (Teresa Gallagher, The Bill), unbelievably lazy rabbit father Richard (Dan Russell) and smart younger rabbit sister Anais (Kyla Rae Kowaleski). Apart from causing chaos Gumball is also in love with a girl in his school, a peanut with antlers called Penny Fitzgerald (Gallagher).

In this collection of 12 short episodes, Gumball makes a misguided vow to save a neighbour’s life; Gumball and Darwin are foolishly made babysitters for Anais; after having no clothes left to wear Gumball is forced to wear his mother’s wedding dress, leading Darwin to accidentally fall in love with him thinking he is a girl from Europe; Gumball and Darwin try to out-lazy their father Richard; and Gumball gets possessed by a fellow student who is a ghost, resulting in a gigantic eating binge.

There are several things to commend this cartoon. As mentioned above the animation style is really eye-grabbing. You have this mixture of 2D, 3D and superimposed live-action creating a slightly surreal experience. It would be more accurate to describe the appearance as 2.5D. The episodes are funny too. The mixture of characters in the family is nicely barmy. One of the best stories sees Gumball, Darwin and Richard trying to prank each other. At one point Gumball and Darwin’s pranks get so big it causes Richard to go into a seemingly insane prank rage which includes putting a bucket over a door that is full of cement.

It is also nice to see a series debuting in the USA which features many British voice actors. Aside from Gallagher there are also parts voiced by impressionist Lewis MacLeod, Rupert Degas, and Canadian-born London-based performer Kerry Shale.

The Amazing World of Gumball is a family friendly fun, creatively chaotic and sublimely silly.

Score: 4/5