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Over The Garden Wall, Review/Summary

Part One
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Over The Garden Wall is a series aired on November 3rd, 2014 on Cartoon Network consisting of 10 episodes total, covering the tales of two brothers who go on whimsical adventures, and try to find their way back home. The brilliant mind behind the show is Patrick McHale. The music was composed and created by The Blasting Company.

Episode 1:

The series starts with the intro showing tidbits of the beautiful animation and music, receiving stuff that ranges from silly, being a cat in a carriage with turkeys instead of horses hauling pumpkins, to something more grim, such as a mysterious girl putting down her candle in a room of entirely skulls and bones, seeming to be tending to some task. The narrator introduces the viewers to the world of  The Unknown. Then, the show starts off showing two boys with a frog who are walking through the forest aimlessly, not knowing where they are. The characters are named Wirt; who is the older brother, and Greg; who is the younger brother, and the frog which does not have an official name yet. They stumble upon a man with a bright lantern, chopping down an eerily looking tree oozing out strange black fluids, named the Woodsman. Before officially meeting him however, they stumble across a bluejay with the ability to speak, which doesn’t make sense to Wirt stating that a bird shouldn’t have the ability to speak, calling her weird. After the short encounter, the Woodsman finds the boys startling them and warns of the forest horror, the beast. Since they were lost, he took them in temporarily in an abandoned mill until they could figure out where they’re heading off too. Wirt is skeptical while debating to leave the house, brainstorming many ideas, while Greg, after being reminded that his frog was missing, goes outside looking for him, and finds a huge wolf instead. Greg goes back inside with bits of the barrel broken and tangled around him, and chaos ensues which results in the mill being destroyed. The wolf had physically changed from a horrific creature to a house dog, being confirmed not to be the beast. The Woodsman needed that mill to for harvesting ‘edelwood’, a special tree that produces an oil specifically fit for keeping the Woodsman’s lantern lit. During the episode the lantern didn’t go out once, the Woodsman clarifying that his lantern must stay bright.

Ep. 2: Once all is settled, the Woodsman, upset about the destroyed mill and scolding Wirt after he blames everything on Greg, sends them off to find directions. On their way, a voice pleads for help and is revealed to be the same bird from episode one, tangled in vines and thorns. Wirt finds a sign pointing to a nearby town named Pottsfield, Greg wants to help out the voice and walks over to help. The bird then owes Greg a favor, and gets back at Wirt snarkily saying, “You two are lost kids with no purpose in life, right?” She then tells them she can lead the children to safety, bringing them to ‘Adelaide of the pasture, the good woman of the woods.’  Wirt dismisses this and heads over to Pottsfield, the bird has to tag along since Greg didn’t really officially come up with a favor. With some small talk from Greg, it’s revealed that the bird’s name is Beatrice. They topple over pumpkins entering the town, finding that everything is empty besides a barn that has all of the civilians celebrating and having a party. Everyone there is wearing costumes and Wirt meets a resident that comments that Wirt doesn’t look like he’s ready to join them. Wirt clarifies that he wants to leave Pottsfield gaining everyone’s attention. The doors shut and the crew are caught, as a giant looming figure named Enoch confronts them being the law. Stating that they just can’t let them go after they tropled their crops and disturbed their peace. So he ultimately sentences all of them to.. a few hours of manual labor. They then start harvesting corn, pumpkins, and raking up straw until they are then moved for the remaining time to dig up areas of flat ground. Beatrice jokes sarcastically that the strange folks are going to bury everyone in these holes while Wirt denies it until Greg finds a SKELETON! Wirt admits that Beatrice is right, panicking as he asks for her to pick the locks when the residents and Enoch arrive after their sentence is over. Wirt buys time and Beatrice picks the locks, Beatrice and Greg leave and the skeleton(s) from the holes dug arises and is greeted by everyone! It turns out all of the people wearing the costumes are skeletons in disguise! Enoch asks if Wirt really wants to leave, but Wirt declines while Enoch states that he’ll join them some day. He leaves and catches up with everyone else and they decide to head to Adelaides.

Ep. 3: On their way to Adelaides, Greg is singing while Wirt needs to tie his shoe but never gets the chance. Beatrice wants nothing but silence on the way, and gets annoyed with Greg and Wirt. She also sasses Wirt a lot in this episode calling him a pushover and telling Greg that he should be a little more like him. Greg finds this boring and Beatrice tells him that the world is a miserable place. His kind heart and ignorance makes him try to make the world a better place, separating himself from the group. Beatrice and Wirt are confused and try to find him, but stumble upon a school filled with animals and a human teacher named Miss Langtree. The teacher assumes he’s one of her students and tells her to sit down while Beatrice tries to get them out of there. Wirt attends the class to get back at Beatrice calling him a pushover. Greg is outside of the school and goes to the window that Beatrice and Wirt are at saying hello, then leaving. Langtree talks about her father coming to pay a visit today and the school may or may not get shut down. She also mentions a wild gorilla on the loose and a lover named Jimmy Brown that vanished oh so suddenly, then starts singing a song. Beatrice talks a bunch of smack and the teacher assumes it’s coming from Wirt, so she sends him to the dunce box in the corner of the classroom. Greg finds other animals outside, and then the so-called Gorilla while playing games with all of them. He rings the bell to the school, making the teacher assume it’s lunch time, and all of the outside children enter inside the school for lunch. The atmosphere is a little bland while she plays a sad tune on the piano, but Greg changes it up by singing about potatoes and molasses as the children bring out instruments. The father arrives and is greatly disappointed with the outcome of the school, taking the instruments away and sending everyone to bed. Greg, Wirt, and Beatrice sneak out as Greg isn’t done yet making the world a better place, and finds that the father is sad and sleeps outside with all of the instruments. After he falls asleep, Greg says, “let’s go steal his stuff,” and once morning arrives, they create a benefit concert for the school. It goes well until the gorilla appears and Wirt, due to his untied shoe, stumbles and falls onto the gorilla taking off its head, it is revealed that Jimmy Brown was the gorilla and he was working at a circus gig and the costume got stuck. Greg sings a final song before they go, and Beatrice finally tells Wirt that he should probably tie his shoe now.

Over the Garden Wall is extremely charming with its art, storytelling, and characters, being very interesting when it needs to be, and then switching to being silly without repercussions, making the audience laugh and grow fond of the story. While the series hasn’t concluded yet (7 more episodes remaining), it certainly hooks any new viewer into the story and, boy, is it amazing.

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About the Contributor
Tosh Gauger is a Sophomore who attends Forest Grove High School. He exhibits interest in writing and finds it to be unique and fun. His favorite class is usually something that has to do with Science. In his family, he has only one cat named and it's name is Iris. In the future, he wants to use his creativity to change the world ever so slightly. His average WPM for typing ranges from 80 - 90, but can reach a top speed of 120-125+. He ALSO loves Apple Fritters with a cup of milk.

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    Gyselle NIeto-ZavalaSep 29, 2023 at 12:55 pm

    The summaries for each episode are so well done! I would definitely watch this series.