Wednesday, October 31, 2018

What's Next On My List? Over The Garden Wall

Over the years my sister and I have become fond of 'coming of age' stories, because we found that there is a lot to be learned about how each story is told. To me this one is just as wonderful as Labyrinth or Where The Wild Things Are, by taking us onto a journey into the unknown and making sure we never forget this adventure!

Two brothers, Wirt and Greg, get lost in the forest on Halloween night, and encounter a series of unlikely creatures and beings that inhabit these mystical lands. They are, however, also trying to flee a beast who tries everything he can to trick them into staying the woods forever. It is Wirt's wish to make sure Greg gets back home safe the thing that saves them in the end.

I was scared terribly when I watched this the first time around, although it was balanced out very well: some funny episodes followed others with significant depth to them. The beast itself is something I would hate to encounter ever in my life, which means that it truly embodies everything a child would be terrified about. Overall I was moved by the simplicity of the conflict between Wirt and Greg, and by that I mean, that most siblings need to arrive to the conclusion that their brothers and sisters are not to be blamed for the decisions of our parents. In the story we find out that the boys are only related through their mom, and Wirt's parents had gotten divorce previously. I have found it endearing that the one who already feels in some ways the weight of life finds it easy to blame the innocent boy who does everything out of sheer interest for the world. No fear, no crippling anxiety, just wonder. That is probably why this pair is perfect: as the audience you have the same questions as Wirt, the same worries over getting lost in an unknown place. At the same time, you'd like to wonder around and discover like Greg does. The two main characters are spectacularly written in my opinion, not just as opposites, but as two sides of the same coin.
There is of course an implication, that this adventure wasn't all in Wirt's head, despite it serving the purpose of him 'coming to age', and no longer misplacing his anger and taking responsibility for his brother; we are still introduced in great depth to all the people they encountered, and we begin to care, wishing to see if they find their happy ending as well.
Ultimately this story is about facing the beast within, and I find that this somewhat creepy but magical world that we are introduced to serves as a perfect metaphor for that moment in many of our lives when we decide to take back control from the voice in our heads. These two boys will do everything they can to take care of each other, and I think that is a great lesson. I do believe that blood doesn't bind us, meaning that even somebody within your family can be a toxic force, but it wasn't the case between these two. And the fact that it all occurred on the night of Halloween makes this story perfect for this year's review of mine.

Watch it? Definitely. You will laugh, cry, be scared and root like never before to have these little heroes reach their goal. It is only 10 episodes of ten minutes, think of it as a good movie, and trust me, it'll be your favorite too! I would like to thank the writers and creators Katie Krentz and Patrick McHale for giving us this lovely story.

Until the next item on my list!
_ _ _ _ _ 

Wirt - Elijah Wood
Greg - Collin Dean
Beatrice Melanie Lynskey
The Beast - Samuel Ramey
The Woodsman - Christopher Lloyd

No comments:

Post a Comment