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Over the Garden Wall

October 23, 2016 in Photographic Research

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I recently finished watching Over the Garden Wall, and I can’t stop thinking about it. Created by Patrick McHale, it’s a ten part miniseries made for Cartoon Network. It’s been a long time since I’ve been this entranced by an animated series, and I’m still trying to pinpoint what exactly it is about this show that keeps it rolling around in my head.

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Above is my favourite character called Greg, and his pet frog that changes name several times through the series. Each episode is only ten minutes long yet for me encompasses the perfect blend of quality illustration and ridiculous, whimsical storylines that I adore. The backgrounds are insanely beautiful and according to wikipedia are digitally painted to resemble grisaille paintings.

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Some backgrounds designed and painted by Nick Cross, the art directer for Over the Garden Wall

Backgrounds designed and painted by Nick Cross, art directer for Over the Garden Wall

As Greg and his brother Wert wander through the woods, each episode introduces a new array of characters and creatures.

Auntie Whispers, one of the most terrifying characters I've seen, who seems to bulge in every way

Auntie Whispers, a most terrifying character, who seems to bulge in every way.

These pumpkin creatures feature in Episode Two

These pumpkin creatures feature in episode two, Wert is to the right.

The Woodsman, and to the right the gleaming eyes of The Beast.

The show has this underlying menacing tone; for the entire breadth of it the children are being stalked by a creature called The Beast who is constantly seen in shadow and feared by everyone in the woods.

Yet in every episode there is also some sort of nonsensical musical feature like Greg below singing about Potatoes and Molasses (which will get stuck in your head I promise).

It’s this bizarre concoction of whimsy and horror and beauty and laughter. I love love love it and I can see it being a repeat place for me to come back to as inspiration.

Images found on Over the Garden Wall official tumblr which can be found here, and check out Art Director Nick Cross’s blog here

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