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“Over the Garden Wall” – The Show Ahead of It’s Time

The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.
This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Winthrop chapter.

Halloween is almost here- which means sitting down and rewatching some of your favorite movies and shows of the season. 

One of my personal favorites is a little animated show from Cartoon Network called Over the Garden Wall. 

The show first aired in 2014 and only has 10 episodes. My favorite part about it, for us with short attention spans, is it can easily be completed in one sitting.

If you haven’t heard of it, here’s a little rundown of the show for you. And yes, there are spoilers!

“On an adventure, brothers Wirt and Greg get lost in the Unknown, a strange forest adrift in time; as they attempt to find a way out of the Unknown, they cross paths with a mysterious old woodsman and a bluebird named Beatrice.” (Thank you Wikipedia)

The witty humor and cartoon design gives the impression that this is a silly kid’s show, but there are darker themes than meets the eye.

The brothers, dressed in odd costume-like clothes, encounter tons of strange creatures and people, all seemingly run by some sort of magic. Eventually, they learn about the existence of “The Beast” and how he preys on the dark fears of others in the woods to keep himself alive.

Wirt, the older brother, perfectly encapsulates the image of an anxious teen. He’s pessimistic, irritable, nervous, and loses hope very quickly in the series.

He is almost the complete opposite of his younger brother, Greg, who is the definition of positivity. Constantly making jokes and looking on the bright side, Greg is the much needed foil character to Wirt. 

Throughout the series, their opposing personalities clash and cause problems in their journey. This causes both of their downfalls, with Greg eventually being captured by The Beast, with Wirt being left alone to figure out how to save him.

The entire feel of the show, even down to the colors used in the animation, gives a sense of loneliness. It can capture the attention of all ages to bring them right back to that familiar place of childhood. 

It is heavily inspired by the 1920/30s style of cartoons, bringing tons of nostalgia with the style and music. 

During the majority of the series, the viewer is questioning how and why the brothers are lost. Where are they going? Where is home?

While they constantly talk about leaving and returning home, we never get the answers we’re hoping for right away. It’s another reason why the show continues to pique interests, the questions left unanswered. 

Right at the climax, we find out how they wound up lost in the questionably metaphorical woods in the first place. 

Before all of the nonsense, they existed in the normal world. It was almost Halloween. They were, in fact, in costumes. A chaotic argument between Wirt and Greg in the real world caused them to get put into a dangerous situation, seemingly losing consciousness and entering the woods we’re all too familiar with.

Through tons of trial and error, facing fears, and learning valuable lessons, the brothers finally escape. 

Many theories think the woods, also known as the unknown, was the stage between life and death. Others think it was just a hallucination. The real answer, we’ll never quite know.

If you enjoyed other popular cartoons such as Gravity Falls, The Owl House, Adventure Time, and a lot more, I would definitely recommend this series. 

With dark themes, catchy music, funny and charming characters, Over the Garden Wall is the perfect fall series.

Savannah Hynes

Winthrop '24

Majoring in Graphic Design, minoring in Cat Whispering.