For some time now, cartoons have moved away from being the exclusive domain of children. The development of stories has now taken on a more serious tone: more often than not, the characters’ experiences trigger memories from our past childhood or even early adulthood, all this being delivered with a mature sense of humor.

In the television miniseries Over the Garden Wall, the integrated archetypes are two brothers, the older pessimist Wirt (Elijah Wood) and the younger and more optimistic brother Greg (Colin Dean). Together, the both of them live through amazing adventures, braving dangers with two different sets of skills and viewpoints. That’s how the both of them learn from their mistakes on two different levels, which subsequently leads audience members to recall memories of adulthood’s many difficulties.

That’s how the author of the series Patrick McHale describes the storyline: “(…) the overarching story is that it’s just these brothers trying to get home, they’re lost. But there’s some twists and turns and some reveals about who these characters are, the two brothers, and about the Woodsman who’s this mysterious guy in the woods who you can’t really tell if he’s a good guy or a bad guy sometimes.”

Elijah Wood, the man behind the role of Frodo in the Lord of the Rings trilogy, now lends his voice to older brother Wirt, who has to brave a frightening journey through the unknown. Wood gives the cartoon figure a very needed earnestness, as well as an infectious sense of humor. Little brother Greg is portrayed by the young Colin Dean and is a character that brings amusement to the show. He always succeeds in overlooking the seriousness of the situation, subsequently infuriating his big bro.

Over the Garden Wall is full of contrasts. All cartoon figures have quite a simple design – for instance, noses are either simple triangles or circles. This stands in striking divergence to the elaborately illustrated scenery. The band, “The Petrojvic Blasting Co.” provides the absolutely magical background music. It’s the perfect combination of different genres and moods; of old tunes and new sounds.

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