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HEADS UP: I was able to review this show early thanks to a screener.
It’s a brand new year, and that means brand new cartoons! It’s always exciting, worrying, and stressful to encounter new shows every year. You don’t know what they might unfold into, but you can also get excited for them because you are traversing into a new world made by creative individuals. I am always pumped when I see a new show from a creator I have been a fan of since I was a kid. It’s fun to watch their careers evolve and what shows they come up with. For example, one of my favorite creators, Craig McCraken, the brains behind some of the best cartoons of the past few decades, has a new show on Netflix called Kid Cosmic!
Created by Craig McCraken, Kid Cosmic is his and his team’s brand new venture into the world of animation that hit Netflix with a cool retro art style, out of this world adventures, and a cat with psychic powers. Anytime a creator I have a lot of respect for comes up with a new cartoon, it’s always worth being pumped for. It’s especially true when you have one heck of a team making the show, and a stellar voice cast. Any show that has a distinct look from the other shows coming out always gets more attention from me. Let’s stop wasting time and jump right in with Kid Cosmic!
Our story plops us right down in the middle of nowhere. I’m assuming somewhere like New Mexico/Nevada desert location. Maybe West Texas if we want to extend it. Our main character is Kid, voiced by Jack Fisher. He lives with his grandfather Papa G, voiced by Keith Ferguson. The kid has a wild imagination that is filled with comic books and sci-fi. He lives with a small group of people that include a teen named Jo, voiced by Amanda C. Miller, a little girl named Rosa, voiced by Lily Rose Silver, and a few others. We also must make sure to include the best character of the show, Tuna Sandwich, a chunky cat voiced by Fred Tatasciore. One night, an alien ship crashes in the mountains near the small town, and a couple of space rocks fall out of the ship. Kid gets his hands on them and finds out that each of the stones has special powers. They include multiplying clones, portals, growing giant, being psychic, and telekinesis. The kid then gets the idea to make a superhero team to protect the town from alien invasions and maybe an unknown force you will meet later on.
So, let’s start with this review talking about the animation. This is easily one of the strongest looking visual looks for a cartoon this year. It has a strong retro comic book style that matches the tone from Dennis the Mennis and Richie Rich, and that should be no shock since that is where a lot of the inspiration came from. It looks distinct from many shows that are coming out, and the fact that a still frame of this show looks like it came right out of a comic book illustrates how fantastic this art direction is. I know some may find the limited movements distracting since this is kind of the same style we see in shows like Kipo and the Age of Wonderbeasts, but for me, it still looks great because of the posing and movements. They aren’t limited, they are more snappy, and each character has distinct movements. This would be a great show to study in an animation class to teach character design and character animation. Each design is so lively, and I just adore the looks of everyone. The aliens, the townsfolks, and the characters we see later on are all memorable. When the action does begin, the animation kicks a lot of tail as it’s wildly creative.
The music has a cool underground rock sound to it. The voice cast is also stellar all around. You have your usual quality performances from the likes of Tom Kenny and Keith Ferguson, but I also really enjoyed Fred Tatasciore and Amanda C. Miller. Jack Fisher was also a strong performer when Kid needed to be whimsical, but grounded. I shouldn’t expect anything less from Craig and his team, but they always do a fantastic job at casting their shows. As for the writing, as a comedy, it has some of the typical jokes and gags you would find in this kind of show, but it also has a lot of fun with the different powers and the situations the characters find them in. When Papa G gets the stone that makes him able to clone himself, it leads to some of the most gruesome dark comedy in a cartoon aimed at a kids audience. Quite a few of the jokes have a sharper edge to them that adults will enjoy, but the overall show has a vibe and energy to its writing that anyone can enjoy. I admire that the show does slip in little details and story beats that offer a more substantial story, but even when we get into the second half, you never feel like the story halts in its tracks to stop all of the fun comedy and action just to focus on the story. I like these characters and the fact that they weave story beats into the foreground and background while keeping up the same energy throughout the entire story. They all feel fleshed out and realized.
While we might be early in the year, I think Kid Cosmic is a frontrunner for one of the best new cartoons of 2021. It’s full of fantastic humor, incredible designs, vibrant animation, a pitch-perfect cast, and an overall delightful and entertaining experience. It’s a show that hits all of the right notes for me, and I can’t recommend it enough. If you have Netflix and have been craving some new original cartoons, then please watch this show. Well, this was a great show to write a review for, and I can’t wait to see what Craig does next and what a second season will bring. Next time, we will talk about a new film by the director of Long Way North. That’s right, we will be talking about Calamity!
Thanks for reading the review! I hope you all enjoyed reading it! If you would like to support my work, make sure to share it out, and if you want to become a Patreon supporter, then you can go to patreon.com/camseyeview. I will see you all next time!