Over the Garden Wall is an American television miniseries created by Patrick Mchale that premiered for a week in November 2014 on Cartoon Network. Over the Garden Wall tells
the tale of two half-brothers, Wirt and Greg, as they try to find their way out of a strange and mysterious land known as “The Unknown” and back home. On their way home, they encounter
peculiar people such as people who dress themselves in pumpkins and experience peculiar events like attending school with a bunch of animals. Featuring well-respected actors such as
Elijah Wood and Christopher Lloyd, Over the Garden Wall has grown to become a classic watch for the autumn season due to its heavenly music, relatable characters, and interesting plot line.
Over the Garden Wall Poster
The series begins with low and deep sounds of an orchestra that soon ascends into a higher, more lighter sound that makes you feel like you’re being lifted up from the ground below. It
makes you feel like you’re walking alone down a sidewalk full of busy people, crunching the leaves on the floor with each step and lettering the cold breeze pass by your cheeks. Next, there’s a song played at the beginning and end of the series which is sung by Greg’s frog which by the end of the series is called so many names I lost track. It follows a similar melody of the song mentioned previously but this time it has words to it, words that feel like it’s been written by one of the greatest poets to ever live. At first, it’s hard to understand these lyrics sung but eventually, once it’s played again at the end, it feels like a perfect fit for the finale as you watch all the characters that reside in the Unknown live their happy endings on screen. Speaking of the characters, they probably happen to be some of the most relatable characters to exist in television. Wirt is an anxious teen who always rethinks his actions and follows what other people tell him to do. He tends to question the world and recite poetry whenever he’s in a gloomy mood. Before he entered the Unknown with his brother, it is revealed he had a crush on a girl named Sarah and had made a tape for her yet became too scared to hand it to her, worried of her true reaction. Greg is a fun, innocent child who likes to spit random facts whenever he can. He can become best friends with strangers in just a matter of minutes. He prefers playing around rather than going to school and places his trust in others with ease. The two truly seem like a pair of brothers you would encounter in your daily lives, brothers who get into arguments about the smallest things but somehow are always there to protect the other one.
Additionally, the plot of this series is one many should take notes on. From the placement of the beginning at the end and the many basic elements of children's storytelling seen such as children getting lost in the woods and human-like animals. Many cartoons that have aired on Cartoon Network, the channel Over the Garden Wall premiered on, tend to follow a simple structure in which each episode is not connected to the previous episode. It tends to be a different event that the characters have to face each episode and is no way building a plot for the viewers to follow. I understand that some may do this so the viewers, who are mainly children, won’t be so confused and have a hard time following this plot.
However, shows like Over the Garden Wall have proved that building a plot can have such beautiful results in the end. Finishing the show feels like a reward as if you were alongside the brothers as they manage to leave the Unknown despite the bumps in their journey. Additionally, I would like to point out what one commenter said about the climax of the show in which they stated that it was thanks to Wirt’s flaws of overthinking his actions that ended up saving him and his brother. A trait that was seen as Wirt’s biggest weakness throughout the series saved him from falling into the villain’s trap. Greg’s silly and happy personality, something seen to lighten the mood of the series, ended up being his biggest weakness since that was what led him into the trap of the villain, better known as the Beast.
Christmas is approaching so it’s best to watch some classic festive movies or series. However, when Autumn comes around next, I highly suggest sitting down with a nice cup of tea and watching Over the Garden Wall, from start to finish. You’ll be confused at first but eventually, love it just like its many, many fans.
Danna Taboada (she/her) is a sixteen-year-old writer from New York. She loves listening to music of any genre, dancing, spending time with her family and friends, reading, and writing. She plans on majoring in Creative Writing in the future.