Fans of Adventure Time will recognize the familiar character elements in Bee and PuppyCat, because the series was created by the same mind behind Fionna and Cake. There are technically two series that make up this show: Bee and PuppyCat, a YouTube short series that served as the first season; and Bee and PuppyCat: Lazy in Space, the second season which is available on Netflix.
While there are several elements of Bee and PuppyCat which reflects Adventure Time as a result of sharing a creator, elements from several other shows are also present in this series. The animation style is very similar to anime, as it uses soft, cute details to create the characters and world – especially in Bee and PuppyCat: Lazy in Space.
An example of an animation technique similar to anime is the exuberant and colorful details of the animation, which are similar to those in the animation. Sailor Moon. Another good example is how some character traits look like some of the i A little Witch Academy. The bottom line is that people who enjoy the cheerful and comforting qualities usually seen in the anime animation style will appreciate the artistic style that Bee and PuppyCat the creators have achieved.
In addition to weaving together familiar animation elements, Bee and PuppyCat also weaves together several genres, such as fantasy, sci-fi and action. Much like anime, this animated series is able to combine this multitude of genres and work well as a singular story.
While genre mixing seems to be trending in TV right now because it creates an outlet for more content, it can ruin a show if not done right. In most cases, when a show stacks components from more than a couple of genres, it feels like too much and can distract the viewer from the overall story and theme. However, in the case of Bee and PuppyCat, there seems to be a clear balance between the genres that creates a nice, fluid structure for the action. Because the episodes are so short and the genres it includes are exciting, the story requires continuous beats, making the inclusion of multiple genres very useful. By focusing a bit of each episode on tropes or beats from each of the genres, a wider range of options for how the story can be approached is presented to the creators.
In addition to opening up the range of directions the story can take, the inclusion of mixing multiple genres also opens up the range of viewers the series appeals to. Although the colorful illustrations and light tone make it an appealing series for children of all ages, it also has many elements that are more geared towards adult viewers. There aren’t any explicitly mature moments, but it somehow manages to focus on concepts that appeal to the imagination at all levels of life, both childhood and adulthood.
Although a balance of genres is achieved in this series, it still has some genres that have more presence than others. In particular, fantasy and science fiction seem to have the strongest influence on story structure and theme Bee and PuppyCat. The fantasy elements are clearly recognizable in how Bee travels with PuppyCat continuously to other realms to deal with the problems of other planets, while at the same time exposing her own problems in her own realm. This use of the journey structure so often seen in fantasy/adventure stories gives the protagonist the opportunity to choose between his responsibility and a distraction. It then reflects on that decision later, after she was forced to focus on her own responsibility, to emphasize the point that by choosing the distraction she was still unable to escape responsibility, only prolong it.
The science fiction components are particularly evident in this series as it makes up so many of the plot points that drive the story. Although the fantasy elements provide a sort of surreal, Twin Peaks feeling to the story, shows the show uses sci-fi a lot as Rick and Morty do: rely on some of the more uncertain, theoretical areas of science to explain the events. For example, PuppyCat acts very much like an alien, but Bee doesn’t see him as one. She also doesn’t view any of the various otherworldly creatures she encounters that way – she treats everyone the same until they give her reason not to. This reflects another theme of how helping others and helping oneself go hand in hand.
Of the many impressive things this short series accomplishes, the most impressive is how well it appeals to the whole family. Between the many genres it incorporates, the familiar animation style it uses, and its infectiously soft tone, it really used all its resources to create a series that had something for everyone. Coming up with a show that both children and adults can relate to and appreciate is no easy task, but the creators of Bee and PuppyCat seems to have figured it out.
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