Featuring eclectic character designs and simple slice of life plots akin to “Seinfeld” episodes, “The Amazing World of Gumball: The Mystery” is the second DVD compilation of the hit Cartoon Network series to deliver escalating screwball comedy with style.
Gumball Watterson is your typical middle school student if your typical middle school student were an animated anthropomorphic blue cat with a lazy pink bunny for a father, a short-tempered blue cat for a mother, a genius pink bunny for a baby sister, and an evolved pet goldfish for an adopted brother. Gumball’s titular amazing world is designed with a combination of 2D and 3D animation where anything in the show can and likely will come to life as a character. The clash of animation styles and personalities of each character makes the setting feel like an Island of Misfit Product Mascots, which was pretty much how series creator Ben Bocquelet developed the series using various characters he never got to use for commercials. Cartoon Network took a gamble with the series among other screwball series but “Gumball’s” charm and style set it apart.
“The Mystery” is among the dozen of 11-minute episodes from the first season included on the second “The Amazing World of Gumball” DVD. Each episode focuses on Gumball dealing with the noun mentioned in each episode’s title that makes his typical day not so typical, which in itself is typical to the format of the series. The episode quickly escalates due to a combination of the characters’ absurd actions, the funny dialogue, or the world of Gumball introducing something or someone bizarre just to make things even more absurd. The sheer absurdity combined with the mish-mashed art style gives the show a chaotic tone that once accepted makes for enjoyable animated comedy. Following its predecessor “The DVD,” this second DVD compilation of “The Amazing World of Gumball” has episodes featuring characters beyond the Watterson family such as the faculty of Gumball’s school, his neighbors, and his classmates. It’s a pity that the Meet the Characters bonus feature only shows enough characters to count on one hand in a series despite having an ensemble cast the size of a small platoon.
It’s not a deep series and episodes can be watched in no particular order, but “The Amazing World of Gumball: The Mystery” delivers a great mix of screwball comedy that is consistent with the series. It’ll make a great addition to “The DVD” until Cartoon Network decides to release entire seasons of the series on DVD, which is likely never.
“The Amazing World of Gumball: The Mystery” is out January 15 with a retail price of $14.97.
Episode List and Synopsis:
- The Mystery: Gumball and his fellow classmates attempt to find out who harmed their principal.
- The Responsible: Gumball and Darwin babysit their little sister Anais.
- The Spoon: Gumball and Darwin get into a bizarre situation while shopping for a birthday gift.
- The Genius: Gumball trains his brain to genius levels.
- The Car: Gumball and Darwin spend time with their neighbor.
- The Microwave: Gumball mutates a jar of disgusting items to life.
- The Sock: Gumball and Darwin learn about consequences of lying.
- The Club: Gumball is recruited by a club of rejects.
- The Ape: The Wattersons gain an unexpected and unwanted friend.
- The Dress: Darwin falls in love with Gumball who happens to be wearing a dress.
- The Helmet: A good luck helmet becomes Gumball’s precious.
- The Pressure: Darwin gets a girlfriend.