The Cuphead Show is an explosive cartoon in the style of the 30s, in homage to the cracked cups of the eponymous game. Critical.
When we talk about video game adaptation, we very logically think of Netflix. For some time now, the American platform has reigned supreme in this area that has long been mistreated by the film industry. After some setbacks on its side too, Netflix is once again repeating the experience with the series The Cuphead Showinspired by the particularly full-bodied video game Cuphead.
If expectations were high, Netflix finally seems to have found the right vein with this energetic and completely cracked cartoon, which transports us straight to the 1930s with the characters of Cuphead and Mugman, their grandpa Bouilloire, but also the Devil and of his minions. Did this joyful adventure end up driving us totally crazy? Answer in this review of The Cuphead Show.
It all starts with good ingredients
Before talking about the series itself, it is good to remember that by tackling the adaptation of Cuphead, Netflix has chosen an ambitious project as its work support is different from all those encountered so far. Indeed, like a real 1930s cartoon, Cuphead is a hand-drawn video game with a deliberately vintage artistic direction.
On this aspect, Netflix is truly doing a remarkable job as the visual codes have been respected. So certainly, we are dealing with more classic animations than in the game, but The Cuphead Show manages to capture all the essence of the franchise by adding a more dynamic touch. If the image seems a little less aged, it still remains in the theme.
At times, we can even see some static scenery, as if the animation had been placed in the middle of a diorama, which gives the cartoon a more authentic look, to counterbalance the too smooth outlines of the characters. They were also honored all the same and keep their usual look in the series, embellished with a much more explosive personality.
A digest of humor that works
Cuphead and Mugman also have the advantage of being dubbed by actors extremely famous for their voice work, overseen by the great Donald Reignoux who does an incredible job here. In VO as in VF, the dialogues are hard-hitting, but above all well written. Word games are in order and the characters never fail to make very caustic remarks, when they are not busy fleeing the problems they create for themselves.
The tone is light and focused on humor, all wrapped up in an atmosphere with small onions, suitable for any type of audience contrary to what one might think. More accessible than the game, The Cuphead Show aims to bring young and old together around a carefree cartoon like we don’t do anymore.
Like a little taste of coming back
Composed of 12 episodes, the first season is therefore self-devouring. It must be said that each episode only lasts about ten minutes at most, not counting the opening and closing credits. A format far too short for such quickly addictive content. This is the main reason why we can’t really talk about an animated series here, but a cartoon.
The most pleasant, is finally to get to know better the characters who inhabit the Inkwell Islands, although the overview is very quickly sent. In terms of history, Netflix is indeed not very consistent, and sorely lacks a common thread that connects its episodes. The whole intrigue around the Devil and his missing souls very often goes by the wayside in favor of lighter individual adventures, which are just as pleasant, but which have nothing to do with it.
Similarly, we hoped to see in this first season many more characters from the video game. On this aspect, the firm will always have the opportunity to improve with a season 2, if there is a season 2. We will somewhat regret the rather abrupt end of this one, even though things were starting to take a promising turn.