Just as everyone is Irish on St. Patrick’s Day, everyone is from New England on Halloween.
The colors, the graveyard imagery, the artwork, the historical touches, the sense of folklore. Over the Garden Wall (created by Patrick McHale) evokes New England in the autumn beautifully, with all the melancholy and wistfulness of the season.
There’s nostalgia, beautiful animation, wonderful songs, scary bits, and a touching story. It’s also jam-packed with references and jokes. On repeated viewings you realize how intricate Over the Garden Wall really is, how the stories and themes and images feed into one another and build upon each other.
The story: Greg and Wirt are lost in a forest, and they need to find their way back home. Along the way they encounter several strange people and a few threatening ones. Each installment is stand-alone, and only lasts ten or fifteen minutes. By the end they string together a complete story, which I will not spoil at all for you because you should go in knowing as little as possible.
Like the best folktales, you can come up with your own meaning and lessons from Over the Garden Wall. You can also take away a survey course in animation history, which is pretty awesome.
It’s only three years old, and already it’s a Halloween classic. Give it a watch this year!