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Thursday, January 3, 2013

You Should Be Watching: Ruby Gloom

From left to right: Ruby, Iris, Frank and Len, Boo Boo, Poe, Skullboy, Misery, Scaredy Bat, Doom Kitty, Mr. Buns the sock rabbit.
I like to have my 'You Should Be Watching" posts geared towards something few people have heard about but most people will love, including cartoon series and crazy reality shows.  Last time I pulled out RuPaul's Drag Race, so I feel, to continue the whimsy, we should have a cartoon.  Today's feature is none other than Ruby Gloom, a little known animated series from the far reaches of Canada.  It caught my eye on Netflix while I was in a horrible slump and after watching all 40 episodes, it's time for me to toss this one out so my readers can see the bright side of the dark side.

Initially, Ruby Gloom was created to help market a line of clothing, toys, jewelry and accessories for goth kids and teens.  Typically, shows created for this purpose don't last very long, but Ruby Gloom aired for a full three seasons before Nelvana's writers ran out of steam.  It even won Best Animated series in 2007.  So why haven't you heard of it?  It didn't get much publicity in 2010 on Cartoon Network because it was aired in the early mornings, when no one's awake but parents taking small children to daycare.

Ruby Gloom features a cast of characters unlike any I've seen.  You have Iris, a daredevil cyclops, Frank and Len, Frankenstein inspired conjoined twins, Poe, a poetry reading crow, Boo Boo, a ghost that prefers to play pranks, Skullboy, a skeleton kid trying to find his true calling, Misery, a banshee with the worst luck imaginable, Scaredy Bat, a bat with a Hindi accent who is literally afraid of everything, even himself, Doom Kitty, a cat that communicates via charades and violin chords, and Ruby, who I think might be a witch given her unusual sewing and crafting skills.  Each of the characters represents a different aspect of human nature and flaws and in each episode they learn a new lesson in tolerance, perseverance and personal growth.
Hi, There!
What I like about it:
This show features slick flash animation and uses vectors to ensure that each frame with your favorite character has the right proportions every time.  This is a plus for people who might want to adapt different scenes into wallpapers for their computers, phones or tablets.  It also makes it possible to recognize who's in a frame even if their tiny tiny.  The joy of vectors.  I also love the smooth animation that using flash with skeletons allows.  Call it a personal preference to the other flash shows they have on the air at the moment.
I also love the characters.  They start out pretty mono-faceted, (it's common in a kid's show) but as the series continues, they develop more depth and become more inspiring.  Even though the characters all live in a gloomy mansion in the place where the sun never shines, with a town full of spooky, deformed and hateful people with their own pre-concieved notions of what others ought to be doing, and their own catastrophic character flaws, they always roll with the punches.  They learn from their mistakes, try new things, and where they fail, they pick themselves back up again- especially Misery.  Even though her luck's so terrible that she has perpetual tear tracks down her face and regularly gets struck by lightning, she still maintains a positive mode of thinking despite her dry demeanor.
She can still smile this big!
Since Ruby Gloom DVDs are about as easy to find as a freckle of diamond dust in a pile of powdered sugar, I recommend you watch it on Netflix.  It's the only place, right now, that has the entire series available for viewers.  And, since it's a great series and an awesome, uplifting show, you really shouldn't pass it up.

You should be watching, Ruby Gloom.

1 comment:

  1. Just started watching today. I love it so far. I think Ruby might be based off of a rag doll though.


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