|From left to right: Ruby, Iris, Frank and Len, Boo Boo, Poe, Skullboy, Misery, Scaredy Bat, Doom Kitty, Mr. Buns the sock rabbit.|
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.
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!|
You should be watching, Ruby Gloom.