The Cuphead Show is the TV adaptation of the popular indie game Cuphead, the show was produced by Netflix Animation and was released this year. The original creators for the game were part of the team and produced the show.
The Cuphead Show was a very highly anticipated project that both fans of the game and just fans of old school animation were excited about, The Cuphead Show for me was very good, I loved it, I thought it was entertaining, the animation looked really good, the watercolor backgrounds and the score also made it feel special, I found it great.
Now, the show has gotten a lot of bad and really just harsh criticism from fans of the game, saying that it doesn’t involve the same level of quality as the game, and that the story had some weak points. For starters, Cuphead is one of the most amazing and visually beautiful games of the past few years, the creators Chad and Jared Moldenhauser, we’re extremely passionate about it, the game is completely hand drawn with thousands of drawings and backgrounds that took them years to perfect, they had the support of MDHR Studios which let the team work on it make it look as good as it does. Cuphead is basically a love letter to classic animation from the 1930’s and 1940’s, Fleischer Studios being one of the biggest influences, with classic rubber type animation style that truly captured that feel and look of the golden age of animation. They had a lot of dedication and put a lot of effort into the game, but replicating such a level of quality a second time is not going to be the case, with that said, The Cuphead Show deserves recognition because it still captures that look and feel and it still delivered great quality.
The show introduces the characters of Cuphead and Mugman in a new way, a narrative way, giving us a look into they’re very unique personalities, showing that they’re kids that ultimately get in trouble all the time but just try to have a good time, they also showed Elder Kettle as their guardian\father figure and some other characters from the game, the show delivers these concepts in a very nice way, with short episodes, wonderful voice acting, and backgrounds and color palettes that are very appealing, besides, it’s the first season, for just 12 episodes to start it delivered.
Netflix ordered 36 more episodes to be produced, to be released as three separate groups of episodes, for a total of 48. The thing is they didn’t tell the animators and producers that, just to pay the team less for more content, so imagine being an animator working on this show putting every ounce of effort into it only for the studio you work at tell you this after they released it to the public and now receiving poor criticism about quality. It’s unfair, and that shows how harsh and difficult it is to work in the animation industry.
The Cuphead show wasn’t meant for gamers, it’s not entirely just a video game adaptation, it stands on its own, the show ended on a cliffhanger probing it had more to offer. The Cuphead Show was a surprising project that I enjoyed, you can watch it now on Netflix, support the team and just enjoy it on its own and for what it is.