Rabbits and Rainbows
The Amazing World of Gumball follows the misadventures of 12-year-old Gumball and his family in the wonderful little town of Elmore.
We all remember the stereotypical kids we went to junior high with, but Elmore Junior High includes a much wider variety of characters. Gumball's schoolmates include a Tina, a T-Rex; Carrie, a 3D ghost; Alan, the balloon; Carmen, the cactus; Bobert, the robot; Penny, a cheerleader peanut; and Ocho, an 8-bit spider. (Get it? Ocho? 8-bit?) Then there's Richard, Gumball's dad, a 6'4" pink rabbit who stays at home while his mom, Nicole, a cat, works in the rainbow factory. Gumball is a blue cat with a giant head. His sister is Anais, a 4-year-old genius bunny. Darwin is a pet goldfish who became part of the family when he evolved and sprouted legs.
Gumball and Darwin frequently get into trouble of their own making in The Amazing World Gumball. Rather than face the consequences of their destructive actions, they usually try to hide the damage or blame it on someone else. Mom is the high authority in the house, with Anais, the brainy little sister, being the next most mature.
Surprisingly, there are good lessons to be learned when Gumball and Darwin make bad choices. For instance in the two episodes I watched, I learned how not to treat my DVDs and that pouring water onto an electrical fire is a bad idea. How's that for refreshing in this age of true-life Beavis and Butt-heads?
Lessons aside, the humor is pointed straight at the elementary school crowd. The Amazing World Gumball does a bang-up job of focusing on making kids laugh, but parents will laugh at the pop culture references and clever dialogue. Plus, parents can sympathize with Mom, and the kids will relate to Gumball and Darwin, laughing all the way to the end.
Cast and Crew
The cast of The Amazing World of Gumball includes several young cast members, of course, since the cartoon is set in middle school.
Logan Grove (Young Justice, What Just Happened) has wonderful delivery and a delightfully scratchy voice.
Kwesi Boakye (Gossamer on The Looney Tunes Show, Men of a Certain Age) plays Darwin with a sweet quality and an intermittently squeaky voice.
British actress Teresa Gallagher (Thomas & Friends) is the honeyed voice of Nicole, Gumball's mother.
Kyla Rae Kowalewski (Me-mow on Adventure Time) is the young, but terribly wise, Anais.
IMDB.com lists two actors for the role of Richard, Gumball's father: Dan Russell and Tony Beck. Perhaps one of these actors portrays Richard for the United Kingdom, and the other dubs his lines for the United States.
The Amazing World of Gumball, created by Ben Bocquelet and directed by Mic Graves, is the first UK-produced full-length animated series out of Cartoon Network Development Studio Europe.