The subtle trick Showtime's "Penny Dreadful is that it is far less about the blood, gore and the specter of gruesome death than the sharp pain and exhilarating pleasure of living, and the terror of feeling alone even in close company. Read our review in the May Picks section.
A laudable effort of an animated adaptation of a Dickens classic
Dickens is difficult to translate to even a live-action mini-series, so I was expecting very little from an animated adaptation that was naturally going to condense and leave things out. This effort though from Burbank Films Australia is a laudable one. Of course the narrative is simplified and characters are left out, but what actually mattered to me was that the spirit of the story was there. On the most part, it is. By all means it is not perfectly done, the ending is rushed and a few of the Dotheboys Hall incidents are somewhat overplayed, however the story of Nicholas and Smike is as tragic as you'd expect. The animation may have some crude character designs, but there are also some lushly coloured backgrounds and attention to evocative detail. The music is fitting with the atmosphere, the writing doesn't suffer from being too childish neither is it over-complicated and the characters that remain still have their impact. The voice acting is solid enough, nobody outstanding but nobody bad either. Overall, while I am not exactly gushing with praise, I do think this deserves a lot of credit for adapting a work of an author whose work is notoriously difficult to do so on the budget it had. 7/10 Bethany Cox
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