The Amazing World of Gumball (2011– )

TV Series  -   -  Animation | Comedy | Family
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Join Gumball Watterson and his family as they must deal with all kind of funny and crazy situations.

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Cast

Series cast summary:
Teresa Gallagher ...
 Nicole Watterson / ... (40 episodes, 2011-2014)
Dan Russell ...
 Richard Watterson / ... (39 episodes, 2011-2014)
...
 Gumball Watterson / ... (38 episodes, 2011-2014)
...
 Darwin Watterson (38 episodes, 2011-2014)
Kerry Shale ...
 Bandage Doctor / ... (37 episodes, 2011-2014)
Kyla Rae Kowalewski ...
 Anais Watterson (36 episodes, 2011-2014)
Sandra Dickinson ...
 as Sandra Searles Dickinson (34 episodes, 2011-2013)
Jessica McDonald ...
 Sarah Lato (32 episodes, 2011-2014)
...
 Gumball Watterson / ... (29 episodes, 2014-2015)
...
 Darwin Watterson (29 episodes, 2014-2015)
Tony Beck ...
 Richard Watterson (29 episodes, 2011-2013)
Lewis Macleod
(26 episodes, 2011-2013)
...
 Larry / ... (26 episodes, 2011-2013)
Anthony Hull ...
 as Tony Hull (21 episodes, 2011-2013)
Edit

Storyline

Welcome to Elmore! This quaint little suburb isn't quite what it seems, as in Elmore, just about everything has the ability to come to life! The Amazing World of Gumball follows the misadventures of Gumball, a twelve year old cat. With the help of his best friend Darwin, his former pet goldfish that grew legs and joined the family, he gets into all sorts of antics. He is joined by his sister, Anais, a four year old bunny with heightened intelligence. His father, Richard, and his mother, Nicole, are there to provide him support as well. Written by Juan Carlos Morales

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Certificate:

TV-Y7 | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

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Details

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Release Date:

9 May 2011 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Gumball  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

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Aspect Ratio:

1.78 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Much of the supporting characters are actually rejected characters from commercials Ben Bocquelet worked on at Studio AKA before working on the show. See more »

Goofs

The eye brows on some characters disappear at times throughout the series. See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
The (periodically) Amazing World of Gumball
27 July 2011 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Looking for a tl;dr version? Here goes - TAWoG is a show of fantastic production quality with writing that's all over the place. When it works, it soars above all expectations; when it fails, it's practically unwatchable.

* * *

Here's why. From the first piece of promotional art I saw back in 2010, I was instantly drawn to the unique visual style cooked up by France's Ben Bocquelet, the mastermind behind Gumball's world. Almost every character looks like they were pulled from a completely different source, with some characters drawn in a traditional cartoon style, while others are puppets, CGI, 8-bit sprites, or even live action (which is also used for the backdrop of the show) - and stills from the show don't even come close to describing how much eye candy is packed into every frame. If you've only seen the show on Cartoon Network, I recommend that you look up the show's (conspicuously missing) theme song online, as it's great example of how much energy and creativity the crew has. Watching this show is the remedy I needed after the visually offensive "The Problem Solverz" ravaged my fragile cornea.

Aurally, the show almost reaches the same height of excellence. Although the voice actors are more than passable, the most enjoyable part of the show's audio experience is the soundtrack. The score is bubbly, cheery, fun - and when called for - epic.

The problem is that, under the fantastic visuals, music, and production value, the writing (especially the humor) can be quite lackluster, sometimes fatally so.

The most frequently recurring problem is simply a lack of originality. Despite the trippy visuals and wacky characters, the show's basic structure is your run-of-the-mill school sitcom. The plots are recycled, the characters cliché, and the outcomes predictable. The most glaringly obvious example is the main family, the Wattersons, who are about as unoriginal and tired as possible. You have the idiot father (think Peter Griffin crossed with Homer Simpson and Dick Daring) who can't do anything right, the genius kid (Lisa Simpson, maybe a bit a Stewie Griffin?), the voice-of-reason mom, and the trouble making boys. If you're looking for a show that subverts the "smart girls, dumb boys" dynamic, you had best look elsewhere. The father is especially poor, moving past simple incompetence to complete mental retardation at points. At times I found myself wishing he was either more like the stay-at-home dad on "Johnny Test," which is a terrible thing to want, or not in the show at all.

Predictably, the show works best when working with character traits and quirks that haven't been lifted wholesale from previous shows. The mother, Nicole, is bi-polar, and occasionally transforms into a suburban ninja of sorts. Even more importantly - perhaps the saving grace of the whole show - is that the titular Gumball is a refreshingly endearing male lead. Although he gets into loads of trouble, he isn't an extreme jerk like Johnny Test. The way the writers craft Gumball's dynamic with his adopted brother, Darwin, and girlfriend, Penny, can reach teeth-melting levels of adorability.

But again, this creates quite a large problem, this time with the show's humor. Bafflingly, the writers seem to think the best way to get laughs out of the audience is to take young Gumball and destroy him emotionally and physically in practically every episode. From being abused by his classmates, laughed at by his mother, and patronized by his sister, Gumball's cavalcade of suffering is usually the focal point of the show's surprisingly mean-spirited humor. And it barely ever works. The end sequence of the episode, "The Gi," is practically unwatchable due to the amount of public humiliation and pain inflicted on Gumball. Although the episode has a maddeningly cute happy ending, it feels disingenuous when compared to the mean-spirited tone preceding it.

Like with the characters, though, there are a handful of episodes that avoid this routine, and the difference in quality is astonishing. If you want to see the best Gumball has to offer, seek out the episodes, "The Dress," "The Pressure," "The DVD," and "The Third." Here the humor is based more on dialog, surprisingly adult innuendo, and interaction between the characters rather than cheap slapstick and cringe-inducing humiliation.

If the bad parts of this review seem too harsh, I would only say that it stems from the fact that the good episodes of TAWoG are so good, enjoyable, cute, and funny, that the bad ones stick out like a hand of sore thumbs. I can only recommend that you don't give up after a single viewing, since the quality of the show's writing varies vastly between episodes.

EDIT: tl;dr: The show got much better in season 2 and 3. Go watch it and be entertained.

* * *

Almost 3 years later, I felt the need to edit this review, since some of the grievances I had have been more or less addressed in the second season of the show. Gumball's scrappier and less prone to abuse and manipulation by his peers and family, and the humor moved away from abusive slapstick to focus more on cartoon physics, sight gags, and 4th-wall breaking. The visuals lost a smidge of their original wild abandon in exchange for a much cleaner, consistent (and still amazingly pleasant) aesthetic. There are less genuinely adorable moments, but the tone of the show is just nicer overall. There's still plenty of cutesy gags and dialog to keep a goofy grin on your face while watching. The exceptions, unfortunately, are still Anais and Richard, who continue to be inexcusably mean and stupid respectively. How anybody could enjoy them still eludes me.


21 of 23 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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