In Defence of Greg in Over The Garden Wall

Just a little heads up, what comes next are spoilers so watch the series if you can. There’s only 10 episodes, 12 minutes each, beautifully illustrated, and a very wonderful story to suit.

So the premise of the series is about two brothers, Wirt and Gregory, who got lost and must find their way back home, and along the way they run into various weird creatures and surreal situations. The whole series is laden deep with metaphors on death and purgatory, possible references to Soren Kierkegaard about faith and fear, and complementary but conflicting characteristics of the two brothers regarding optimism and cynicism. These are all really good reads and I highly encourage everyone to look them up too, after you watch the series of course. But that’s not what I’m writing this about though. I’m here to talk about the younger brother Greg and the audiences feelings about him.
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The Dead Mother Cliche: A Counter Argument

A few days ago, the Cartoon Brew made a post about one of the cliches of animation, the dead mother cliche to be exact, which brought me over to the original article by the Atlantic. To summarize, they made the observation that a large amount of children’s movies started off, or somewhere in the middle, killed off the mother of the protagonist (or a significant character who is also a mother). I do agree with this. There has been quite a lot of movies over the last few decades or even longer with the same plot point and I’m sure it has not gone unnoticed by many others too. But both of them in the end closed with the acknowledgement that it was an intentional decision with the intent of portraying mothers as less or no importance while glorifying fathers, and it is this statement which I have to strongly disagree with. It is true that writers could handle this better, but I’m here to argue that the mothers are just as important if not more than the fathers. And that is why they chose to kill them off.
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