It’s been a sizzling second since DreamWorks put out a brand new serialized animated present not primarily based on an current movie franchise. And within the wake of some greater animated darlings like The Owl Home ending, it’s the proper time for the studio to flex. Fright Krewe, from horror director Eli Roth (Hostel) and YA science fiction creator James Frey (I Am Quantity 4), is a daring swing, able to step into the void with its horror-focused overarching plot and funky solid of characters. Simply in time for Halloween, the brand new animated sequence has what it takes to be the subsequent massive factor — as long as it will get the time and a spotlight for all of it to mesh collectively.
[Ed. note: This post contains some slight setup spoilers for Fright Krewe.]
Fright Krewe follows a bunch of highschool college students who unintentionally awaken a malevolent demon. So as to cease the villain from wreaking havoc throughout New Orleans, the 5 youngsters are blessed with powers from “voodoo queen” Marie Laveau and an assortment of loas, the spirit guardians that make up the voodoo pantheon. Because it seems, all of the myths and legends about paranormal creatures in New Orleans are true, and the gang is thrust right into a newfound supernatural world.
The framework of teenagers getting superpowers is tried, true, and completely enjoyable. However in simply the primary 4 episodes, Fright Krewe particularly excels at utilizing these powers to spotlight the characters’ distinct personalities and actually gas the delightfully dysfunctional dynamics between the group. Misfit Soleil (Sydney Mikayla), who adores the macabre and works as a ghost tour information, is gung-ho about their mission — and getting pyrokinetic powers is fairly dandy too. New child Pat (Terrence Little Gardenhigh), who practices voodoo himself, is stoked to be blessed with communication powers that permit him to know animals and languages.
On the opposite finish, wallflower Possibly (Tim Johnson Jr.) would very a lot choose to not get sucked into the shadow realm and help ghosts, thanks very a lot. Standard woman Missy (Grace Lu), who already resents Soleil as a result of backstory causes we’ll undoubtedly discover out later, is afraid of the newfound uncontrollable super-strength she’s been bequeathed (particularly after a freak accident). Proper within the center is affable jock Stanley (Chester Dashing), who has a fairly harmless energy — when he touches issues, he’s instantly given extremely detailed data about their historical past — and thus takes to the supernatural in stride.
Picture: DreamWorks Animation
And in case you’re a fan of spooky legends like Soleil, then this paranormal world is a fantastically creepy romp. Roth and Frey construct on current legends, however don’t shrink back from integrating among the scarier components — the sheer bloodlust of werewolves, as an example. Fright Krewe isn’t an grownup present, so nothing is ever too gory or surprising. However it’s aimed toward a barely older viewers than different youngsters’ animation, so the scares are a little bit extra grotesque and the stakes are a little bit increased (with out spoiling an excessive amount of, the second episode ends on an enormous cliffhanger with somebody’s life up within the air). It’s not fairly an entire tonal shift from one thing like The Owl Home, however it’s sufficient of a step away to carve out its personal area of interest, with barely older characters and barely extra mature obstacles, à la The Legend of Korra, Younger Justice, or the unique Teen Titans cartoon. Including to that, the gorgeously rendered backgrounds assist to bolster this fascinating world and set it aside.
There’s an particularly good consideration to shading, texture, and lighting, which elevates the general look of the present. The characters reawaken the traditional evil whereas in a graveyard, and that graveyard is especially evocative, with darkish corners and austere mausoleums. It’s uncommon to see conventional animation on tv with that stage of element, particularly in America. Nonetheless, the body price is a bit on the choppier finish in comparison with one thing like She-Ra and the Princesses of Energy. That, blended with the in any other case elevated look of the present, could be a bit jarring. Nonetheless, it’s nonetheless refreshing to see DreamWorks as soon as once more returning to 2D animation and taking it up one other notch.
The distinctive animation and the truth that Fright Krewe is specializing in underserved genres — horror for youthful audiences and animated reveals for barely older youngsters — offers it a definite edge. The present already has all the weather of a stable hit: a compelling overarching plot and an entire internet of mythology to unravel, an eclectic solid of characters with fascinating relationships, and a pleasant steadiness of supernatural antics and highschool shenanigans. If the primary 4 episodes are something to go by, Fright Krewe has all of the makings of a present that might be the subsequent massive factor — and possibly even redefine viewers expectations for all-ages animation.
Fright Krewe hits Hulu and Peacock on Oct. 2.