Centaurworld: A Mind-Breaking Mismatch

By | January 10, 2022

To Watch Centaurworld Is To Stare Into Pure Chaos

I don’t understand Centaurworld. It defies comprehension to such a degree I want to investigate creator interviews or production notes. Somehow, such a show was allowed to be made and then given this extreme level of care and budget. 

Let me start with the good, so you can better understand my confusion. First off, Centaurworld has some of the smoothest and most detailed animations I’ve ever seen. The motions are fluid; the backgrounds made with care and attention. I kept having to pause scenes and re-watch them because of the sheer volume of small facial movements and tiny details. Action scenes, chase scenes, and emotional scenes are all dynamic and engaging. The choreography is so good sometimes.

The Artistic Passion Put In Is Obvious Immediately

And then there’s the music. Some songs aren’t really to my taste, but they put effort into good lyrics, rhythm, and just making them catchy. One straight-up made me cry. It dealt with loss, pain, and the emotional trauma of time spent away from loved ones. The show is essentially a musical, but characters are aware every time someone is singing, which is a refreshing change of pace for the genre.  

But it’s good even outside of the music. As a narrative, Centaurworld is solid, with a well-worn but functional tale of going to a new world and needing to find a way home. Now, in that regard, it can be a little predictable, but it allows for clever jokes, one of which made me cackle so hard that I had to pause the show. In dialogue and animation and the background, there’s extreme wit lying in wait to jump the viewer. And it’s not just puns or slapstick, but existential or absurdist concepts that blindside.


Centaurworld Could’ve Been A Cartoon Revelation

You’re probably waiting for the “on the other hand.” And boy, is there a different side to this review. Remember that everything I said is still true and exists within sometimes a few moments of the bad stuff. The bad stuff is fart and poop jokes, internet-style meme comedy, randomness/insanity for the sake of it, and deranged childish humor.

Oh, and the strange visual moments. You may have been wondering what that title is about. It’s because this is a show about a normal horse (who’s the best character I’ve seen all year) being sucked into a world where practically everything, even the leaves, trees, and possibly some of the food is a centaur—I don’t know how deep the rabbit hole goes. I can’t fault it for creativity in idea and execution, but I was baffled and slightly overwhelmed. The alpacataur (alpaca-centaur) and zebrataur were both coherent cartoon designs, but even the other main characters in the “herd” were sometimes hard to look at for too long.  

The Show Often Devolves Into Utter Obnoxiouness

When this show is bad, it’s like how someone who doesn’t like cartoons perceives them: over-excited and full of too much visual stimuli. And when the show is really bad, it’s almost unwatchable. My biggest issue with series like Adventure Time has always been the unhinged way it presents its world—but those shows get a pass when compared to Centaurworld. I yelled multiple times at the screen over why anyone, anywhere, would allow certain scenes like the first use of the “handsome for eight seconds” magical spell to exist.

So, then, the wrap-up for this bonkers show. As you may have noticed, during only three episodes of experiencing it, I cried, laughed, and yelled. Say what you will of it: Centaurworld is never generic. I feel like, for good or bad, I experienced an experiment. A look at what can be truly done with animation with very little concern for the status quo or even media trends. Centaurworld is shockingly dark, gorgeous, inventive, sometimes blisteringly funny, and sometimes unhinged and unfocused. There’s no point in the first three episodes where it comes into its own and becomes its best self, and there’s no point where I couldn’t stand it anymore. Give the first episode a chance. If you don’t turn it off in frustration or annoyance, then you’ve stumbled onto something unique and maybe even a little special.


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