The Amazing World of Gumball (also known as Gumball) is a British-American children's animated television created by for Cartoon Network. Produced primarily by Cartoon Network Development Studio Europe, it first aired on May 3, 2011. The series revolves around the life of Gumball Watterson, a 12-year-old cat who attends middle school in the fictional city of Elmore. Accompanied by his adoptive goldfish brother Darwin Watterson, he frequently finds himself involved in various shenanigans around the city, during which he interacts with his other family members—sister Anais and parents Nicole and Richard and an extended supporting cast of characters.
Bocquelet based several of the series' characters on rejected characters from his previous commercial work and making its premise a mixture of "family shows and school shows", which Cartoon Network was heavily interested in. He pitched The Amazing World of Gumball to the network and Turner Broadcastiung executive Daniel Lennard subsequently greenlit production of the series. It is the first series to be produced by Cartoon Network Development Studio Europe, and is currently co-produced with Studio SOI and Great Marlborough Productions Limited.
One unique feature of the series is its lack of stylistic unity. Characters are designed, filmed, and animated using different styles and techniques (stylised traditional animation, puppetry, CGI, stop motion, Flash animation, live action, etc.)
The series has made multiple stylistic changes throughout its production, specifically in the transition between its first and second seasons. Such changes include character redesigns, an increase in the use of VFX, higher quality animation, and a shift towards a much more satirical comedic style.
The series revolves around the life of a 12-year-old cat named Gumball Watterson (Logan Grove, seasons 1–2 and season 3 episode: "The Kids"; Jacob Hopkins, rest of season 3 to "The Copycats", Nicolas Cantu, rest of season 5 onward) and his frequent shenanigans in the fictional American city of Elmore, accompanied by his adopted goldfish brother/best friend Darwin (Kwesi Boakye, season 1–2 and season 3 episode: "The Kids"; Terrell Ransom Jr., rest of season 3 to "The Copycats", Donielle T. Hansley Jr., rest of season 5 onward). Gumball's other family members—his intellectual sister Anais (Kyla Rae Kowalewski) and stay-at-home father Richard (Dan Russell), both rabbits, and workaholic mother Nicole (Teresa Gallagher), a cat—often find themselves involved in Gumball's exploits. Gumball attends school with his siblings at Elmore Junior High, where throughout the series he interacts with his various middle school classmates, most prominently his love interest and eventual girlfriend Penny Fitzgerald (also Gallagher).
One prominent feature of the series since its third season is "The Void", a dimension inside of Elmore where all the universe's mistakes reside. This includes references to aspects of reality as well as in-series elements. Rob (Hugo Harold-Harrison, David Warner for episodes "The Nemesis" to "The Disaster") is a background character from the first two seasons who became trapped in The Void after becoming "irrelevant". He later escapes in Season 3, after which he becomes Gumball's nemesis and main antagonist. He is shown to be aware of his fictional existence in the Season 4 episode "The Disaster", and his hatred towards Gumball is a result of his role as the protagonist.
Why It Rocks
- Great and likeable characters.
- Good voice acting.
- Entertaining plots.
- Many characters designs are mixed with claymation, live-action, traditional animation (mostly digital ink and paint animation because cel animation is no longer used after the 1990's and the 2000's announced digital ink and painting animation) and CGI computer animation, which looks very unique.
- Nearly all of the jokes are hilarious.
- Cultural references, including Dragon Ball Z.
- Some catchy songs like "Be Your Own You" and "Books are Violent".
- Rob's transition from being a background character into an antagonist was well executed.
- The concept where a dimension full of the world's mistakes is pretty interesting and clever.
- Some jokes can be unpleasant.
- The animation in season 1, while nice, has a large amount of errors.
- There are infamous episodes like "The Girlfriend", "The Rival," "The Laziest," and "The Apprentice."
- There is a Chinese knockoff of the show called Miracle Star, which was cancelled after 12 episodes after a lawsuit from Cartoon Network.