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  • Bee and PuppyCat in the depths of space!

I was never one for animation. Even as a child I got much more excited when my parents would let me stay up late to watch ER than I was by the prospect of Saturday morning cartoons. But as I’ve grown (and, let’s face it, as animation has grown) the complete freedom of animation became more and more appealing. Characters and story aren’t constrained by the limits of sets or costumes or even rules of the universe. The completely adorable and perfectly bizarre Bee and PuppyCat really takes that idea and runs with it.

Animator Natasha Allegri, who previously worked on Adventure Time, dreamed up the world of Bee, an unemployed 20-something, and PuppyCat, the feline-canine hybrid who magically lands in Bee’s life one day. Back in August 2013 the first ten-minute episode of the series was released on Cartoon Hangover’s YouTube channel. In it PuppyCat leads Bee to an intergalactic world where they babysit a giant fish named Wallace only to have to ward off evil space beings with Puppycat’s built in laser before returning back to earth in time to eat a casserole. Like I said, there are no rules in animation.

The one-off episode got four million views, and soon Allegri turned to Kickstarter to turn the concept into a ten-episode series with a rousing response—it’s the most successful animation Kickstarter in history. Last week the first episode of the series was posted to YouTube, and lucky for us all the publicity and success has only made the show stranger and more wonderful. Again Bee is skint, spending her last bits of cash on food, and PuppyCat is obsessed with the idea of getting a leather jacket.

While Allegri’s whimsical and recognizable animation is the show’s defining characteristic, Allyn Rachel, the voice of Bee, adds a dose of bizarre personality. As the only half of the titular duo who speaks (PuppyCat’s language is that of high-pitched tones aided with subtitles), her maniac speech patterns and vocal range as Bee carries on conversations with herself are proof enough that some people are just meant to be cartoon characters.

The success of this Kickstarter could be the start of a crowdfunded animation revolution, and if that means more things like Bee and Puppycat, then I am completely on board. Let’s see just how far outside the realm of reality a cartoon can really go.