Today I’m going to review UNIKITTY because apparently, I hate myself.

There’s been quite a bit of buzz about this new show based on THE LEGO MOVIE character lately, most of it negative.

Even so, I tried to go into this show with an open mind. I often enjoy cartoons others despise, so maybe UNIKITTY would be surprisingly enjoyable. Based on the title of this article, you can probably guess how that went for me.

Spoiler alert: not well.

I’ve spent a lot of time trying to figure out why this show doesn’t work. It would be easy to point out the obnoxious energy, the inane humor, or the noxious levels of cuteness on display here.

The problem is, I’m someone who typically likes these things.

I love over-the-top energy, I enjoy inane humor, I even love some cynical, self-aware trope-ishness in my cartoons. Hell, I’ve gone on record supporting TEEN TITANS: GO, another obnoxious, cynical cartoon. By all accounts, I should be the target demographic for this show.

So, what’s wrong with UNIKITTY? What makes it worse than similar cartoons? Is there anything of value here? Well, let’s take a look!

It Does Nothing But Pander

I guess the thing that really pisses me off about this show is how blatantly it panders to its audience. As I said, a show like this seems tailor-made to the type of kid I was a few years ago, and even the adult I am today.

It’s obnoxiously loud. It’s full of action and energy in a seemingly innocent, cutesy world. The main character is loud, energetic, and short-fused. It’s as if someone studied a particular sub-set of adolescents and concocted this show in a laboratory.

KILL THE MINOTAUR #1 Review: Greek Mythology Revisited

UNIKITTY tries so hard to indulge in the “super cute but crazy” trope that it just comes off as insulting. It honestly feels desperate, like a group of old executives throwing everything at the wall they think their young audience will enjoy. Where TEEN TITANS: GO legitimately doesn’t seem to care if you like it, UNIKITTY is begging me to watch it, offering everything I would have loved as a kid without truly understanding it.

It’s Surprisingly Predictable

The real problem is it never goes beyond this pandering. It never gets particularly creative or interesting in any way. Of course, Unikitty has a “comically” bad temper. Of course, there’s a boring, “responsible” character that speaks in monotone. Obviously, they shoe-horn classic tropes and plot-lines from other genres. That’s what we all assume a UNIKITTY show would do.

UNIKITTY
Everything you need to know about these characters in one image.

One thing you can say about TEEN TITANS: GO, or even the awful UNCLE GRANDPA, is that you never quite know where each episode is going. At the very least, these shows embrace their own madness.

UNIKITTY can’t even get that right. Each episode is such a clearly telegraphed series of tropes. Where UNCLE GRANDPA is at least full of strange creatures, absurd plot-resolutions, and creative animation, I never felt surprised, or even particularly engaged, by UNIKITTY.

It’s Just Not Funny

I could forgive all of this if the show made me laugh. It doesn’t. The jokes are poorly paced, predictable, and provide little pay-off.

In one instance, a particular character is trying to speak, but Unikitty keeps interrupting him because his voice is so boring. This could be the set-up for a funny joke. However, it goes on just a little too long, and the payoff of what the character has to say is neither funny nor does it move the plot forward. The only thing it does is cheaply foreshadow the plot resolution, which again is neither funny nor interesting.

I find myself wondering, “where’s the punchline here?” At what point am I supposed to laugh, and at what?

Should You Watch STAR WARS REBELS?

Compare this to a show like GUMBALL, where movement, timing, and dialogue are perfectly used to express its bizarre sense of humor. With better writers, this style of show can work. There’s a place for this sort of high-octane, overly cute, “random” humor, but you need to use these elements to your advantage. More often than not, UNIKITTY feels distracted by its own style.

There Are Better Shows With This Type Of Humor

While I was watching this show, slowly dying aside, my mind kept wandering to much funnier, much more creative versions of this program. Indeed, the more I watched UNIKITTY, the more it began to feel like a cheap knock-off of similarly themed cartoons.

The most obvious comparison is MY LITTLE PONY, which arguably started this trend of cutesy cartoons. While I’m not a personal fan of the show, it’s hard not to see UNIKITTY as an inferior imitation of similar themes.

But I feel a closer comparison is Disney’s STAR VS. THE FORCES OF EVIL. A show about a magic princess from another dimension, STAR is also an overtly cute show with a lot of energy and action. The difference is it’s better animated, better written, and evolves beyond its basic premise.

UNIKITTY STAR VS. THE FORCES OF EVIL
Just watch this instead.

The problem here isn’t that UNIKITTY takes inspiration from these shows, or even that it’s cynically chasing what’s popular. The problem is that it never evolves past its inspiration. There’s nothing about UNIKITTY that would make me watch it over MY LITTLE PONY or STAR VS. THE FORCES OF EVIL.

You’d think with the LEGO theme they’d at least have a variety of material to work with. The problem is, half the time I forget this is a LEGO product at all.

Think of everything they could do with the LEGO license. All the things they could build, or the characters and worlds they could introduce. While there are some references here and there, the LEGO theme is woefully underutilized. It’s just a missed opportunity.

UNIKITTY: The Verdict

I refuse to entertain the notion that “I’m growing out of cartoons,” or that “kids shows suck these days.” Cartoons have never been better than they are right now. That’s why UNIKITTY is so insulting. That’s why I took the time to write a review of a “silly little kid show.” It’s not the worst thing I’ve seen in my life; it’s not offensive or destructive. It’s just not up to par.

BLACK LIGHTNING Episode 101 Review: Revitalization

UNIKITTY reminds me of those cartoons from the 80’s that only existed to sell toys and to pander to its audience, or 90’s shows that were trying too hard to be “cool.” The only difference is the generation to which it panders, and the husk of tropes with which it surrounds itself. And just like those shows, it will come and go with a cringe and a sigh.

UNIKITTY only stands out for how woefully outmatched it is by other cartoons. If you’re going to watch a show like this, watch STAR VS. THE FORCES OF EVIL instead. As for UNIKITTY, there’s really nothing I can recommend that others shows don’t do better.

Load More Related Articles
Load More By psychotrip
Load More In Movies and Television

8 Comments

  1. Kimberly Davila

    May 9, 2018 at 6:04 pm

    I am extremely offended and triggered and extremely disagree. ???

    Reply

  2. Plink

    April 28, 2018 at 9:23 am

    You seem to have some kind of allergic reaction fun things since the two big cartoons you do recommend are going darker. Humour is mostly subjective, if this isn’t your taste, then it’s not your taste. Most of the jokes are well timed like Gumball. Unikitty in her early episodes are annoying but the show makes that very clear since she gets consequences and punishment and then learns her lesson. Characters should have flaws so they can learn how to fix them. I thought you knew this basic concept. Meanwhile, I have to deal with Ponyhead (SVTFOE) constantly being rude for no reason and having the most obnoxious voice acting and I also have to deal how Starlight Glimmer (MLP) still gets little to no consequences despite literally nearly destroying the universe.

    Unikitty! has many episodes have done very unpredictable things during their episodes. You briefly mention a bunch of tropes but you don’t mention why they’re bad. You’re just barely describing things that the show does. One episode has Unikitty hating violence and wanting Hawkodile to be friends with his enemy again but then ending has Unikitty punching the villain and learns how violence can be better than hugs depending on the context. In later episodes, she learns that simply being nice and happy can be the worst decision because people can take advantage of her and others won’t know that she’s angry if she’s hiding all that anger. Also, boiling up you anger of all the things that are bothering you eventually makes that anger explode. Her anger isn’t just used as a comedic joke, it’s useful for her character and the show’s lessons. Cartoons teaching children about the nuances of kindness, violence and anger and how they can be good are very rare to find in cartoons, especially when many kids entertainment teaches kids to be always nice. It’s something many teens and adults don’t learn.

    The show does use Legos (That’s more fun to say than “Lego”) to its advantage. There’s an entire episode where Puppycorn takes body parts out of each of the main cast to make his own new friend. There’s another entire episode dedicated to Master Frown losing his body (It got eaten by a bird) and then proceeding to have his head being stuck to Unikitty’s butt.

    My Little Pony has had an episode teaching kids about this kindness and anger lesson as well (It Ain’t Easy Being Breezies and All Bottled Up) and that episode was amazing. But MLP’s more recent episodes/movies involving villains have been teaching children that its perfectly ok to forgive these mass murderers and not give them any consequences and that its ok to be an evil terrorist when you lost your friends during childhood. And the season 3 finale of Star vs the Forces of Evil was really close to teaching that kind of interesting lesson Unikitty! did with violence but after Eclipsa “kills” Meteora, it turns out that she somehow accidentally turned her back into an innocent baby unharmed. After all the crimes and genocide Meteora has done, she deserves a large amount of punishment. You can’t give second chances like this. Real life doesn’t this way. When someone gets hurt, they get hurt. When someone is killed, they die.

    You recommend us to watch Star vs the Forces of Evil because its fun and yet you failed to notice how it decided to become a more serious and darker (+useless lore and backstory) ever since late season 2. I like the few jokes they do show in season 3 but Star vs is more drama than comedy. You also mention that My Little Pony is doing better than anything Unikitty is doing but its seems like its going the same route as Star vs. My Little Pony hasn’t gotten a massive tone change but its already shown hints in being a darker, serialised show with a bunch of lore/backstory/setup. Over the years, the animation in Star vs the Forces of Evil has degraded over the seasons. The artsyle is still lovely. It started out having fluid and fast movements but after the comedy show became a drama, the animation has lost all of that charm. It looks pretty standard now. You can’t really compare hand drawn animation to flash animation, which is objectively cheaper and easier to use. My Little Pony is flash animated and Unikitty’s animation is on par with that. There are even moments where I forgot that it was flash animated and thought that it was hand drawn because it was just that good.

    Also, you have no evidence on how Unikitty is trying to be “Cool” and hip with the kids. Most cartoons nowadays are going through Cerebus Syndrome (when comedies turn into dark dramas) and that is now a bigger trend. I have not seen them do that once. None of the toys will release months after Unikitty has started airing. My Little Pony mostly exists to sell pony toys and that show is still a good cartoon (outside of all those problems I’ve mentioned before). Marketing is not evil.

    If you’re going to say that a cartoon is bad, please find actual reasons. Good day, sir.

    Reply

  3. SEMIRunner

    March 14, 2018 at 10:00 pm

    Ah, I like it and so do my kids but I grew up in the 80s so maybe that’s why I like the vibe. It’s just silly but smart, too, and what I think they are really good at is they weaving plot lines over multiple episodes (for example Hawkdile’s crush on Dr. Fox). Also the characters are very consistent to who they are intentionally I think, which is part of the joke. And the base messages of each show — at least so far — are actually positive and refreshingly honest on a deeper level, much more than some of the other shows you describe, which we don’t let our kids watch. Sorry you disagree.

    Reply

    • Plink

      April 28, 2018 at 8:12 am

      Finally, a reasonable comment. They’ve been weaving many plot lines. It’s not just Dr Fox and Hawkodile either many episodes are dedicated to teaching Unikitty that simply being nice and happy can be the worst decision and learning the nuances of how anger, cruelty and violence can be the better solution. And she starts to learn how to apply these lessons and then have applying them be there for her to help her friends. The rest main cast have their own arcs as well and the episodes tie in to them as well. Also, show’s fun and fun is something rare to find in many modern cartoons since they want to get darker and more serious (Like Star vs the Forces of Evil)

      Reply

  4. Anthony Zurick

    March 1, 2018 at 9:51 am

    I very very highly disagree, but I respect it.

    Reply

    • psychotrip

      March 1, 2018 at 11:08 am

      If you don’t mind me asking, what exactly do you disagree with? What do you like about the show?

      Reply

      • Lou

        March 25, 2018 at 1:22 am

        It’s fun!! I love the humor in it, and you can never go wrong with Tara Strong! The songs are great, it’s so addictive, and it brings a smile on your face. It’s a welcome change after Teen Titans Go! I think the characters are so cute, and every time I see it I want more!

        Reply

    • Kimberly Davila

      May 9, 2018 at 6:01 pm

      I very very highly agree with you zurick.

      Reply

Show ComicsVerse some Love! Leave a Reply!

Check Also

What Does Catholicism Mean In Marvel’s CLOAK AND DAGGER?

CLOAK AND DAGGER and it’s two lead explore different themes. However, the Catholic faith h…