‘Apple & Onion’ Review: An Uplifting Musical Medley of Food and Friendships

     February 23, 2018

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If you’re looking for a very cute animated series with musical moments and super-positive displays of friendship, look no further than Cartoon Network’s new show, Apple & Onion. The series, which arrives tonight on the network and will enjoy a special limited five-week run, hails from creator/artist George Gendi (The Amazing World of GumballSanjay and Craig) and comes from the network’s Emmy-winning development lab, Cartoon Network’s Artist Program. It also features the dulcet tones of Richard Ayoade (The IT Crowd) as the imaginative Onion opposite Gendi’s enthusiastic Apple.

Viewers are introduced to Apple and Onion as they make their way from their small hometowns to the unfamiliar and confusing big city. Though they may stumble (a lot) along the way, they soon find each other and manage to make a lot of friends along the way. Apple & Onion is an upbeat, unstoppably optimistic, and persistently positive show that brings music into the fold right alongside wacky and adventures and foodie-friendships. It’s an uplifting animated series that’s perfect for any age group, so do yourself a favor sit down with your friends or family to check it out tonight at 7pm on Cartoon Network.

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Image via Cartoon Network

Cartoon Network and Gendi’s imagination go together like, well, apple and onion. Primed for sing-alongs, Apple & Onion‘s signature style cues up the occasional bit of music that’s sure to get stuck in your head as you watch each episode. Sometimes the songs are just there to be silly and entertaining, but more often they help to stitch the plot elements together in harmony. It’s a rare show that blends music together with its message in such a way but Apple & Onion does it exceedingly well, neither coming across as preaching a lesson nor veering out of kid-friendly territory like the fan-favorite Flight of the Conchords. It’s delightful.

The designs of both Apple and Onion are childish and simple, which speaks to their innocence as naive newcomers to the big city, and also to the target audience for the show. And the title characters aren’t simply oddities in an otherwise “normal” world; they’re just two members of a species of anthropomorphic food items. The writers and animators are clearly having a blast with all these possibilities, and many of their more imaginative ideas are on display, whether it’s a hot dog street artist, a plastic-wrapped lollypop neighbor, or a musclebound container of whey protein (complete with measuring cup backwards hat, which killed me).

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Image via Cartoon Network

Folded into all this wacky food-based humor and musical interludes are simple little life lessons that have a positive message. Onion may be a little over-anxious at times and Apple often acts before he thinks, but working together, the pair manages to overcome life’s difficulties and new challenges that are sometimes of their own making. What I love most about Apple & Onion is how surprisingly tight the narrative is in these short episodes. While the series could have been a wildly imaginative and colorful fun-fest, Gendi and the writers take time to tie off each story with a satisfying resolution that connects the dots from beginning to end. It’s really well done.

★★★★ Very good

In the meet-cute (meat-cute?) episode “A New Life”, we get to see how the title characters come to be fast friends. Then, in “The Perfect Team”, that new friendship is put to the test when a surprising addition to their home threatens to come between them.You’ll get to see both tonight, back-to-back, in the network premiere at 7pm. Check it out and let us know what you think!

Television