The first “Cuphead Show” trailer is here and it is positively overflowing with old school animation techniques, allusions to classic cartoons, and the kind of irreverent fun that made the “Cuphead” video game such a sensation.
Originally released in 2017, “Cuphead” is a fast-paced shoot ‘em up that draws heavily from the animated shorts and features from yesteryear. While the new Netflix show doesn’t have quite the same fidelity to the past (the video game had hand-painted cels, while this new show uses newer technology), it certainly captures the spirit in the same way. The trailer for “The Cuphead Show” calls to mind Fleischer Studios productions and the early work of Walt Disney (there are references to “The Skeleton Dance” and “Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs”), with an emphasis on rubber hose-style animation and vaudevillian sight gags.
As far as a story for the new series goes, Netflix’s official release states that “The Cuphead Show” follows “the unique misadventures of loveable, impulsive scamp Cuphead and his cautious but easily swayed brother Mugman. As the two scour their surreal homeworld of the Inkwell Isles in search of fun and adventure, they always have each other’s back.” If you’ve played the game or even know of it, then you can understand just how surreal their adventures can get. The Devil himself is a major character (voiced in the show by Luke Millington-Drake). Other voice performers include Tru Valentino (Cuphead), Frank Todaro (Mugman), Joe Hanna (Elder Kettle) and Wayne Brady (King Dice).
Behind the scenes, “The Cuphead Show” boasts a large array of talent. Original “Cuphead” creators Chad and Jared Moldenhauer will serve as executive producers, alongside animation vets Dave Wasson (who won an Emmy and Annie for his work on Disney’s “Mickey Mouse Shorts”) and co-executive produced by Cosmo Segurson (“Rocko’s Modern Life: Static Cling”). Animation is being handled by Mercury Filmworks’ Lighthouse Studios. The inaugural season will be comprised of twelve episodes (each lasting twelve minutes).
“The Cuphead Show” debuts on Netflix Feb. 18.