TV Review – Twelve Forever: Season 1

TL;DR – The animation is fantastic, that characters are charming, and the stories really hit home

Score – 4 out of 5 stars

Twelve Forever. Image Credit: Netflix.

Review

For a while now, I have been wondering what show is going to fill that Adventure Time sized hole that is still in my heart. For a long time it was Steven Universe, but with that gearing up for what might be its final movie I was wondering if anything else would come along. Well, I don’t know yet if Twelve Forever will fill that hole, but at the very least it is interesting as all get up.

So to set the scene, it is Reggie’s (Kelsy Abbott) twelveth birthday, but what should be a time of celebration for her is turned into a disaster when her mother Judy (Bridget Everett) uses the time to help her move into the next stage of her life, the one with deodorant, shaving and bras. Reggie does not want to grow up, all of which is put in the spotlight when all her old toys are put into the garage sale. However, all is not lost because her and her best friend Todd (Antony Del Rio) have a secret, they can escape to a magical realm called Endless Island. They decide to hide the old toys by burying them under the ground. The only issue is that on Endless Island what you bury has a habit of coming to life in unexpected ways.

Twelve Forever. Image Credit: Netflix.
They have created characters that you really care for because you understand where they are coming from. Image Credit: Netflix.

Behind its colourful persona and the delightful art style is a show that really has a lot of heart to it as it is dealing with some really important issues. Being 12 can be such a sucky time, you are shipped from one world to the next without much help and I think we all dream of never growing up. The show explores all the different facets of that time, including trying to find your own voice, trying to connect with your family, and moving forward while not forgetting the past. It also deals with those lessons that we learn, like that sometimes teachers do actually know what they are talking about, or how our ideals of a person might not match up to reality, or that if you ignore things you can accidentally create a Butt Witch (Matt Berry) which is something I think we can all relate to.

There are times where it seems like the character design is out of a fever dream as you are introduced from one zany character to the next, to the point that I think it could give that one alien parasite episode from Rick and Morty a run for its money. It is a little intimidating at the start, but once you get to know the characters and what drives them you want to explore more of this weird and wonderful world. I think it helps that the show plays with but never commits to whether Endless Island is real, or just a fantasy world, well at least in the 18 episodes I’ve watched so far. There are hints it could be both, like when Reggie jumped into the world from a bathroom only to walk into a building shaped like a toilet, but then they seem to jump into and out of real space for the other characters. It is the small things like this that really intrigues you into wanting to find out more about the world and the characters like Mack (Steve Agee), Beefhouse (Steve Agee), Dr Champion (Wade Randolph) and more.

Twelve Forever. Image Credit: Netflix.
Endless Island gives the show a really limitless canvas to explore new and interesting stories. Image Credit: Netflix.

While the art style is great and the world is intriguing, what really sets the show apart and makes it a much watch for me is the main characters. You have Reggie or 12 as she is known in Endless Island. She is someone who knows who she is and does not want to change that, no matter the cost. However, change is something that happens whether you want that or not and sometimes change can be for the best, like honey you be super gross at times. There is Todd, who has become almost a de facto parent given that his mother left the family and his brother has gone away to college. This provides a lot of pressure in his life which Endless Island is an escape from. As well as this, there is Esther (Jaylen Barron) who is coming to a new school and trying to make friends with her own pressures both at school and at home. While we might not have all had fantasy islands to escape to, they are all stories and characters that we can immediately relate with and understand. All of this is helped along with some of the best voice acting in the business, for example having Matt Berry play the Butt Witch is something that should not work but it 100% does.

In the end, do we recommend Twelve Forever? Yes, yes we would. The animation is fantastic, that characters are charming, and the stories really hit home. They have created a world that I would like to see them explore more, as the stories they could tell are almost endless.               

By Brian MacNamara: You can follow Brian on Twitter Here, when he’s not chatting about Movies and TV, he’ll be talking about International Relations, or the Solar System.

Have you seen Twelve Forever yet ?, let us know what you thought in the comments below, feel free to share this review on any of the social medias and you can follow us Here. Check out all our past reviews and articles Here, and have a happy day.    


Credits –
All images were created by the cast, crew, and production companies of Twelve Forever
Directed by
– Annisa Adjani, John Mathot, Nick Sumida & Ed Tadem  
Written by – Kelsy Abbott, Tony Infante, Richard Lee, Spencer Rothbell, Julia Vickerman, Laura Zak
Created by – Julia Vickerman
Production/Distribution Companies – Cartel Pictures, Netflix & Puny Entertainment
Starring – Kelsy Abbott, Antony Del Rio, Jaylen Barron, Matt Berry, Steve Agee, Wade Randolph, Laura Zak, Bridget Everett, Spencer Rothbell, Nick Sumida, Brandon Wardell, Brandon Wardell, Daniel Amerman & Sam Brown with Noel Fielding, Kate Freund, John Eric Bentley, Ron Funches, Brittney Ashley, Amy Sedaris, Maximus Riegel, Stephanie Beatriz, Chris Fleming, Ashley Boettcher, Curt Neill & Paul Williams
Episodes CoveredBirthday Forever, The Butt Witch Forever, Esther Forever, Guy Pleasant Forever, Endless Forever, Dustin Forever, Mack and Beefhouse Forever, The Mall Forever, School Forever, Secrets Forever, Manguin Forever, Fancy Forever, The Locals Forever, Reggie’s Dad Forever, Babysitting Forever, Not Twelve Forever & Locked Out Forever                               

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