Wake Up, Carlo!

Wake Up, Carlo!

TV-Y

netflix

An incredibly absurd, crassly hilarious, yet kid-friendly animation series from Brazil

7.0

TV Show

Brazil
Portuguese
Action & Adventure, Animation
2023
Gustavo Pereira

TLDR

What a strange, strange show.

What it's about

After falling asleep during a hide and seek game in a forbidden forest, Carlo wakes up 22 years later to find that his monster friends are now working adults. With his carefree spirit, Carlo reminds them of the idyllic island of fun they used to live in.

The take

Bright, chaotic, and surprisingly funny, Wake Up Carlo seems like one of those kid’s shows that could make adults laugh. The show first starts in an idyllic, nature-filled island that feels like a feverish acid trip complete with a talking mountain, but this strange setting gets replaced with rectangular blocky buildings, an influencer-esque dictator, and unethical memory wiping of small joys common people have lost. Through every neon colored frame, Carlo and his friends go through familiar absurdities with the fast paced jibber-jabber, but it still keeps it PG enough that kids could enjoy. While some of the jabs might be too kooky for some viewers, Wake Up Carlo is a reminder for adults to remember childhood’s simplicities, while it pokes fun at the ever complex world we’ve created.

What stands out

While it certainly has the colors and chaos of a children’s cartoon, and the humor certainly isn’t explicit, Wake Up Carlo feels more like an adult animation show. Part of it is the circle-eyed art style and animal-inspired character designs reminiscent of Adult Swim, but most of it is because of the humor. Where the over-the-top chaos might be crazy enough for children to laugh at, the contrast between Carlo and the rest of the world would only fully make sense for people who actually gone through the more mundane versions of what happens, like not being able to pay because of only having large paper bills, or refusing to join overly zealous players in a volleyball match. Wake Up Carlo is totally ridiculous, but it’s the sort of nonsense that adults need to indulge in, at least once in a while.

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