The Hollow is a new animated series from Slap Happy Cartoons, the people who brought you the current Tom and Jerry Show. The Hollow follows three teenagers on their journey home after they wake up in an underground bunker unable to remember who or where they are.
Adam, Mira, and Kai are our three protagonists. All three seem to be around the same age and are wearing casual attire, so it’s assumed they were randomly selected. The series takes them on a discovery of their abilities as they try to figure out how to get home. Adam is strong and athletic despite looking quite average, and he uses his abilities to help the trio escape the bunker. Mira is able to help them through her ability to communicate with animals. Kai doesn’t seem to have any special abilities at first glance.
The animation style is familiar, but it bucks the current trend of cutesy character models with rounded facial features. The way the show approached the character models is reminiscent of Ben 10: Alien Force. Overall the visuals are appealing and fit the mysterious mood the show is aiming for. The music also helps contribute to the ambiance. Each episode begins with a short piano interlude that dials up the creepy factor and ends with a digital track that is best described as Stranger Things-Esque. The incidental music is also fitting. It elevates the show and makes it more than “just for kids.”
While The Hollow aims at a younger demographic, it lacks some of the annoyances that prevent adults from enjoying kids’ shows. There aren’t many bumbling authority figures, cheesy catch-phrases, or one-liners. The show also avoids current pop culture references. In fact, they litter the show with mythological allusions, from the tasks they have to complete to the other characters they interact with. The show incorporates Greek, Norse, Christian, and Japanese myths in some form or fashion.
Another breath of fresh air is the lack of a romantic subplot. With three characters in the typical 2 males to 1 female ratio, it’s natural for them to try to wring a romance out of them. We’ve seen it countless times in various forms of media. I’m not saying that there aren’t flirtatious moments in the show, but it wisely avoids the trappings of “here are some teens, let’s immediately pair them up because that’s the natural order of things.”
As the trio continue their journey, more of the mystery becomes clear. Each episode ends with a cliffhanger that keeps you clicking to the next one. The payoffs at the end of the story leave the viewer with more questions than answers. They also set The Hollow up for a possible second season.
If you’re a fan of Western Animation, over-arching mysteries, and teenage protagonists, then you’ll feel right at home in The Hollow.
The Hollow is currently streaming on Netflix.