Bee and Puppycat

Tagged: Film

US animated webseries (2013-current). Frederator Studios. Created by Natasha Allegri. Writers include Natasha Allegri, Madeleine Flores and Frank Gibson. Directors include Larry Leichliter and Tatsuki Yukiwaki. Voice cast include Ashly Burch, Kent Osborne, Allyn Rachel and Alexander James Rodriguez. Eleven approximately seven-minute episodes to date. Colour.

A falling Alien, the aptly named Puppycat, crashes onto Bee (Rachel), who takes him home. Unemployed, Bee helps Puppycat with his occasional temping off-planet (jobs and transportation provided by Tempbot, an AI Computer) such as going to Fishbowl Planet to babysit a sad fish. Here Puppycat sings a fairy tale lullaby, certainly autobiographical, about an ill-fated space outlaw and space princess; the fish then transforms into a Monster saying "I knew it was you" and grabs Puppycat, who is rescued by Bee.

On her birthday, Bee shows Puppycat her "dad box", made by her father ("so I wouldn't be lonely"), which repeats her words in his voice. They then play the Videogames he had made ("kiss the hamster"; "fill up the workplace water cooler"), until they go on a temp job to Cloudworld, itself a videogame planet: Bee confesses this is the first birthday she'd enjoyed since her dad had "gone".

Puppycat imperiously lords it over others (to a ladybird: "Hello Peon, bow to me"); aware that his lovable appearance lacks authority, he desires a leather jacket, eventually settling for one that diminishes his cuteness not one jot.

When not temping Bee meanders childlike through life, hanging about with chef Deckard (Osborne) (a mutual crush is unspoken); his sister, computer programmer and failed wrestler Cass (Burch), remarks that Bee just wants him to mother her (Deckard is clearly putting off going to Cooking Academy for Bee's sake). The trio's landlady is in a coma (and dressed as a princess, significantly recalling Puppycat's fairy tale). Her child, Cardamon (Rodriguez), manages the apartments; he does so efficiently, though his attempts to wake his mother shows he still retains a childlike naivety: one plan involves marrying Puppycat to his dog.

The weaving of backstory is blurred by randomness and oddity ("I'm shoving the crotch ice under the door"), until matters come to a head when Bee accidentally takes Deckard temping inside a doughnut ring planet, with a Black Hole in the centre. When arms pour from the black hole and drag a fellow worker inside, Bee tries to rescue him – and when she withdraws her arm the skin has been torn away, to reveal pistons. Bee is at least partially a Robot – with hindsight, there have been clues since the first episode – but fortunately the Dadbox repairs her arm. Stunned, Deckard decides to enter the Academy.

The Bee and Puppycat pilot was a popular segment of Cartoon Hangover's 2013 "Too Cool!" series of online one-off shorts; a Kickstarter campaign funded a further ten episodes; a new story is planned for 2019. The creator previously worked on Adventure Time (2010-2018) and her show entertainingly shares that series' fondness for whimsy, surrealism (albeit gentler here) and occasional dark elements. [SP]

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