Bee and Puppycat, a hidden gem among animation, is a quirky and fun animated series that boasts unique elements that makes it stand out from the rest. Created by Natasha Allegri, Bee and Puppycat shows the life of quirky 22-year-old Bee trying to keep a job and pay her rent on time. Her life is changed when Puppycat appears before her one night.
The show consists of a pilot episode and one season of ten episodes, all available on YouTube, with a second season coming exclusively to VRV, a paid online streaming service. Bee and Puppycat blends elements from modern slice of life comedy and 90’s magical girl anime to create an unique and fun experience.
While the pilot is not officially included in the first season, it is essential to watch it in order to understand the rest of the series. The pilot is about ten minutes long, while the subsequent episodes are around six to ten minutes long. The series so far only takes about an hour and ten minutes to watch, making it a perfect show to quickly binge.
The show takes place on an island where Bee lives in her inexpensive apartment. Bee is a lazy, but sweet person who has a hard time keeping a job, and therefore, has trouble buying necessities and keeping up with rent. While walking home one night, Bee comes across a cat and dog hybrid that she names Puppycat and takes it to her apartment. Puppycat is a magical space temp worker who speaks in robotic gibberish and begins living with Bee. Puppycat allows Bee to tag along with him on temp jobs from other planets in order to make money. This brings a magical element into the episodes.
Next-door to Bee lives Deckard Wizard, a prep cook, his sister Cass, a programmer, and their five brothers. Deckard and Bee’s relationship is the source of the more human plot, as Deckard wants to leave the island to attend Cooking Prince Academy, a cooking school, but does not want to leave Bee alone. This leaves Deckard with the decision of whether to stay and take care of Bee or go pursue his dream and attend Cooking Prince Academy. To his sister, Cass the choice is obvious, she pressures him to attend the school, telling him that it is not good for him to hold his life back to take care of Bee.
Introduced later into the first season, Bee’s other neighbor, Cardamon, is a monotone and serious child, whose mother is the landlord of the apartment building. Due to his mother “sleeping,” Cardamom, an elementary aged child, has unofficially taken over the role as the landlord, taking the residents’ rent, and fixing issues in the apartments. This is introduced as a funny gag, but this fact becomes more somber as more information is shared about Cardamon’s mother.
The characters in Bee and Puppycat truly make the show appealing, while the plot is fun and interesting, the characters make the show worth a watch. All of the characters are lovable and are written realistically. Bee feels like a real young adult jumping from job to job, just trying to get by. She is a little lazy and does not care about what people think of her. Puppycat’s personality is more cynical and pessimistic to contrast his cute appearance and Bee’s optimistic outlook. The rest of the cast each have their own unique personality traits, with Deckard being more reserved and soft spoken and Cass being a little more strict and sassy. The characters sometimes forget their words or go off on tangents, which flesh them out and gives them more dimension.
A stand out aspect of the show is most notably it’s style and animation. The show is gorgeous, with the style being a mix of modern day western cartoons and early 90’s Japanese anime. The character designs are cute and very expressive. The color palettes used throughout the show are unique and help build the tone in each scene. All of this leads to the animation being aesthetically pleasing and unique among other cartoons.
The series tackles a few different plot lines with most episodes being paired up to represent a full story. All these stories are fun and serve to grow the characters and plot, but also hint at more serious themes such as growing up and loss. While most of the series seems like a light hearted comedy, near the end of the first season, the show begins takes on a more mellow tone. The final five minutes of the show is stand out, showing everything the first season has built up and how the characters’ lives are changing. The scenes in these final minutes show massive character depth and serve not only to wrap up the first season, but also to set up the second season.
Sadly, the series as it currently stands is short, and while it offers a good amount of depth in its plot and in its character, it does suffer a little bit due to the lack of time. The first season felt a bit rushed due to it only being an hour long. But in June 2018, it was announced that Bee and Puppycat would receive a second season releasing in 2019, consisting of thirteen twenty two minute long, episodes. The addition of a second season is sure to fix the problems the show has had with its pacing and is sure to expand on the already lovable characters.
Ever since the reveal, Frederator Studios has been giving almost weekly updates on the show, releasing concept art, storyboards, pieces of script, and even clips from the show. From these, it can be inferred that the second season will focus on the characters surrounding Bee, including Puppycat and his past, Deckard and Cass’ siblings, and Cardamon. Recently, they have even confirmed that the script, voice acting, and animatics are finished for all episodes. This means that production on the second season is wrapping up and the release date will soon be revealed.
As a unique show, Bee and Puppycat is a joy to watch. It’s likable characters, mellow story, and great animation leads it to be a hidden gem among online cartoons. Bee and Puppycat takes the common premise of a young adult trying to get by and combines it with supernatural happenings and tropes commonly found in Japanese magical girl anime. The characters have depth and have unique personalities, and the animation is also unique in its aesthetic combination of two styles. There are not many shows like Bee and Puppycat, making it an almost one of a kind show. With the addition of a second season coming in 2019, the show’s pacing issues will surely be fixed. This show is a must watch and deserves praise, as it has sat in relative obscurity since release.