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Western Animation / Centaurworld

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"You made it to Centaurworld / Join our herd of centaur boys and centaur girls!"note 
Hey, new friend
I'm glad you made it
Hey, new friend
As long as you are with us, you are home
It really sounds like where you're from is overrated
But now that you're here, we're never going to leave you alone
(Because we have no sense of boundaries!)

Centaurworld is a Netflix-exclusive animated musical-comedy-adventure series created by Megan Nicole Dong (a former storyboard artist and director on Pinky Malinky).

The series follows the story of a hardened warhorse known only as "Horse", who grew up in a war-torn wasteland as the loyal companion of her rider (known only as "Rider"). Horse, Rider and their allies are constantly fighting off a violent army of monsters, and they go on a mission to retrieve a strange amulet that Rider says could be the key to their victory.

When attempting to reach their allies, Horse and Rider are attacked. In the scuffle, the amulet starts to glow. Horse then wakes up stranded in a bright, colorful, happy land inhabited by silly, singing centaurs of every shape and size known as Centaurworld. With a group of these magical beings by her side, Horse must find her way back to her best friend in a song-fueled voyage that will test her far more than any battle she's ever fought.

Centaurworld was released on July 30, 2021. The first episode, "Hello Rainbow Road", was released a few days early on YouTube as a preview for the series. The second and final season premiered on December 7th, 2021.

Trailer. Season 2 Trailer.

This work contains examples of:

  • Aerith and Bob: Most names in Centaurworld are quite silly (such as Wammawink and Durpleton), highlighted when Horse creates the "Horsatia Wighair Beansz?" alias for herself and it actually works. However, some centaurs with normal names exist, such as Durpleton's father Tony (his mother's name is the sillier Gurple) or the shaman Johnny Teatime. Comfortable Doug also has a human name, but it's nullified by the fact the "Comfortable" descriptor is part of his proper name. Then there are names that almost sound like human names, like Ched and Jeffica.
  • Arc Words: "You're okay, you're alright," or some variation thereof. First used in "Rider's Lullaby", the line is repeated several times through the series as either a straight reprise or as a lyric in another song altogether.
  • Always Chaotic Evil: Ultimately subverted with the Minotaurs. They initially appear to be single-minded monsters, but when one falls into Centaurworld at the end of Season 1, he is revealed to be capable of complex thought and eventually naturalizes to Centaurworld. When the heroes encounter the Minotaurs again, he explains that the Minotaurs have no free will of their own and are psychically controlled by the Nowhere King. The epilogue shows that more Minotaurs have been rehabilitated by moving them to Centaurworld.
  • Animesque:
    • Horse and Rider's world is drawn in this style, and Rider's design in particular makes her look like she's from a medieval fantasy anime rather than an American cartoon.
    • The Centaurs are drawn in a very cartoony Thin-Line Animation style, but they'll sometimes Art Shift their faces into an anime style as a visual gag. Wammawink is especially prone to doing this.
    • One of the Horsetaurs is monochrome and grainy like an old cartoon. The Duchess mentions this is apparently an in-universe disease called "grayscale".
  • The Archmage: Although all Centaurs seem to be able to use magic to some extent, the Shamans are considered the most powerful mages on Centaurworld by a large margin.
  • Art Shift: While the world Horse comes from is depicted in a detailed Animesque style, Centaurworld is in a more cartoony Thin-Line Animation style. Horse herself looks more Disneyesque than the rest of the cast, though after Episode 7, her design changes to match the cartoony style of Centaurworld due to how its magic is affecting her.
  • Big Bad: The Nowhere King, an ancient, slimy Eldritch Abomination that seeks to conquer/destroy both the human world and Centaurworld. Season 2 reveals an additional Big Bad: The General, who is actually the other half of the Nowhere King. He drove the Nowhere King into his current spiteful, violent state just to prevent him from jeopardizing his relationship with the Woman, and actively sabotages his own troops because he knows killing the Nowhere King will kill him as well.
  • Big Damn Heroes: Zig zagged before being ultimately subverted. It looks like the Herd is going to pull this off during the Rift, even singing a collective one-chorus reprise of the first song they sang to Horse, but while they manage to hold off the Nowhere King from entering Centaurworld, they eventually get overwhelmed and fail to rescue Rider and Horse. Then the Woman, inspired by Wammawink's selflessness, gets a shot at a BDH moment, only to refuse to kill the Nowhere King when she remembers who he used to be. Finally, Rider and Horse grab the key/spear and seemingly kill the Nowhere King and save everyone, only for the Woman to reveal they didn't actually kill him and only managed to empower him with more hatred for both worlds.
  • Black Comedy Burst: As a series that blends both darkness and light-heartedness it's no stranger to dipping its toes into really black comedy.
    • The centaurs are able to shoot tiny versions of themselves from their hooves. These tiny versions are fully independent people and are completely horrified at being thrust into existence, always immediately fleeing while screaming in terror. Of course, this doesn't stop the centaurs from continuing to use this power constantly just for kicks.
    • In the final episode, when the herd discusses the serious morality of a Guilt-Free Extermination War against the Minotaurs, Stabby cheerfully mentions how many of the Minotaurs killed each other by friendly fire... and demonstrates by accidentally killing one while gesticulating. Only then does realization hit and he remarks, "I have unquantifiable corpses on my conscience."
  • Bloodless Carnage: Even in the human world, nobody bleeds. This is most evident in the final episode, when Rider doesn't bleed even after being run through with a sword.
  • Book Ends:
    • The first season begins and ends with Rider and Horse being separated; it's just that the second time, it's on their own terms.
    • During the final song of episode 1 "Hello Rainbow Road" we see most of the herd lined up on one side of Horse as magical energy passes through each of them, but stops at the magicless Horse, before Wammawink reluctantly joins the group by standing on the other side and casting the failed spell. In the penultimate episode they line up in the exact same way as they sing the same line, this time with Horse having the magic ability needed for the energy to travel through her too and the spell to succeed.
    • During the backstory scene in episode 4 we see Wammawink as a child, shortly after her village was destroyed with her helpless to save them, shortly before the final fight, Wammawink's body language is nearly identical to the scene, and in the final episode she is able to use her magic to protect her herd.
    • The first episode ends with "Hello Rainbow Road" as Horse convinces the Herd to set out on their adventure, with Wammawink nervously breaking the barrier and fearing for the future and Horse tearing off ahead with the others following. The final song of the series, "The Next Thing", is a medley of various songs, but starts and ends with Hello Rainbow Road's melody and once again has the Herd set out from the Valley - this time though, Wammawink and Horse together dispel the barrier with confidence in their expressions and Horse keeps a perfect pace with the others to represent her closeness to them.
  • Breaking the Fourth Wall:
    • When Durpleton says that they're all nude in the second episode, he makes an Aside Glance at the viewers as a Scare Chord plays.
    • Zulius' Hot Goss magic allows him to freeze time and break the fourth wall to deliver exposition to the audience.
    • During the end credits for the final episode, Comfortable Doug addresses the audience in voiceover, thanking them for watching the entire series and even singing a portion of his signature song. He also comments on how very few people actually watch the credits.
  • Breakout Character: Comfortable Doug, who even gets the last word (see above).
  • A Dog Named "Dog": The horse is named Horse, and her rider is named Rider. This applies for most of, if not every character, with connections to the Human World.
  • Call-Forward: The flashback of the Woman and the General singing their wedding song involves him saying he'll always forgive her, and her saying that love is a spark.
  • Can't Live Without You: See Synchronization, below.
  • Cats Are Mean: The Cattaurs sound a little too gleeful singing "The Nowhere King".
  • Central Theme:
    • Dependence. Depending on others to achieve your goals and letting yourself be depended on to help them as well.
    • Becoming comfortable with oneself and one's surroundings.
  • Change the Uncomfortable Subject: Every time the Whale Shaman's song gets close to actually mentioning suicide, she chuckles nervously and swiftly switches topics.
    • The "Welcome to Centaurworld" number has this at one point when Centaurworld's own previous conflict with the minotaurs is mentioned, only for everyone else to immediately point out that they agreed not to talk about it.
  • Chekhov's Gag: Early episodes of Season 1 show that Glendale breathes in a bag when she is stressed out. In Season 2, she has a whole number called "Breathe in a Bag", where she teaches this technique to the anxious and afraid Coldtaurs, which helps them join the army.
  • Collector of the Strange: Glendale has shades of this, more or less anything is fair game for becoming part of her hoard of stolen items including: giant statues of both centaurs and humans (despite the human statue being stolen when the worlds were separated and she had never seen a real human), weapons, the top of an ice mountain, other centaurs, a boat that she's reflagged, and a helicopter.
    • Beartaur's wanting to cover Horse with varnish for his figure collection counts as this; arguably his "miniatures" (on his scale, but life-size for everyone else) could be qualify as this within universe as his diorama is of a conflict that happened not only within living memory, but also walking distance.
  • Conflict Ball: During the finale, Horse tries to convince Rider of what she's learned about the Nowhere King, and that killing the General would stop the war for good. Rider refuses to believe this, and refuses to believe Horse could possibly know what she was talking about because "[she's] just a horse." This is in complete contradiction with how Rider has treated Horse previously, with her accepting Horse's sentience immediately, treating her like a sister, and trusting her unflinchingly. By contrast, she's only actually met the General in person recently, and her only other episode with him has her outright defying his orders. This results in more tension as Horse is left to carry out her plan alone and Rider gets stabbed by the General.
  • The Corruption: The elk begins using the key for an evil purpose to create a Minotaur army. Each time he does he loses a piece himself, eventually becoming the Nowhere King.
  • Crapsaccharine World: Centaurworld is a bright and happy land full of absurdly cute, cartoony centaurs who love to sing, dance and have fun all the time, but it soon becomes apparent that Centaurworld has cracks in its seemingly idyllic facade. It turns out that not only did a Great Offscreen War happen somewhere, but there is also evidence of large-scale destruction (Wammawink's old village), certain groups have some kind of collective trauma that they try to mask (the Cattaurs), and centaurs attempting suicide is a common enough occurrence that a Merdude built a theme park near the area it happens in order to provide centaurs an escape from their troubles. On top of all that, the people of Centaurworld apparently live in fear of a terrifying Eldritch Abomination, with some of the other centaurs even singing songs about it in order to warn the cast.
  • Credits Medley: Almost every episode ends with an instrumental version of the last 60 seconds (roughly) of the second song, "Centaurworld" (the show's de facto theme song), and then an instrumental of "Making Friendships—BOATS!"
  • Dark Reprise:
    • Horse's second version of "Who Is She?" is mixing the first and "Hello Rainbow Road" to create a song where she tries to commit suicide.
    • An even darker reprise of "The Nowhere King" is sung by the Woman before she kills the Nowhere King, with the same melody but different lyrics.
    • Played straight in the events as we see them, but inverted for the world's timeline are "Where Does Food Come From?" and "He Never Said Anything Nice", of all songs with both melodies tying into Durpleton's abandonment by his parents. Which is the reprise depends on whose perspective you take since the reprises are in later episodes, but also take place inside a memory.
  • Deathly Dies Irae: During the reprise of "Who Is She?", during which Horse contemplates and ultimately attempts suicide by whaletaur, the music includes a soft piano repetition of the first four notes of Dies Irae.
  • Deliberately Monochrome: Malandrew is conspicuously monochrome compared to the other pastel-colored denizens of Centaurworld, with his body flickering slightly in a manner reminiscent of 19th century animation — all to accentuate how utterly creepy he is.
  • Deranged Animation: To make Centaurworld and its denizens stand out more compared to the human world and to emphasize how Horse doesn't belong, everyone and everything follows a more cartoony design philosophy compared to Horse's more realistic one. This applies to Horse as well after undergoing Centaurworld's Fisher King Toon Transformation.
  • Dismantled MacGuffin: The horseshoe amulet is one of six parts to the key that unlocks the portal between Earth and Centaurworld. The other five are safeguarded by Centaurworld's five shamans.
  • Disney Death: Rider seemingly dies in the final episode after being stabbed by the General. However, she is shown to have recovered in the epilogue.
  • Disney Villain Death: Subverted. The General is initially pushed off a cliff, but the Woman then climbs down into the ravine to find they were Not Quite Dead, and stabs them to finish the job.
  • Does This Remind You of Anything?: Glendale's "portal tummy" is occasionally used for pregnancy gags or possibly lampshaded toilet humor; a few fans have likened her kleptomania to pica.
    • Horse's reaction to her transformation and the Elktaur as a whole have been likened to body dysmorphic disorder.
  • Domed Hometown: The valley Horse arrives in upon entering Centaurworld is covered with a dome that can't be exited without magic.
  • Eldritch Location: For all its candy-colored splendor and ostensibly child-friendly silliness, Centaurworld is a bizarre place. Absolutely anything in it can be a centaur, up to and including the place's geological features. Furthermore, its magic seems to grant animals that enter it human-level intelligence as they slowly transform into creatures akin to the centaurs that inhabit it over time.
  • Establishing Series Moment: "Centaurworld" the song tells you all you need to know about the show; that while it's goofy and bright, it also has darker undertones that the singers are trying to ignore.
  • Existential Horror: The centaurs all appear to have the ability to shoot little versions of themselves out of their hooves. All tiny versions suffer the horror of existing and question their purpose while running around, screaming. Word of God is that they all have memories of being the original centaur, meaning from their perspective choosing to create clones suddenly made them a clone. Some are seen possibly committing suicide by jumping off of cliffs. This is Played for Laughs. A decidedly non-comedic version of this is the Nowhere King's backstory, with his self seperated into two sapient entities with only one getting a life of privilege and the other stuck as an animal.
  • Extra-Long Episode: The last episode clocks in at 73 minutes when previous episodes were in the 20-30 minutes ballpark.
  • Evil All Along: The General is revealed to be the human half of the Nowhere King, who was once an Elktaur. He is the one who provoked the Nowhere King to start his war, first by attempting to kill him and, upon realizing killing one half kills the other, locking him in a dungeon for 10 years. He now sabotages his own war efforts, since he knows that killing the Nowhere King will kill him too, even though that's the only way to end the war.
  • Fastball Special: A variant, in the first episode, Horse bucks Rider off forwards to send her flying towards a group of enemies. This is an intentional combat maneuver they have trained, as is proven beyond all doubt when they do it again with discussion in the season finale to fight The Nowhere King.
  • Fisher Kingdom: When Horse first arrives in Centaurworld she's surprised to discover she can suddenly talk and spell. Shortly after she expresses brief anxiousness at also being able to gesture with her hooves. As seen in Episode 5, the longer Horse stays in Centaurworld, the more silly and cartoony-looking she gets. Word of God is that characters don't change their appearance based on how long they stay in Centaurworld, but how they let the world change them.
  • Foil: Wammawink's song "Fragile Things" is meant to drive home the stark difference between hers and Horse's viewpoint on how to run the herd and go through life in general. On one hand, Wammawink sees herself and her friends as "small and fragile", believes they are completely helpless, and insists they stay close so she alone can protect them. On the other hand, we have Horse. By contrast, she is unafraid to face danger, sees potential in the herd to be independent and fearless as herself, and believes they can get through whatever perils lie ahead.
  • Freeze-Frame Bonus:
    • In the Season 2 trailer during the scene where Rider is riding her new horse you can see someone running across the treetops in the background.
    • Glendale's stealing habits get the better of her even if she's not the focus of the scene. If you're quick enough with the pause button, you can catch the moment she steals the Key from the Woman.
  • Freudian Excuse: A non-villainous example with the centaurs. When she suspects that Wammawink's herd isn't entirely happy with their same old routine, Horse figures out why they are obnoxiously fun-loving and cartoony. Sure, they may have magic at their convenience, and they get to do fun and wacky things with it all the time. But then Horse catches on: they sing songs and use their magic for crazy shenanigans because it's to make up for how they never leave the valley and therefore, their lives get boring quite easily.
  • Frothy Mugs of Water: Glendale's "toilet raisin punch," which comes in a plastic bag and is very obviously prison wine.
  • Genre-Busting: There are two different dimensions in the series with wildly different tones, thus combining action and adventure with comedy and drama. The centaur lore also makes it a fantasy series. Oh, and it's a musical.
  • Genre Mashup: The show's premise is very much this, with characters from your typical Low Fantasy action/adventure cartoon colliding headfirst with those from a more lighthearted and colorful Surreal Humour series. Both genres are played with sufficient sincerity and part of the show's humor comes from the strange mixture of the two, as the Earth characters have little idea how to respond to the goofy insanity of Centaurworld, and the Centaurworld characters have some trouble fully grasping the dangers of Earth.
  • Godiva Hair: All the female centaurs cover their breasts with fur (or tube tops), while all the male centaurs are bare-chested.
  • Gory Discretion Shot: The screen cuts to black just before the Woman kills the Nowhere King.
  • Great Offscreen War: Multiple episodes mention that Centaurworld went through a major and devastating war a few decades ago — several characters let slip that their goofy and cheerful personalities are a way to cope with the horrors they experienced, and a flashback shows that Wammawink was orphaned when her village was destroyed — but it's not explained precisely what happened there beyond the revelation that it involved the same monsters now attacking the human world.
  • Guilt-Free Extermination War: Subverted with the Minotaurs. In the final episode, Rider tells the herd to massacre the entire Minotaur army, but the herd is uncomfortable and refuses, citing the fact that Stabby was once a Minotaur but is clearly sapient. They ultimately choose to transport the Minotaurs to Centaurworld where they can be rehabilitated, though they do still have to fight some once the Nowhere King wakes up.
  • Hard Truth Aesop: Self-hatred doesn't just affect you, but the people around you. Let it consume you and you end up hurting those who love you. The Nowhere King's self-hatred was so bad his actions ended up causing two worlds to suffer and he ended up dragging down the woman he loved.
  • The Horde: The warriors who attacked Horse and Rider in the first episode look like rabid monsters clad in armor and attack with the brutality and bloodlust expected from such enemies.
  • Hyperventilation Bag: Glendale does this for her anxiety, and even has a whole musical number about it!
  • Hypocritical Humor:
    • In "The Key", Ched dismisses the concept of Rider riding on Horse's back as "dumb"... And he says this as he's riding on top of Durpleton's head.
    • Spoofed in "Horsatia Wighair Beansz?", where Zulius describes the Horsetaurs as incredibly self-absorbed and full of themselves... and quickly clarifies, "But not in an endearing way," like him.
    • Horse reacts to Durpleton's musical number "Where Does Food Come From?" with bafflement that he and the rest of the herd are so sheltered that they can't feed themselves without Wammawink making their food for them with her magic... Then in the middle of trying to explain, she realizes Rider always supplied her with food, so she doesn't know how to get it on her own either.
  • I Love the Dead: In the epilogue of the series finale "The Last Lullaby," Ched has hooked up with the skeletal remains of a human named Gary, and the two of them even have a child on the way.
  • In the Back:
    • At the end of the first season, Rider stabs a Minotaur in the back to save the herd. This proceeds to become a Running Gag, as the Minotaur is revealed to be Not Quite Dead; throughout Season 2, characters repeatedly retrieve the knife from his back and then use him as a sheath by stabbing him with it again. After his Toon Transformation, he becomes able to do this on his own with seemingly no consequences.
    • In the series finale, the General stabs Rider from behind to prevent her from killing the Nowhere King.
  • Innocently Insensitive: The Herd's response to Horse transforming into something more in line of Centaurworld. While they treat this as a positive thing and support her however they can, Horse equates the transformation to having a Loss of Identity.
  • Karma Houdini: In most children's shows you would expect Glendale's kleptomania to result in some form of consequences at least once before the end of the series, it never happens. The closest she comes is wanted posters of her being visible throughout the underground in episode 14 resulting in the arrest of an Identical Stranger.
  • Leaning on the Fourth Wall: The entire episode with the Birdtaurs ("All Herd All The Terd") is this. They all criticize, praise or ask questions of the cast as if they were watching the show, which to them, they were. One of the birds is even called Mouthpiece.
  • Leitmotif: The instrumentals for "Making Frienships—BOATS!" is used to emphasize the herd doing something particularly zany or poorly thought out.
  • Logo Joke: Wammawink skips through a White Void Room and meets up with Horse, who stands under the titles, and gives her a hug to her discomfort.
  • Lyrical Dissonance:
    • "The Nowhere King" is sung in a major key and in the style of a gentle lullaby, despite its lyrics being extremely sinister.
      "You will bring / Joy to the Nowhere King / When he sees the light leaving your eyes."
    • "It's Hidin' Time" is a bouncy bluegrass-style song which is really a warning about the Beartaur and how everyone needs to hide from him so he doesn't eat people.
    • "Welcome to the Bay" is a cheery ukulele song about helping people to commit suicide while desperately avoiding that word.
  • Meaningful Background Event: During the mysterious Woman's Villain Song, she briefly pulls Glendale close to her with her magic. If you look closely as Glendale is flung away, you can see her steal the key back from the Woman.
  • Me's a Crowd: One of the many magic powers the centaurs share is the ability to summon tiny versions of themselves from their hooves. The clones are fully independent, and prone to having an existential crisis and running away in a panic.
  • Mood Whiplash: Part of the appeal of the show is how it can swing wildly between hilarious, heartbreaking and horrifiying all in the same episode sometimes even in the same scene and have it all remain congruous.
  • Musical Episode: Inverted, all of the episodes of the series feature multiple musical numbers, with episode 16 standing out as the only one with no songs at all.
  • Musical World Hypotheses: Musical numbers are very common in Centaurworld, and explicitly happen in-universe. They do not happen in Horse's home dimension, and she is very freaked out when the centaurs burst into choreographed song at the drop of a hat. She later uses one herself to convince them to help her get back home, to her own chagrin — and her first attempt is horribly off-key, since she has no experience singing. One of the centaurs suggests that she run some scales first.
  • Noodle Incident: Horse develops backstory magic and is able to see how each of her herd met up. Except for Zulius, who tries to get her to see his backstory but she doesn't. He begins telling them about an alley, a top hat, and "pearls for days" before the episode ends.
  • No Name Given: As a deliberate narrative choice, many important character's actual names are never mentioned and they're only ever referred to by various monikers.
  • No Theme Tune: In a rarity, the show has no theme song whatsoever, just a short title sequence ("in Centaurworld"), which is a brief reprise of the song from the first episode.
  • The Noseless: Most centaurs aren't drawn with noses (unless they suddenly have them as part of a visual gag) which fits with Centaurworld's cartoony aesthetic, as opposed to Horse and Rider's more detailed world. Even the Elktaur, who otherwise has a more realistic Non-Standard Character Design, lacks it.
  • Offscreen Moment of Awesome: In Episode 1, Rider is last seen face down at the edge of a cliff, sword still in scabbard, with countless enemies bearing down on her and cutting off her only line of retreat, including one in the process of swinging their weapon at her back. Towards the end she shows up again, apparently having survived that encounter without obvious injury. However she did that, it was definitely awesome.
  • Our Centaurs Are Different:
    • Centaurs are the natives of Centaurworld, a parallel dimension, and have the bodies of multiple kinds of animals; the first ones introduced have the bodies of various ungulates, but other centaurs have the bodies of every animal in existence, including bird centaurs (which fly by flapping their arms), insect centaurs, and even non-animal centaurs - the vegetation themselves are centaurs as well. In general, no normal wildlife actually exists — every organism in Centaurworld is a centaur. Their humanoid bodies typically include parts of their associated animals, such as zebra ears or giraffe necks. On top of that, they know magic and can use it for silly means. There are also "Taurnadoes", tornadoes with funnels arranged like four legs, a body, and a neck.
    • Interestingly, whereas in most fiction the word "centaur" is reserved for beings that have at the very least six limbs (two arms and four legs), in this show the term appears to broadly encompass adding horse or human characteristics to other things, regardless of number of limbs. Ched has two legs and two human arms he flaps like wings, the Taurnado takes on a horse-like shape sans head, and of course there's all the merfolk (see below).
    • A common feature they all seem to share is the absence of a nose or nostrils or any kind, as seen in the more realistically rendered Elktaur and Minotaurs with centaur components.
  • Our Mermaids Are Different: They're just another type of centaur, being specifically the ones with aquatic animal parts. Wammawink thinks that they resemble traditional mermaids, with glossy chest hair, rippling neck gills, and the males laying giant scaled eggs (but sexily). She's disappointed by the reality when she meets Sunfish Merguy (who's really just an ocean sunfish with a human face and arms and a patch of human skin, complete with liver spots and hairs), but still finds herself attracted to him. A large number of more traditional ones are later seen with the lower bodies of fish and shrimp, and the last shaman herself is a colossal Whaletaur.
  • Our Minotaurs Are Different: The forces of the Nowhere King, waging war against both the Human World and Centaurworld are made out of armoured Minotaurs. Season 2 reveals that the race was created by the Nowhere King fusing humans with various non-sapient animals using the power of The Artifact. Like centaurs, the term here is far broader than used normally, since Minotaurs extend beyond bulls to virtually all kinds of anthropomorphic animals; the one we first see without a helmet, for example, is a Lizard Folk.
  • Paper-Thin Disguise: Glendale is a wanted criminal in the underground land of the Moletaurs, and adopts an extremely flimsy disguise: glasses, a moustache, speaking in Spanish, and claiming to be someone else named West Covina.Subverted: that actually is someone else, who merely resembles Glendale, who was in hiding elsewhere in all but one of the scenes in which the Spanish speaker appears. West is arrested, as the Moletaurs think she's Glendale.
  • The Place: The show is named after Centaurworld, one of the two primary worlds where the story is set.
  • Portal Statue Pairs: The Rift portal connecting the human world and Centaurworld is flanked by two statues of human women on the centaur side. (On the human side, it's flanked by statues of two centaur women.)
  • Quarreling Song: The song "Fragile Things" in Episode 2 begins with Wammawink singing that she has to protect her herd, but Horse argues that they can protect themselves. The song turns into an argument about what's best for the herd and which of them should be the leader.
  • Reprise Medley: Season 2 opens up with Horse singing a song to recruit the people they've met through Season 1, when they reply, they use their own songs to push back, like the Tree Shamans singing about the time Horse and Ched kicked and stole the key from them to the tune of "What You Want".
  • Rewatch Bonus:
    • The General knowing what the Artifact is, telling Rider that they need to go on the defensive, and immediately believing her when she talks about Centaurworld takes on a whole different light when knowing that he is part of the Nowhere King, their lives are linked, and he's the reason Centaurworld and the Human World are separated in the first place.
    • The lyrics to "Nothing Good" suddenly make a lot more sense and become a lot more significant after The Reveal of the Nowhere King's backstory and why the two worlds were separated.
  • Rocky Roll Call: Our introduction of Splendib and the Glitter Cats comes via Zulius, Splendib, the Glitter Cats glaring, thinking about their history before Durpleton chimes in with his own name.
  • Shout-Out:
    • Johnny Teatime's Be Best Competition: A Quest for the Sash makes a couple of musical theater references. Cat Valley is overall just one huge reference to Cats, their opening song even sounds an awful lot like "The Jellicle Ball". And during "We Do This Everyday" in a Freeze-Frame Bonus it, moment there's a couple of parodies of the posters for A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum and Hamilton.
    • One of the Cattaurs competing in Johnny Teatime's Be Best Competition plays a keyboard in reference to the Keyboard Cat meme, Zulius Leaning on the Fourth Wall by mocking her for thinking she's relevent.
    • After mentioning "Friends" in a specific song, we get a freeze-frame shot of "Centaurworld" written in the style of Friends complete with the jingle of the show.
    • Another song mentions leaving offerings to "Trebbor," who looks suspiciously like Cthulhu.
    • In "The Rift: Part 2", Ched suggests he fly around the world backwards to reverse time, a reference to Superman: The Movie.
    • Malandrew's appearance and creepy mannerisms make him closely resemble Damien Thorn from The Omen.
    • Season 2 introduces a centaur who looks exactly like Glendale in a bad disguise, named West Covina, which is the setting for the musical show Crazy Ex-Girlfriend.
      • It also helps that Parvesh Cheena, Lea Salonga, and Donna Lynne Champlin (the respective voice actors for Zulius, the Woman, and the Prairiedogtaur) all previously played characters on Crazy Ex-Girlfriend (Sunil, Aunt Myrna, and Paula Proctor, respectively).
    • When Comfortable Doug tells an imprisoned Waterbaby that she needs to make her accidental slaying of one of the two Minotaurs guarding her a double-homicide, he says the Law & Order "dun dun" sound effect out loud.
    • Durpleton's childhood home is a manor walking around on four mechanical legs, not unlike a certain moving castle.
  • Shown Their Work:
    • Glendale the gerenuk centaur often stands upright on her hind legs to use her stomach portal. Gerenuks are actually known to stand bipedally in order to reach higher branches and are fairly unique among antelopes in this regard.
    • Sean the sea anemone centaur has his anemone-half on top of an upside-down humanoid torso, subtly referencing how a sea anemone's mouth is the same hole as its anus.
    • Artiodactyls are usually depicted with no upper incisors at all, which is true since they usually lack those. In the few instances, they are rather simplified compared to the lower teeth (see Wammawink's signature smile), implying they might be toothless pads.
  • Silent Credits: Episode 9's credits (The Rift: Part 1) are mostly silent with ominous ambient sound referencing the last thing we see before the episode ends. Episode 10's credits (The Rift: Part 2) start the same way from a similarly dark ending, but because the episode ends overall on a hopeful note, the second half of the credits switch away from the creepy ambiance back to an instrumental of "Making Friendships—BOATS!"
    • In Season 2, there are other episodes that end with silent credits. Episode 6 (The Ballad of Becky Apples) uses the same ominous ambient sound from The Rift: Part 1, because it ends with a shot of the Nowhere King. Episode 7 (The Hootenanny) is completely silent, since Horse has just jumped into the Nowhere King's mind, a cliffhanger leading to the finale. Episode 8 (The Last Lullaby) doesn't play the normal music, but it's not silent, either...
  • Sinister Suffocation: When the Elktaur's elk half is trying to reason with his human half of the mistake he made separating them into two different beings, his human half attempts to drown him in a nearby lake. Unfortunately, due to them being linked, his human half cannot kill him or they both will die.
  • Sliding Scale of Idealism vs. Cynicism: Even though most of the story takes place in a colorful, vibrant, and silly world, the series actually may not be as idealistic as you think. Despite its happy nature, the story focuses on some dark and heavy themes, like war, self-hatred, cruel upbringings, and suicidal ideation. It gets especially horrific when we see the backstory of the Elktaur/The Nowhere King. Thankfully, the likable characters, heartwarming moments, and insightful messages help prevent this series from leaning too far on the cynical end. Overall, the series lies somewhere in the middle, tilting just a little further on the idealistic side.
  • Surprisingly Realistic Outcome:
    • In the Season 2 trailer Horse finds out that, because Horse is staying in Centaurworld, Rider needed to get a substitute steed to do her job in the human world.
    • In the Season 1 Recap Song, it's shown that Horse is having a difficult time rallying up an army, in part because these are a people who never fought a war, and in part because of Horse's less than tactful ways of obtaining the Key pieces. The Tree Shamans even point out that they won't help because Horse and Ched kicked the Big Tree over, stole their part of the Key, and ran.
  • Stolen MacGuffin Reveal: Glendale steals the Key back from the Woman during a musical number.
  • Synchronization: The General and The Elk/The Nowhere King are part of the same being, the Elktaur. Killing one kills the other by the same method, as shown by how the General couldn't drown the Elk without also drowning himself.
  • Talking Animal: All the residents of Centaurworld are sapient, centaur hybrids of normal animals.
  • That Reminds Me of a Song: Can be said from time to time whenever a song number is about to occur.
  • There Are No Therapists: A recurring theme is the people of Centaurworld trying to deal with the past traumas of the war the ravaged their land in the past, with varying results due to this trope. The Cataurs put on performances and compete to ignore it, the moletaurs are fiercely isolationist, and the Whaletaur shaman devours the suicidal while Sunfish Merguy tries to distract people from her and their pain with an amusement park.
  • Trade Snark: The first episode of Season 2 introduces the Horsetaurs, rich elitist snobs that successfully sued to trademark the term "centaur" to solely refer themselves. They're derisively known as centaurs™ because of this.
  • Trapped in Another World: Horse becomes stranded in Centaurworld, a dimension parallel to her birth one, when the horseshoe amulet activates as she's hanging off a cliff.
  • Tunnel King: Naturally all burrowing taurs, collectively known as "Holetaurs", are capable of quickly digging tunnels, often getting into disputes over a standardized size. To the point that they can freely burrow paths between the two worlds.
  • Uplifted Animal: Horse is a normal horse in her world, but simply being in Centaurworld grants her human-like intelligence, the capacity of speech, and the dexterity necessary to perform human actions like pointing. She is extremely surprised at this turn of events.
    Horse: ... did I just... say things? With my mouth?
  • Vocal Dissonance:
    • When looking at a massive and muscled animal like a war horse, one does not expect it to possess a high-pitched female voice. And yet, that's the kind of voice Horse has when first waking up in the titular Centaurworld.
    • Glendale, a gerenuk-centaur with a thin and frail frame, has a deep and croaky voice, except when singing during which her voice gets a lot higher and melodic.
    • Ched is the smallest member of the Herd, being a finch centaur, and yet he has a very deep, manly voice.
  • Void Between the Worlds: A blank, white hall separates the portals between Centaurworld from the Humanworld. It's also where the Nowhere King has been trapped.
  • Walking Shirtless Scene: Very few centaurs wear clothes, so nearly all the male centaurs are this.
  • Wham Shot: Horse is in the Nowhere King's backstory and watches as the Elktaur separates into a human and an elk. The human turns around and he was the General all along.
  • Weird Weather: Centaurworld doesn't just get tornadoes, it gets Taurnadoes. They're half-horse half-tornado, which means a horse-shaped (i.e. partially horizontal) funnel cloud after touching down, complete with rearing on the hind legs, also suggesting some level of response to its environment as they actively try to suck people into themselves.
  • What the Hell, Hero?: Horse gets called out more than once for being callous and insensitive to the rest of the herd on her quest to return home. She grows out of it over time.


"But WHAT an exit!"

The mysterious woman tries to make a grand magical exit, but a disappointed Zulius catches her just running away normally.

How well does it match the trope?

4.5 (8 votes)

Example of:

Main / FailedAttemptAtDrama

Media sources: