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Those guys definitely aren't horsing around.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!)
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Centaurworld is a Netflix-exclusive animated musical-comedy-adventure series created by Megan Nicole Dong.

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 vibrant and joyous land named Centaurworld which is populated by colorful, singing centaurs of every shape and size, and 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.

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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.

Trailer.


This work contains examples of:

  • 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.
  • 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.
    • Advertisement:
    • The Centaurs are drawn in a 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.
  • Big Bad: The Nowhere King, an ancient, slimy Eldritch Abomination that seeks to conquer/destroy both the human world and Centaurworld.
  • 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 just for kicks though.
  • Bookends: 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.
  • A Dog Named "Dog": The horse is named Horse, and her rider is named Rider.
  • 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.
  • Change the Uncomfortable Subject: Every time the Whale Shaman's song gets close to actually mentioning suicide, she chuckles nervously and swiftly switches topics.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Domed Hometown: The valley Horse arrives in upon entering Centaurworld is covered with a dome that can't be exited without magic.
  • 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.
  • 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 final episode to fight The Nowhere King.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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, the 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 Mashup: The show convincingly mixes young adult Low Fantasy animation with Surreal Cringe Comedy Thin-Line Animation. Both genres are played with sufficient sincerity.
  • Getting Crap Past the Radar: Despite being rated TV-Y7 on Netflix there are plenty of moments in this show that are more noticable for adult fans.
    • Ched implying a cave has a mouth hole and a second hole in the back in "It's Hidin' Time".
    • Glendale's transformation into a hardened criminal while in Moletaur prison in "Holes, Part 2", including a teardrop tattoo (which is supposed to be a sign that someone has killed).
    • In "Johnny Teatime's Be Best Competition: Quest for the Sash", Horse's dance moves during her performance of "Who Is She?" get very suggestive at times.
    • At the beginning of "Ride the Whaletaur Shaman!" it's revealed that Wammawink has a barely disguised fetish for Merdudes and it only gets worse from there - it also turns out that she forced Glendale to make a magazine filled with softcore erotic images of shirtless Merdudes and if that wasn't enough, a Merdude body pillow. Also, one of the Merdudes in Wammawink's Imagine Spot has obvious pubic hair.
    • The Whaletaur Shaman saying those with problems and sadness come to her to end their suffering is an obvious metaphor for something incredibly grim.
    • In "The Rift: Part 1" Wammawink very much does the right thing stopping Durpleton from giving his short farewell poem to Horse just from the first verse alone: "There once was a Centaur named Wenis..."
  • Godiva Hair: All the female centaurs cover their breasts with fur (or tube tops), while all the male centaurs are bare-chested.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Hypocritical Humor: In "The Key", Ched dismisses the concept of Rider sitting on top of Horse as "stupid"... And he says this as he's riding on top of Durpleton's head.
  • 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.
  • Leitmotif: The instrumentals for "Making Frienships—BOATS!" is used to emphasize the herd doing something particularly zany or poorly thought out.
  • A Load of Bull: The evil forces waging war against both the Human World and Centaurworld are made out of armoured minotaurs. Interestingly, some of them seem to be Snake People, but are still referred to as minotaurs.
  • 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 Mysterious 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Offscreen Moment of Awesome: In episode one, 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 they 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).
  • Our Mermaids Are Different: They're just another type of taur, 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.
  • The Place: The show is named after Centaurworld, one of the two primary worlds where the the story is set.
  • 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.
  • 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:
    • 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 "Trevor", who looks suspicously like Cthulhu.
  • 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.
  • Silent Credits: Episode 9's credits are mostly silent with ominous ambient sound referencing the last thing we see before the episode ends. Episode 10's credits 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!"
  • Spiritual Successor: With the constant whiplash from silly jokes to massive trauma or scary things, Adventure Time.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.

 
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The Nowhere King Lullaby

Our first hint at the Nowhere King is through a soft, slow lullaby, about his hatred, evilness and desire to destroy all light in the world.

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