Created by Ben Bocquelet, The Amazing World of Gumball is the first commission from Turner Broadcasting's Cartoon Network Development Studio Europe. Combining a mixture of several animation techniques with live-action backgrounds, the series follows the misadventures of a hapless twelve-year-old cat named Gumball Watterson, who lives in the weird and wacky world of Elmore. Joining him is his best friend and adopted brother Darwin, the one-time pet fish who grew legs and joined the family. The two of them go to Elmore Junior High where all sorts of strange characters roam the halls.
The series' most striking feature is the invocation of Medium Blending to the extreme; every single character in Elmore is animated in a different style and borrows design elements from a variety of different media. Some characters are animated in 2D flash animation while others are animated in 3D, and animation techniques like stop motion animation, papercraft animation, and even realistic CGI rendering are all liberally borrowed from and implemented into the character design.
While the reception to the first season saw it mostly dubbed as So Okay, It's Average, it quickly grew in popularity and reputation as it progressed, turning into a fast-paced, highly meta and heavily satirical comedy that often weaponised its art-style into full-blown psychedelia, essentially becoming the Cartoon Network version of South Park. The series is also infamous for having hefty amounts of raunchy and morbid humor - including one notorious scene that had a literal dead baby joke - and being frequently Bowdlerised as a result. The only place the show can be seen uncensored is the series home of the United Kingdom, as every nation Bowlderises the show differently.
With all that in mind, Gumball has become somewhat of a powerhouse for Cartoon Network, with the show winning several awards for both its writing and animation as well as eventually coming to rival a certain pants-wearing sentient sponge in ratings.
The series received a twenty-episode second season before the eighteen-episode first season even premiered, another twenty-episode third season shortly after the second season premiere, and two more twenty-episode seasons right before the third season premiere, and the sixth season was extended by two episodes, bringing its total to 50 hours (a little over two days) worth of episodes. It got a "sneak peek" (i.e., the first of two episodes) in the UK on May 2nd, 2011, and in the US on May 3. On June 22nd, 2016, it was announced that the show was renewed for a sixth season, with series creator Ben Bocquelet confirming it will be his last season, but that this is not necessarily the end of the show (which led to rumors that Gumball would have a seventh season, but Ben Bocquelet would not be involved with it. The rumors were finally put to rest when it was revealed that, yes, season six would be the final season, and, no, there wouldn't be any new episodes after that).
The apparent series finale, "The Inquisition", aired on June 24, 2019, ending the series on a Sequel Hook. On November 4, 2019, a spinoff mini-series called Darwin's Yearbook (a collection of remixed clips with a narrative frame centered on Darwin trying to preserve the memories of the students and staff at Elmore Junior High) was announced and set to premiere on December 2. It consisted of six episodes. As of 2023, no new episodes have aired.
On February 17, 2021, The Amazing World of Gumball: The Movie! was confirmed to be in production. On September 21, 2021, Bocquelet was confirmed to be on board to executive produce and direct. The film will serve as both the Grand Finale to the original series and a Pilot Movie to a brand new one. However, on August 19th, 2022, the Discovery merger with Warner Bros. caused a long string of cancellations of streaming shows and upcoming projects, which ended up causing the movie project to be cancelled by HBO Max and Warner Bros., though it's being put up for sale for other streaming services, delaying its release.
On December 13, 2022, a seventh season was supposedly confirmed. Not much is known about it at this time.
The series' launch trailer can be seen here.
KaBOOM! Comics published a series of Comic Books including:
- The Amazing World of Gumball (2014-2015)
- The Amazing World of Gumball 2015 Special (2015)
- The Amazing World of Gumball: Fairy Tale Trouble (2015)
- The Amazing World of Gumball: Cheat Code (2016)
- The Amazing World of Gumball: Recipe For Disaster (2017)
- The Amazing World of Gumball: After School Special (2017)
- The Amazing World of Gumball: Scrimmage Scramble (2018)
- The Amazing World of Gumball: Tunnel Kingdom (2018)
- The Amazing World of Gumball: Midsummer Nightmare (2019)
- The Amazing World of Gumball: Spring Break Smash (2019)
- The Amazing World of Gumball: Adventures In Elmore (2019)
- The Amazing World of Gumball: The Storm (2019)