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Ollie's Pack was a show I stumbled on while rummaging through YTV stuff recently, and after seeing a few clips on the YTV website, I decided to check it out and found I really liked it. Unfortunately, I was very disappointed to find most people online think it's mediocre. I disagree with this consensus and frankly don't understand why people don't like it.
First off, the visuals are excellently made, and were actually the main reason I decided to check the series out. The animation is well-done and pleasant to look at, while the artstyle has a charming, sketch-like, and somewhat cutesy look that you'll instantly recognize if you're familiar with Pedro Eboli's other works like Cupcake and Dino: General Services.
Eboli describes Ollie's Pack as what would happen if a kid was given a great power he had no idea how to use and no villains to use against, and the direction as trying to be relatable and grounded rather than vast and out-there. The show reflects this, as conflicts, plots, and how it uses the "monsters" (they're really aliens TBH) often focus more on how they impact Ollie's life. But the execution is far from boring, as the show is legit funny, relying mainly on snappy dialogue rather than low-hanging fruit like grossout and Toilet Humor, and has a strong sense of fun to it. It's not a fantastical action-comedy Monster of the Week show as promoted by the networks, but a Fantastic Comedy about kids juggling kid problems with guarding a magical object. And there is a lot of heart too, as the show has characters learning lessons that viewers might be able to use and a few touching moments ("Sorry to Father You" comes to mind, but they even made a genuinely heartwarming episode about a gut parasite!).
The characters are also a treat. My personal favorites are Ollie's pals Cleo and Bernie, who are just really funny and adorable sidekicks (also, having a female comic relief and male straight man in a trio is a nice stereotype flip). And while Ollie himself can be a bit dumb or selfish sometimes, he's still a well-meaning boy with many good qualities, and is clearly just inexperienced and reckless rather than truly stupid and self-centered. He's a character who makes mistakes without being unlikeable. Captain Wowski is similar in that despite his hands-off mentoring style, it is evident he means well and does try to improve himself. Oh, and the music is nice too; I like the theme song especially.
Ollie's Pack is a fun, charming, lighthearted, and even kinda cute show with an enjoyable cast, strong production values, and a lot of heart and passion poured into it by the creators. Like a lot of kid shows like that (especially if they're Canadian like this one), it won't be the next Gravity Falls or Steven Universe but it is absolutely not the mediocre piece everyone makes it out to be. Rather, it's something that kids, their parents, and cartoon lovers can just sit back to, relax, and have fun watching.
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