The Cuphead Show!
Genre
Based onCuphead and
Characters
by Studio MDHR
Developed byDave Wasson
Written by
  • Deeki Deke
  • Clay Morrow
  • Adam Paloian
  • Cosmo Segurson
  • Dave Wasson
Directed by
  • Clay Morrow
  • Adam Paloian
Voices of
Theme music composerEgo Plum
Opening theme"Welcome to the Cuphead Show!" (performed by Gizzelle Andrea Becerra, Tru Valentino, and Frank Todaro)
Ending theme"Farewell to the Cuphead Show!" (instrumental composed by Ego Plum)
ComposerEgo Plum
Country of origin
  • United States
  • Canada
Original languageEnglish
No. of seasons3
No. of episodes36 (list of episodes)
Production
Executive producers
  • Dave Wasson
  • CJ Kettler
  • Chad Moldenhauer
  • Jared Moldenhauer
  • Cosmo Segurson (co-executive)
Producers
  • Carolyn Roach (line)
  • Jackie Watson (line)
EditorAmy Blaisdell
Running time10–34 minutes
Production companies
Animation servicesLighthouse Studios
Screen Novelties (stop motion)
Original release
NetworkNetflix
ReleaseFebruary 18, 2022 (2022-02-18) –
present

The Cuphead Show! is an animated slapstick comedy television series developed by Dave Wasson for Netflix,[1] based on the 2017 video game Cuphead by Studio MDHR. Chad and Jared Moldenhauer, the creators of Cuphead, serve as executive producers, along with Wasson and CJ Kettler from King Features Syndicate, and Cosmo Segurson serving as co-executive producer.

The series was released worldwide on February 18, 2022, as a Netflix Original Series,[2] to generally positive reviews from both critics and the audience, with praise for its animation, voice acting, music, humor, and tone, but some felt it lacked in substance, with the episodes' plots being criticized for being "too fragmented" and "often repetitive".[3][4] The second season was released on August 19, 2022,[5] followed, soon after, by the third season released on November 18, 2022.

Plot

Set in the 1930s-style world of the Inkwell Isles, The Cuphead Show! follows the misadventures of impulsive, troublemaking scamp Cuphead and cautious but easily-swayed Mugman, a pair of anthropomorphic cup brothers who live with their elderly grandfather and caretaker, Elder Kettle, in a teapot-shaped cottage. The brothers' stories often center around them trying to find their way out of various issues, occasionally meeting and interacting with characters from its video game source material. While the series is mainly episodic, one recurring plot is the Devil hunting Cuphead for his soul, as he believes it is rightfully his after Cuphead lost a soul-harvesting game called "Soul Ball," only to be always foiled by Cuphead and Mugman.[6]

Voice cast

Development

In July 2019, it was announced that Netflix had green-lit the series. Chad and Jared Moldenhauer from Studio MDHR are executive producers, along with C.J. Kettler from King Features Syndicate, Dave Wasson, and co-executive produced by Cosmo Segurson.[8] Clay Morrow and Adam Paloian are supervising directors.[9] The series is animated by Lighthouse Studios, a Kilkenny-based division between Mercury Filmworks and Cartoon Saloon,[1] and stop motion animation was provided by Screen Novelties. In an effort to meet streaming series deadlines, the show's production crew were unable to utilize hand-drawn animation like in the game, instead choosing to use puppet-based methods while also putting in various elements to match the 1930s rubber hose style.[10] The series was first revealed at the Annecy International Animation Film Festival in June 2020,[11] with the announcement that the show's music would be composed by Ego Plum.[12]

Episodes

Main article: List of The Cuphead Show! episodes

SeasonEpisodesOriginally released
112February 18, 2022 (2022-02-18)
213August 19, 2022 (2022-08-19)
311November 18, 2022 (2022-11-18)

The first season was released on February 18, 2022, and consisted of twelve episodes.[13] Netflix ordered a total of 36 episodes to be produced, that would end up getting released as three seasons.[14] The second season was released on August 19, 2022, and consisted of thirteen episodes, with the third and eighth episodes being close to 25 minutes long. The third and final season was released on November 18, 2022, and consisted of eleven episodes, with the first, and the finale episodes being 20 minutes long, and the sixth episode being the longest episode in the series, lasting for 30 minutes long.[15]

Reception

On review aggregation website Rotten Tomatoes, 71% of 17 critics gave the first season a positive review, with an average rating of 7.4/10. The site's critical consensus is: "While The Cuphead Show! fluidly recreates its video game forebear's eye-popping animation, this good-looking vessel is still waiting for some substance to fill it."[3] On Metacritic, it has a weighted average score of 69 based on reviews from 4 critics, indicating "generally favourable reviews".[16]

The Escapist noted that "fans and critics have been left disappointed by the series due to its lack of substance and short nature" but the target audience is children and "kids will discover a bouncy and energetic cartoon and probably find what's here incredibly entertaining."[4]

Rafael Motamayor of IGN rated the series 9 out of 10, saying "The Cuphead Show Season 1 delivers memorable characters, surreal humor, and beautiful animation in a fantastic adaptation of the video game."[17]

Accolades

It was nominated for the 2022 Children's and Family Emmy Award for Outstanding Animated Series.[18][19][20]

Year Award Category Nominee(s) Result Ref.
2022 The Game Awards Best Adaptation Nominated [21]
Children's and Family Emmy Awards Outstanding Animated Series C.J. Kettler, Chad Moldenhauer, Jared Moldenhauer, Dave Wasson, Cosmo Segurson, Carolyn Roach and Jackie Watson Nominated [18]
Individual Achievement in Animation Ivan Aguirre (background painter) Won [22]
2023 Annie Awards Outstanding Achievement for Music in an Animated Television / Broadcast Production Ego Plum, Cosmo Segurson and Dave Wasson ("Carn-Evil") Won [23]
Outstanding Achievement for Storyboarding in an Animated Television / Broadcast Production Karl Hadrika ("A Very Devil Christmas") Nominated
Children's and Family Emmy Awards Outstanding Original Song for a Children's or Young Teen Program Ego Plum and Dave Wasson ("Down & Out: Roll the Dice") Nominated [18]
Outstanding Directing for an Animated Program Clay Morrow and Adam Paloian Won

References

  1. ^ a b Corvin, Ann-Marie (June 23, 2020). "Annecy Sneak Peeks 'The Cuphead Show!'; 'Sirocco,' 'Inu-Oh,' XR 'The Hangman at Home'". Variety. Archived from the original on June 14, 2021. Retrieved June 14, 2021.
  2. ^ Milligan, Mercedes (January 18, 2022). "Trailer: Netflix Pours Out 'The Cuphead Show!' Feb. 18". Animation Magazine. Archived from the original on January 18, 2022. Retrieved January 18, 2022.
  3. ^ a b "The Cuphead Show!". Rotten Tomatoes. Fandango Media. Retrieved March 5, 2022.
  4. ^ a b Lab, Jesse (February 22, 2022). "The Cuphead Show! Isn't Meant for Gamers, and That's because". The Escapist. Archived from the original on February 24, 2022. Retrieved February 27, 2022.
  5. ^ THE CUPHEAD SHOW! New Episodes | Official Teaser | Netflix on YouTube
  6. ^ Hollis, Daniel (June 26, 2020). "Netflix has teased a look for the upcoming 'Cuphead' TV show". NME. Archived from the original on June 14, 2021. Retrieved June 14, 2021.
  7. ^ Rosario, Alexandra Del (June 11, 2021). "'The Cuphead Show!': Wayne Brady Joins Cast Of Netflix Video Game Animated Series". Deadline Hollywood. Archived from the original on June 13, 2021. Retrieved June 14, 2021.
  8. ^ Shanley, Patrick (July 9, 2019). "Netflix to Adapt 'Cuphead' Into Animated Comedy Series". The Hollywood Reporter. Archived from the original on June 14, 2021. Retrieved June 14, 2021.
  9. ^ McCaffrey, Ryan (July 9, 2019). "Cuphead Netflix TV Show Details". IGN. Archived from the original on July 9, 2019. Retrieved June 14, 2021.
  10. ^ Mallory, Michael (January 25, 2022). "Creating a Rubber Hose Wonderland for 'The Cuphead Show!'". Animation Magazine. Archived from the original on January 25, 2022. Retrieved August 19, 2022.
  11. ^ Baron, Reuben (June 27, 2020). "Annecy Report: A Look Inside The Cuphead Show". Comic Book Resources. Archived from the original on June 14, 2021. Retrieved June 14, 2021.
  12. ^ Kain, Erik (June 26, 2020). "Here's Your First Look At 'The Cuphead Show' On Netflix". Forbes. Archived from the original on June 14, 2021. Retrieved June 14, 2021.
  13. ^ Beresford, Trilby (January 18, 2022). "Netflix Drops Trailer for The Cuphead Show, Releasing on Streamer Next Month". The Hollywood Reporter. Archived from the original on February 2, 2022. Retrieved January 28, 2022.
  14. ^ Mallory, Michael (January 25, 2022). "Creating a Rubber Hose Wonderland for 'The Cuphead Show!'". Animation Magazine. Archived from the original on January 26, 2022. Retrieved January 28, 2022.
  15. ^ Cripe, Michael (October 24, 2022). "The Cuphead Show! Season 3 Hits Netflix Next Month, Reveals 'Secret Assassins' (Kind Of)". The Escapist. Archived from the original on November 15, 2022. Retrieved October 26, 2022.
  16. ^ "The Cuphead Show! - Season 1 Reviews". Metacritic. Red Ventures. Archived from the original on February 20, 2022. Retrieved December 20, 2022.
  17. ^ Motamayor, Rafael (February 14, 2022). "The Cuphead Show: Season 1 Review". IGN. Archived from the original on December 22, 2022. Retrieved December 22, 2022.
  18. ^ a b c "NATAS ANNOUNCES NOMINATIONS FOR FIRST ANNUAL CHILDREN'S & FAMILY EMMYS". theemmys.tv. November 1, 2022. Archived from the original on February 2, 2023. Retrieved November 7, 2022.
  19. ^ Dresden, Hilton (November 1, 2022). "Children's & Family Emmys: Netflix Leads Nominations for First Awards Ceremony". The Hollywood Reporter. Archived from the original on December 2, 2022. Retrieved November 7, 2022.
  20. ^ Schneider, Michael (November 1, 2022). "Netflix Leads Nomination Tally for First-Ever Children's & Family Emmys". Variety. Archived from the original on November 8, 2022. Retrieved November 7, 2022.
  21. ^ Romano, Sal (November 14, 2022). "The Game Awards 2022 nominees announced". Gematsu. Archived from the original on November 15, 2022. Retrieved November 14, 2022.
  22. ^ Milligan, Mercedes (December 8, 2022). "NATAS Announces Individual Achievement in Animation Winners for 1st Children's & Family Emmys". Animation Magazine. Archived from the original on December 8, 2022. Retrieved December 8, 2022.
  23. ^ Giardina, Carolyn (February 26, 2023). "'Guillermo Del Toro's Pinocchio' Wins Five Trophies Including the Top Prize at the 50th Annie Awards". The Hollywood Reporter. Archived from the original on February 26, 2023. Retrieved April 20, 2023.