Welcome back to the Wander Over Yonder episode roundup! I know it’s been a while, but Wander keeps on… well… wandering. Let’s wander with him.
The Bad Guy (1x05a)
Summary: When our travelers land on the planet Doomstone, Wander has to pretend to be bad in order for the two of them to get a new bottle of Orbble Juice. Wander, however, gets a little too into the part
This episode was super cute, even if it wasn’t my favorite.
Sylvia and Wander take a shortcut through an asteroid belt, but end up crashing on a planet called Doomstone. Wander thinks they can just ask for more Orbble Juice to get out of there nicely, but Sylvia knows the reputation of Doomstone being filled with the toughest criminals in the galaxy. She decides to take point and find where they can score some Orbble Juice and have Wander pretend to be a bad guy to blend in.
Of course, Wander being Wander, he can’t do things halfway. While Sylvia pays off a bartender to figure out how they can get more juice from crime lord Papa Doom, Wander gets way too into the role of “Wild Wooly Wander” and ends up getting into a fight with renowned criminal Badlands Dan. This ends with a chase where Wander steals a motorcycle belonging to a local motor gang and leaping over a truck full of explosives. Which… yeah… is pretty awesome.
Since Wander has a talent for getting them exactly where they need to be, they land right on Papa Doom’s front door. Slyvia convinces Wander to be the strong, silent type, which seems to work in their favor when after what seems like the end for the two travelers, one of Papa Doom’s cohorts recognizes “Wild Wooly Wander” and they’re able to get the Orbble Juice in exchange for some crystals with no issue. However, Wander goes too far with the bad guy act and switched out the crystals with rocks which Papa Doom realizes before they can get away. The two run out of the house, but are pursued by Papa Doom, the motor gang, and the saloon residents. They seem cornered and “Wild Wooly Wander” is ready to fight them, but Sylvia rips off his fake mustache, which immediately calms him down. The two apologize for the trouble they’ve caused and explain that all they need is some help. However, it seems like the three groups aren’t easily forgiving…
…Until Sylvia wonders why no one is hitting them. That’s when everyone gives up the act and reveals that, like Wander, they were all pretending to be tough in order to protect themselves. Which I guess means that Wander was right about just asking nicely. Huh… okay.
With everyone now being their normal friendly selves, Doomstone now becomes Congenial Rock and the residents help Wander and Sylvia on their way with way less fuss.
It’s not the best lesson I’ve seen in never judging a book by their cover, but this episode was super sweet and it’s always funny to see Wander not be… well… Wander. Not to mention the character designs of all the “baddies” is to die for.
The Troll (1x05b)
Summary: Wander and Sylvia are dining with Prince Cashmere and the Warriors of Baa-halla when a troll attacks.
This episode made me gasp out loud with how impressive it was. Not just for the animation, character design, and lighting, but the message the episode delivered.
Wander and Sylvia are dining with Prince Cashmere and his warriors in the giant hall of Baa-halla during the winter. However, in the middle of the feast, a fearsome troll attacks. Well, presumably fearsome. It’s a really tiny troll with a design that’s pure McCracken. He kind of looks like Fuzzy Lumpkins in a weird way, but I didn’t like his design as much as the goat warriors. The fearsomely adorable trotting goat warriors…
The two travelers wonder why the warriors are so worried about the tiny troll until they notice the troll grows in size every time one of the warriors reacts to one of his insults.
Prince Cashmere asks for their help as the troll makes his way up the levels of Baa-halla to steal their food. Sylvia agrees, but Wander seems to just be hanging off to the side, sitting by the fire. Oh, did I mention that the lighting in the episode is impressive? I love the way they actually managed to replicate the way fire will light a room when it’s the only light source. It was beautiful and very realistic.
That was far from the most impressive thing about this episode though.
After it seems like the warriors and Sylvia fail to keep the troll out of the great hall, the troll breaks in and begins to insult Wander. Sylvia tells him to run, but the little orange guy ignores the both of them and continues to sleep by the fire. When the troll begins to shrink, Sylvia puts two and two together as to what Wander was doing the whole time and begins to nap with him.
The warriors bust into the hall and the troll begins to grow in size again. Cashmere begs for their help, saying they can’t afford to feed this troll again. Wander tells him to not feed him, but Cashmere doesn’t really get it until Sylvia tells him to just have everyone ignore him so he’ll shrink. Wander says it out loud again: “Don’t feed The Troll.”
I actually gasped when Wander said that out loud. Maybe it is a bit too literal for the show’s message, but sometimes, you need that. To visualize someone who is just a bully as a literal troll and realizing that not interacting with them is what takes their power away. This message comes across as more powerful when you realize that the co-writer of this episode was Lauren Faust, the show’s co-producer and the creator of My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic. It’s not just that the episode has a MLP-esque message, but rather it features the creator of the show who left de-powering trolls.
The warriors all ignore the troll till he shrinks down to a minuscule size and Wander traps him under a wine goblet to shut him up as the warriors celebrate the victory. A fitting ending to a beautiful episode.
The Box (1x06a)
Summary: Wander and Sylvia are tasked with delivering a box to some guy named Glen. Wander goes crazy over wanting to know what’s in there.
I know I like some weird cartoons and Wander Over Yonder can get pretty weird, but this episode was a bit too weird for my taste.
So Wander and Sylvia apparently hit some snail’s mail truck and are asked by the snail to deliver a box to a guy named Glen. Wander is struck with curiosity over what could be in the box and despite Sylvia trying her best to keep him from doing so, Wander goes crazy. Like… Adventure Time Season 1 meets ‘Pink Elephants on Parade’ crazy.
By the time they finally get to Glen’s and are willing to wait for him even though Wander is becoming unhinged, it turns out that Glen was actually a collective known as The Lords of Illumination (played by John Hodgeman) who was testing Wander to see his strength of character. He isn’t listening though and still wants to know what’s in the box. Sylvia threatens the alien lords, telling them that he doesn’t need a lesson. He just needs something in that stupid box. They throw in some trinkets and Wander goes off happily with the satisfaction of what was in there.
I’m sure this is funnier for someone who likes surrealism a bit more, but I was just mostly uncomfortable. The bold coloring and animation was beautiful to watch, but Wander wasn’t himself and it was making it hard for me to enjoy this one.
The Hat (1x06b)
Summary: When Wander disappears during a chase with a giant worm, Sylvia needs to use Wander’s trusty hat to find him.
YAY SYLVIA MOSTLY SOLO EPISODE!
So Wander and Sylvia are on the run from a giant worm that’s determined to eat them when all Sylvia wanted today was to eat a Jellyfish Pie from Slarnack’s Deli. Wander begins to reach into his hat to find things that will keep the worm at bay. Which seems to work for him, but not for Sylvia when she tries it. Wander insists that the hat gives you what you need, not what you want. So… it’s like a TARDIS?
Wander celebrates defeating the Mighty Moon Worm, but falls off one of the planet’s giant mushrooms in the process. Slyvia goes to grab him, but only grabs the hat. Using context clues that Wander is giving her from their little radio powered can phones, Sylvia determines that Wander is stuck in a whirlpool. She begins to ask the hat to help her, but it keeps giving her things that makes the giant worm determined to eat her, including a siren and a parachute. This gets the volatile Sylvia frustrated and screaming at Wander’s partially sentient hat many times, but at least she looks cute wearing it!
Sylvia finally makes it to the whirlpool after she stops using the hat, but Wander isn’t there. Worried that her friend could already be dead, she asks the hat one more time to give her what she needs to save Wander. She reaches in and grabs… a pair of roller skates. Yeah, at the time, Sylvia doesn’t get it either, but she accepts it and puts them on, eventually rolling back into the worm and cursing the hat the entire way.
Well, I guess the adage proved true because in the belly of the beast, Sylvia finds Wander and the two have a happy reunion in the hat itself. However, they still need to get out. Sylvia reaches up and finds… a piece of jellyfish pie? Wander looks confused, but Sylvia dumps it out into the worm’s belly, which causes the worm to spit them up and out in front of Slarnack’s Deli, which is closed. Sylvia’s newfound love for the hat ends right in that moment.
I really liked this episode! It was a great episode about trust and it was awesome to see Sylvia carry most of it herself. I’d love to see more episodes like that in the future, especially if they’re as funny and cute as this one.