The future of animation is ‘Entergalactic’

Peter Griffin wears the same clothes every day but it is time for a new age in animation


“Entergalactic” still. Via Netflix.

The hairstyles. The fashion. The comedy. “Entergalactic” is a refreshing 92-minute film of various characters in New York drawn with surreal animation techniques similar to “Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse” to produce a unique experience capable of telling a mature and immersive story. The film’s animators are delivering an art style that gives details to every aspect of each character, essentially bringing them to life.

Animations with uninteresting plot lines have cemented themselves within culture for too long. “Family Guy” and “South Park” are on my personal Mount Rushmore of adult comedy but they have unintentionally molded the current state of animation over the last decades.

There must be a deeper science behind Netflix, Adult Swim or any other corporation to copy-and-paste character dynamics and only tweak minor details. Current television programming is full of endless amounts of media like “Bob’s Burgers,” “Cleveland Show” and “American Dad” which is proof that animated shows have become oversaturated with the same techniques.

This archetype of shows is clearly successful judging by how long it has lasted. It simply works. But adult animation has grown from trying to pass off distasteful humor through sexually suggestive scenes, overwhelming use of racism, vulgarity and just an overall lack of creativity or imagination.

Peter Griffin along with his family and other show clones all wear the same thing every day. I understand the theme of shows like “Family Guy” are purely created for satire. Shows that are funny and mature, sure, but there is no depth between the themes or characters for viewers to distinguish the thousands of shows copying what “Family Guy” has done.

“Entergalactic” poster. Via Netflix.

Do not fret, the last five years of animated films have become a beacon of hope for the future of entertainment. This emerging wave is beautifully portrayed through the unique artistic techniques Kid Cudi chose for his Netflix movie “Entergalactic.”

Kid Cudi’s character, Jabari. Via Netflix

Scott Mescudi, popularly known as Kid Cudi, voices Jabari, an ambitious comic artist who recently moved into his dream apartment in Manhattan, New York. Jabari moves in right next door to Jessica Williams’ character Meadow, the typical girl-next-door who is a perfect match for Jabari’s urges to express creativity and smoke a lot of weed.

Jessica Williams as Meadow. Via Netflix.

The movie further details their intimate two-person story with a number of sex scenes, morning wake and bakes and constant comedic relief. This film perfectly tells a visually captivating story that is not only about Black love, but the humor, doubts and reality behind millennial love.

Jabari greets Meadow in the doorway. Via Netflix.

The cast of “Entergalactic” and executive producers gave their personal thoughts behind the creativity that went behind this influential romantic comedy.

“I wanted it to be a new type of animation,” Cudi said. “This is something that visually hasn’t been seen before. I don’t want this to be like a regular animated show where the characters are wearing the same thing every episode.”

Fashion is its own character and causes a deep sense of immersion throughout the film.

A full album was released alongside the film to fully mesh the void Cudi felt between music and visuals. Ty Dolla $ign, 2 Chainz, Don Toliver, Steve Aoki and a few other musicians assisted Cudi in producing an album that is connected with every part of the movie.

Ty Dolla $ign’s character Ky. Via Netflix.

Ty Dolla $ign premiered his voice acting career as Ky and was also featured in the song “Willing to Trust,” which was 1 of 3 songs played in the movie’s pitch meeting that essentially sold the idea of the show.

“This idea with Scott started so much with him feeling like there was a disconnect between music and visuals,” executive producer Karina Manashil said. “How do we create a new experience?”

Every so often Adult Swim comes out with a banger or two.

Animated shows like “Rick and Morty” were eventually released and stirred up the industry with their wits and comedy. But animated media for adults over the last four decades has boiled down to hundreds of “unique” shows displaying the inner life of an idiotic father with his attractive wife, socially inept daughter, obese son, dog with political views and a talking baby. Throw in a guy who smokes weed chronically.

“Entergalactic” is not the best film of our generation but it is a great direction for animators to take great animation and further breach their comfort zone to fearlessly command uncommon art styles. Embracing different art techniques is crucial to the future of animation and “Entergalactic” is a perfect example showing that the possibilities of adult animation are endless. Cartoons have a right to be enjoyed by children, teenagers and yes, even adults.

Still of a billboard with Virgil Abloh, creative fashion designer. Via Netflix.