Over the Garden Wall: The Old Grist Mill

TV Show Information
Rating: Outstanding
Interest Level: Intermediate, Young Adult
Season: 1
Episode: 1
Main Performers: Elijah Wood, Collin Dean, and Melanie Lynskey
Studio/Network: Cartoon Network
Air Date: November 3, 2014
TV Rating: TV-PG

Wirt and his brother, Greg, are walking alone in the woods and realize that they are lost. They run into a bluebird, Beatrice, who offers to help, but are overtaken by The Woodsman, who takes them to his home. He tells them that as soon as he gets back, he will try to lead them home while avoiding The Beast. After wondering off, they encounter a large wild dog who attacks them for Wirt's candy. The monster dog falls into the water wheel of the mill and a black turtle is squeezed out of its stomach. The monster turns into a regular dog after spitting up the turtle and wanders off. The Woodsman returns to find his mill in shambles from the monster's attack. He sends the boys on their way up the path.

This first chapter is an exciting beginning to Over the Garden Wall. From the first couple of minutes, it is shown that the two main characters are confused as to how they even got into the woods or what they were doing, leading to the mystery of the show. Wirt's character can be boring as he often goes into random monologues about his lost love and feelings of futility, however these are not as evident in the rest of the series. Greg is a charming character who brings and element of childhood innocence and wonder. While the viewers can side with Wirt on being cautious, Greg's worldview helps to make the show lighter and more fun, even though the overall tone is dark and mysterious.

*Contains mild violence.