Bee and Puppycat is an American animated series produced and distributed by Cartoon Hangover and is distributed online via Youtube. Initially released in 2014, Bee and Puppycat has a fanbase that has grown worldwide; there are products, comics, and numerous fans that cosplay. The series created by Natasha Allegri whose known for her online platform and her work on the ever so popular show, Steven Universe. It is one of the most successful Kickstarter campaigns, amassing estimate $900,000 in a week to get new episodes that would premiere after the successful first episode.
Bee and Puppycat is a sporadic animated web series that follows the adventures of Bee and her alien pet. Bee is a 20 something trying to figure out her life. Like most millennials, she’s in between jobs and trying to figure out what she wants. Bee is a chubby woman with tan skin, poofy brown hair and often is seen wearing a pastel yellow top with a bumble bee insignia and pastel pink bottoms. Her pet puppy is a cross between a pug and a bobtail cat. Bee is laidback often enjoying cooking and hanging out with her bestie. We get to see Bee stays up late at night, texting and go grocery shopping with Puppycat tagging along.
Within the first episode, we are introduced to her as a socially awkward woman and it’s apparent she has feelings for Deckard who is hesitant to pursue his culinary art dreams. A common staple in the 20 something lives, however, the series is not the just slice of life. Bee is catapulted into extraordinary places due to puppy cats status as an extraterrestrial being. Puppy at is a mysterious being who serves as a protagonist rather than a sidekick as most series tend to portray pets. Puppycat is grumpy, brave, and oddly loveable. There are other characters that inhabit the world such as her neighbor Deckard, who she harbors romantic feelings for, Cass, Deckard’s protective sister and then there’s Cardamon a school-age boy who is Bee’s landlord.
Bee initially encounters Puppycat by chance, Puppycat falls from the sky onto to Bee as she is walking home from her job which she had just been fired from. She takes him in as a stray pet and the two are transported to Fishbowl space, where they’re assigned temporary work by an artificial intelligence named Temp Bot. Bee is surprisingly unphased by the circumstances or the fact her new pet communicates in an indecipherable language. Together they encounter all kinds of creatures as they travel to different worlds that often require Bee to step out of her comfort zone. The show is perfect for anyone who grew up on magical girl series and Ghibli films. The show features homages from our most feminine centering fandoms. The show is skirts, pastel pink, bells, and bows and the character design strays from angular, lines, presenting characters that are more like Sanrio characters than Shounen Jump staples like Dragon Ball Z, Bleach, and Naruto. It’s relieving to see a character that appeals to my demographic as Bee is a 20 something geek who spends her time eating star candy and playing video games.
Natasha has stated in the past that her inspiration for the series was her love shows such as Sailor Moon, she’s invested in creating stories that are based on the Magical Girl genre and we see elements of this in the series as Bee gains a new ability with each episode. There’s a delightful homage to Spirited away, arcade games and Revolutionary Utena Girl Complete with transformations, magical elements, and adorably cute enemies.
Bee is not your high school hero but a young woman trying to carve a place for herself, this show is for folks who like the aesthetics of Adventure time and Steven universe. Though the inspiration is girly, the content isn’t what you expect, the stress of living paycheck to pay check and burgeoning romance are integral parts of the series.The backgrounds are soft and whimsical, with color schemes you’d find in a soft serve ice cream parlor and gardens. The sounds are reminiscent of Sidescroller arcade games of the late 80s and early 90s, bleeping and binging and the music is soft produced by the EDM artist Baths. In my personal opinion, this show is for femme millennials who were and are often told that anime, video games , and manga were solely for boys.
However, the cutesy appeal is charming to seasoned animation fans and budding Shoujo manga fans of any gender. Currently there are 10 episodes that you can watch online, the episodes are relatively short only lasting to be 7 minutes long. I am excited to see where Natasha Allegri takes this work, it’s a strive for female creators and animation itself.
Author: Brittney Maddox
Editor: Han Angus