By: Gene Cole, Opinions Editor
It shouldn’t be hard to make a pink ball of sweetness like Kirby even more adorable than he already is. You’d think the video games would be enough, but from 2001–03, there were a few years where it managed to have an adorable animated series to take his adorability further.
But it took until 2019 for Kirby to peak, all thanks to several talented people expressing Kirby’s cuteness in their own beautiful ways.
Kirby Reanimated is a non-profit collaborative project on YouTube created by over 300 artists. Each artist was given a few seconds of a 22-minute episode of Kirby: Right Back At Ya, and reanimated their segment with complete artistic freedom. This style of video has appeared a lot lately as an opportunity for artists to practice and network. Similar reanimated renditions have been done for old cartoons like the Super Mario World show and Yu-Gi-Oh, and even for full-length movies like Shrek.
The various 2D animators each have their own style, from anime-inspired detail to bubbly character reinterpretations. They bring so much life and originality to the show through strong colours, comically expressive characters, and a fair share of surprisingly detailed background gags. Each artist’s rendition adds more energy to the cartoon, which the original severely lacks.
But there’s a lot more to this work than just 2D drawing. There are also alternative animation forms, using puppetry and stop motion with 3D models. It’s a wonderful collage of art that’s worthwhile just for the surprise of how each artist will interpret the characters and dialogue, putting out tons of personality in just a few short moments.
What makes Kirby Reanimated stand out from its peers, though, is the choice of an episode where the main villain King Dedede produces a cartoon of himself, with the main characters going through the process of studio animation. The episode covers everything from background art, to character sketches, to even voice acting in a way that doesn’t usually show up in cartoons.
If this shows up in your recommendations on Youtube, it’s absolutely worth putting down your phone and spending 30 minutes with your full attention, especially if you’re either a big time Kirby fan, or a cartoon geek who just wants to take in something a little extra unique.