Hey, so today I was supposed to write about how I felt when I learned that Wander Over Yonder had been cancelled, and I haven’t yet because I can’t find a gif of Dominator plunging her ship’s volcanic excavator through the heart-shaped planet and cracking it straight down the middle. Trust me, though, I’m feeling it.
Gravity Falls had just ended its run—no sooner than its creator wanted to wrap it up, but still a lot sooner than most of us thought it was going to go. Prior to that October, I would have said that we were due for one more season at least. Before the show had even ended I was searching for something just as funny, just as heartfelt and just as imaginative to fill the gap. I found that cartoon in Wander, a hidden gem by Craig McCracken.
I’d been watching it casually on the recommendation of a friend, but right around the episode “The Nice Guy” (which I watched in January while stricken with insomnia), it hit me that I had found a pretty special show. This feeling only increased when I got to Season 2 and watched the vile Lord Dominator shake up the established foundations of the show’s universe, testing the characters in hilarious and unexpected ways. Bonds were broken, new allegiances were formed, and Wander’s galaxy went from a cartoonish free-for-all to a complex and comical universe with dozens of strange dimensions. I couldn’t wait to see where it would go next, and, heartbreaking to say (there’s that gif again), I thought I had forever ahead of me. The show had just enough plot to keep me guessing and just enough open-ended silliness to assure me of endless possibilities for future episodes. To see the creators of this clever and colorful world turned out of their sandbox when they had so much exploration left to accomplish was saddening, particularly when it was so much admired by animation lovers and when its fanbase was expanding with every fresh episode (“My Fair Hatey” was a game-changer).
A year after the end, my thirst for the rest of the story remains unquenched. The world needs much more of the authenticity and energy this cartoon has to offer, and it’s never too late to give it another shot.