Need more cartoons in your life but don’t have time to get married to yet another running series? Go! Cartoons was made for you.
The short anthology series features 12 stand-alone episodes of new animation, each only around five minutes long. That’s plenty of time to meet the unique cast of characters and get a sense of the setting, but still short enough to fit into your watch list without too much fuss. The only down side? You may find yourself getting attached to some of the characters and wishing for more!
Watching the entire series will only take you an hour and some change, so we highly recommend it. But if you’re gunning for an extra quick fix, allow us to introduce (in our own opinion, anyway) the top five shorts Go! Cartoons has to offer.
5. Kid Arthur
Based extremely loosely on the legends of King Arthur, Kid Arthur sees the title character fighting his eternal foe, Mordred. Except in this version, rather than being father and son, Arthur and Mordred are two schoolkids locked in eternal magical combat. When they’re not busy with homework, anyway.
The British-produced series is the brainchild of Joel Veitch and David Shute of RatherGood.com. And if the name of the website sounds familiar, you probably remember when the Internet was populated largely by strange photo cutout Flash animations. Yeah, these are the same guys who did Viking Kittens back in the day.
Kid Arthur has cute magic antics and a schoolkid sensibility — perfect for a quick cheer-up.
The premiere episode of Go! Cartoons sees disgruntled witch Claire on a hunt for troll fat. Why? She needs to eradicate some scum, and she needs to summon a very special demon to make that happen.
The short episode introduces Claire and Edgar with enough personality and chemistry to invite a longer series for the pair. There’s definitely some gross-out humor here and there, but most of the laughs are derived from how the cast interacts with one another. And the art is weirdly charming, right down to Claire’s fluffy pink slippers.
The Summoning was created by multi-talented Australian artist Elyse Castro, whose other areas of study include tattoo art, blacksmithing, and taxidermy.
Brent Sievers’s story of three intergalactic delivery drivers may seem fairly run-of-the-mill at first. They get lost, they need directions, and they end up getting attacked by a giant worm on an alien planet. But it’s the characters themselves that make Nebulous extra-special.
As with The Summoning, Nebulous gives us a cast that it’s easy to throw in with. EG, Kale, and Shea already clearly have a lot of road trip stories behind them, and the story feels as though we’re dipping our toes into a series that’s been running since long before we got there. Plus, the health food spin is hilarious. Oh, and that giant alien worm we mentioned? Yeah, he’s a cook, actually. It’s complicated.
You wouldn’t think a trip to mail off a letter for a cereal box prize would result in a chase involving venomous snakes. But somehow, the roommates living together in Tyler & Co. have managed to arrange that exact situation. The group of friends find themselves incapable of leaving their own home thanks to an upside-down door, a VCR, and the aforementioned rattlesnakes.
Artist Gabe Janisz’s unique, sketchy style never feels distracting or “too much,” even when it’s in motion. The outlandish character designs are surprisingly smooth and pleasant to watch. And their look is just right for the dialogue, which has a 3 am college sensibility to it.
Janisz is also one of a very few people on the Go! Cartoons project to pull double duty — as original creator and director!
A bunny girl creates a magical adorable bento to give to her work crush — a cute skeleton boy named Skeletim. We’d be sold on that alone, but there’s more still to the weirdness of Welcome to Doozy. Ex (the bunny girl in question) is also friends with a magical critter named Lou who can cast a variety of spells. And, of course, they go wrong and hijinks ensue.
It was unsurprising to find out that co-creators Kate Tsang and Jennifer Suhr actually have a complete “show bible” and series concept for the story put together. Like others on this list, Welcome to Doozy feels like one random part of a whole, and we definitely want to see more of Ex, Lou, and Skeletim in action. The art style is also absolutely adorable, clearly anime inspired but with a unique twist to it.
If we’re being really honest, though, picking five was tough. We love everything Go! Cartoons has to offer, and we’re always hype to see more new animation coming from talented up-and-coming creators. And who knows? We may see some of these titles launch into full series!
Kara Dennison is responsible for multiple webcomics, and is half the creative team behind the OEL light novel series Owl’s Flower. She blogs at karadennison.com and tweets @RubyCosmos. Her work can currently be read in Stranger Tales of the City from Obverse Books.