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A Halloween Treat From AS: Learning With Pibby

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learning with pibby

Adult Swim just slipped a new cartoon short onto their YouTube channel. In the spirit of Halloween, they’ve presented us with “Learning With Pibby,” a cutesy sequence from creator Dodge Greenley (Pinky Malinky) where a blue and purple humanoid blob teaches us letters and numbers. Well, that’s how it starts, anyway, but you should know by now if it’s from Adult Swim, there’s a twist coming.

What IS unexpected is the nature of the twist. Barely twenty seconds into Pibby’s show, a dark black wave starts creeping through her world, corrupting the visuals and sucking her best friend, a talking bunny, into the void. Pibby barely escapes herself but finds herself in a strange and unfamiliar place…staring directly at a large Cartoon Network logo.

Pibby has broken the fourth wall to find the entire CN / AS universe affected by the virus. Beloved characters like Fred Flintstone, Finn and Jake, George Jetson, Blossom, Bubbles and Buttercup have become shambling zombies, smeared with digital artifacting, their faces frozen in wide, unnatural, Momo-sized grins.

We’ve never seen anything like this done before — quite a huge thing to say considering how much is out there right now. Sure, WB allowed The Banana Splits Movie a couple years ago, which reimagined the characters of the 70s costume series as murderous animals, but no one cared about the Banana Splits by that point, so they were safe to trash.

By contrast, many of the characters being turned into creepy monsters in Pibby are still valuable IP and in some cases still producing episodes. It took a lot of nards to make a short like this. We love it.

Even though it’s being presented as a short, Learning With Pibby feels much more like a trailer for a series….more of a proof of concept showing us scenes from a larger tale than telling a straight story. And if AS is considering making this a series, we say GO FOR IT. The short is already a hit despite having only been revealed for 24 hours, with animation communities abuzz all over social media.

If Pibby goes anywhere, we’ll let you know.