The Fairly Oddparents: Wishology is a rare treat. It’s quite uncommon in that it’s animated, a comedy, over two hours long, and manages to remain largely fresh the entire time. The first episode of this three-part story arc aired Friday night, with the second airing on Saturday and the third on Sunday.
Wishology begins with the standard Fairly Oddparents opening, but quickly establishes itself as something more epic in nature by moving right into a brief, secondary CG opening. The story starts off with Timmy acting out a trilogy of wishes in which he plays the lead, or the “chosen one” in parodies of The Matrix, The Lord of the Rings and Harry Potter. His world is quickly torn asunder as Jorgen Von Strangle interrupts, causes Cosmo and Wanda to disappear, teleports Timmy home, and erases his existence from the memories of his family, friends and enemies alike. Also, giant robots and an entity called “The Darkness” are in pursuit of him. To further compound matters, Timmy resembles the Chosen One depicted in the Fairy World prophecies, destined to defeat the aforementioned Darkness. For brief synopses of the equally epic second and third episodes, please feel free to read this press release.
The visuals (character designs, animation, both standard and CG) are fantastic. The animation is consistent throughout, and the character designs seemed consistent with what I remember of the series. Of the characters created specifically for Wishology, there is a rock creature that looks fantastic. A clear attempt has been made have 3D objects mesh with their surroundings. It’s not perfect, but, unless you’re feeling particularly nitpicky, not tremendously distracting either.
I viewed the three episodes in one sitting. I would imagine very few others can do that right now, or would, given the opportunity. One might think that taking in three hour-long episodes (with commercials) intended to be viewed over the course of three evenings might bring more flaws to light, but that’s not what happened. There are overarching themes and recurring jokes that require repetition, but episodes largely managed to stay fresh. The story is well-paced. For the most part the sight gags and jokes hit when they’re supposed to, and the story has enough tension to draw you into the second and third episodes once the first is done.
The voice work is great. The only weak link was Brendan Fraser’s performance. That’s more a matter of personal taste. He hit what one would probably think a large muscular hero with buck teeth might sound like. But it was an entirely unattractive voice, off-putting, and it simply didn’t work for me. The two members of KISS were only around for a portion of the first episode and didn’t speak often enough to warrant an opinion.
I thought the choice of rock band, by the way, was fitting. I can’t think of too many other groups out there who were steeped in pop culture, had a mythology that extended past the flesh-and-blood members, were easily accessible, probably not shy about being willing to license their music out, and could exist in such a universe with such an exaggerated reality.
The Fairly Oddparents: Wishology is worth your time. It’s pretty, it’s funny, and it manages to stay funny and engaging the entire time it’s on screen. Wishology will also simulcast on Nickelodeon Mobile and will be available on TurboNick, the network’s broadband player. Instant replays will stream following the debut on-air. One week following the premieres on Nickelodeon, the three installments will be available to watch on Video-On-Demand.