A Look at the Whirlwind of “Come and Learn With Pibby”
Adult Swim has given us a lot of great series over the years. Aqua Teen Hunger Force, The Venture Bros, Robot Chicken, Rick and Morty, and even the revival of Toonami. However, in all my years of watching cartoons, I don’t think I’ve ever seen anything like what Adult Swim just did. This past Halloween weekend, Adult Swim released a short titled “Come and Learn With Pibby,” on YouTube. What everyone saw almost set the animation community ablaze.
You can see why this short has made waves on YouTube over the past few days. Created by Dodge Greenley, who previously worked on Sanjay and Craig and Pinky Malinky, this Adult Swim short came out just in time for Halloween. And its premise of a sweet and lovable character from a preschool show being thrust into this apocalyptic event isn’t just interesting. It’s downright horrifying! Now, fans of animation are clamoring for Adult Swim to turn this short into a full-fledged series. Should Adult Swim do so, Pibby could become one of the greatest works Warner Bros ever created. And here’s why.
The Subversive Premise Is Enough to Draw People In.
To understand why Pibby shocked so many people, you need to know about the “subverted kids show” trope. Essentially, it’s the idea of using a parody of something sweet from the target audience’s younger years to draw them in. Then, they turn it on its head by doing something meant to shock viewers. For example, imagine a Blue’s Clues short that turned into Blue fighting on the street for survival because Steve died in a violent accident. Or that Internet legend about Thomas the Tank Engine being possessed by demons. The point is, it takes something you loved as a kid and messes with it to create something far darker.
Surprisingly, a lot of people enjoy these kinds of stories. Maybe it’s due to the sheer nostalgia we initially feel, or some part of us finds the premise, in some sick way, interesting. Maybe we just like seeing our childhood’s made fun of. The point is, this kind of thing is popular and could make Pibby popular if Adult Swim does more with it. Especially since it would see many of the characters we grew up with, many of whom are not used to such violence, now fighting for their lives. The sight of Bugs Bunny consumed by that glitch abomination can scare anyone.
The Biggest Crossover Warner’s Ever Done
Another big draw to this short was the inclusion of characters from the many animated properties Warner Bros. and Cartoon Network have done over the years. Whether you love the Looney Tunes or Hanna-Barbera cartoons, watched the channel in the late 90s through the 2000s, or more recently, in the 2010s, then you’ll recognize at least one cartoon in this short.
This isn’t the first time that Warner’s done a company-wide crossover with their cartoons, either. From 2004 to 2006-2007, Cartoon Network went through the era of CN City. CN City was this brand of bumpers and shorts that depicted the characters from all of Cartoon Network’s shows living in a single, shared city, most often the titular city. The sight of characters from different shows casually interacting with each other left an indelible mark on kids. To this day, I still look back on CN City fondly.
Then, in 2009, we got FusionFall. This MMORPG took the shared universe premise and turned into an adrenaline-fueled epic. Basically, an intergalactic warlord, Lord Fuse, and his roaming planet, Fusion, are attempting to invade and conquer the world of CN City. Players could fight alongside most, if not all, of their favorite characters from various shows.
If Adult Swim’s willing to do so, they could have Pibby surpass both of these concepts. Having every single one of their animated properties be part of a shared multiverse that’s under attack by an eldritch horror. An unlikely heroine to unite them all into making a stand to save the cartoons we loved from destruction. It would be the Cartoon Network/Adult Swim equivalent to the MCU in one fell swoop. You can see how profitable that could be.
Share Pibby With Everyone
Having said all of this, what can you do to ensure that Pibby becomes a reality? Dodge Greenely himself tells you what to do in this Instagram post:
So, if you love Adult Swim, Cartoon Network, or Warner Bros altogether, then please, share this short. Make sure everyone knows about it. Let Adult Swim know that we want to see this. If done right, it could be a kind of magnum opus for Adult Swim and Cartoon Network. We want to see this!