[Cartoon] The Loud House

Caliburn

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General Info:

Series Name: The Loud House

Year of Serialization: 2016

Author(s): Chris Savino

Artist(s): Chris Savino, Karen Malach

Genre(s): Comedy, School Life, Shounen, Slice Of Life

Current Status: Ongoing

Moment of Reviewing: 13th episode (26 episodes are planned for this season)

Other Formats: /

Series Summary:

Lincoln Loud is an ordinary 11-year old boy who has an ordinary life and has to deal with ordinary problems, the same as any other 11-year old. Subtle difference: he has ten sisters, five elder and five younger ones, which makes him the middle child and the only guy in the family outside his father. Now these ordinary problems I mentioned, well when they involve ten sisters even the most mundane issue can escalate into a catastrophe with devastating results. That all of his sisters, from the youngest to the oldest, are as much different from each other as they are from Lincoln, only makes Lincoln's life look that much more as a prime example of Darwin's survival of the fittest-phrase.
Critical Review:

I wasn't really planning on reviewing a cartoon, but The Loud House was too amusing to ignore. Whenever I'm bored and I'm watching television, I always start checking the cartoon channels sooner or later just for the heck of it -old habits die hard you know- and well suddenly I saw a cartoon on Nickelodeon I had never seen nor heard about before. The basic concept was immediately clear: a huge family seen from the POV of Lincoln, the only brother among a total of 11 siblings. Personally I've always wondered how that would be having such a huge family, so I kept watching and the following days I intentionally zapped to Nick purely for this series. It didn't take long before I got so into it that I searched for all the episodes online.

The Loud House is a rather traditional Western cartoon. Each episode is largely independent from the next. They're divided into two short stories of 11 minutes each and they often follow similar scripts: there's a strong recognizable problem or situation Lincoln has to deal with, but due to the influence of one or more sisters, things go haywire. In the end of course everything works out and a moral lesson has been learned. Yes it's obviously a cartoon meant for children, something very different of the anime we got used to with dozens or even hundreds of episodes that focus on the exact same singular plot. However I often see people of my generation complaining about the current generation's cartoons. Well the Loud House is directed by Chris Savino who worked on The Powerpuff Girls, Samurai Jack, Hey Arnold, Dexter's Laboratory, Cow & Chicken, Johnny Test and many other series that are very well known and their influences are quite visible. For example Lincoln's parents rarely appear in the episode, but when they do their faces are never shown. Sounds familiar? Powerpuff Girls and Cow & Chicken. The hips of adult females have also that unusual characteristic shape that also appears in Savino's works like the Powerpuff Girls and Dexter's Laboratory.

My personal favourite though is that all the sisters are portrayed as an archetype to a point it's not really realistic anymore, but you accept it because that's the fun part. All their characters are so contrasting with each other you can't do anything else but laugh. There's Lori (the eldest, bossy and always on the phone with her boyfriend), Leni (airhead, but the most gentlest of all the sisters), Luna (rock-chick), Luan (comedienne), Lynn (sport freak), Lucy (emo-goth), the twins Lana (loves being dirty and playing with animals) and Lola (princess, loves beauty pageants), Lisa (genius, could be Dexter's girlfriend) and Lily (the youngest, a baby with a nudist streak). With all these messed up and conflicting personalities anything less than complete pandemonium is unthinkable. That's why Savino called them the Louds, which is also again an example of that traditional humor where the main characters have names that 'coincidently' fit them perfectly. To reinforce these archetypes their voices are quite distinct. It has to be said that the voice-acting and the dialogues are superb. Good examples of these are Lucy, Lori and Luan. Lucy the goth-girl always speaks in a monotone, disinterested way and occasionally said a specific word I didn't understand until I realized that whenever she is sighing, she says the word "sigh". Lori uses the word "literally" to describe pretty much everything and Luan cracks pun-related jokes all the time.

Of course the best part is when they start interacting with each other. Each 11-minute story always focuses on one particular issue which everyone who has siblings would be very familiar with: which TV program to watch, best seat in the car, hand-me-downers, the grown-up and the kids' tables, chore division, annoying habits etc. Rather normal stuff you would say, but when you throw 10 sisters and one brother into the mix, well then you have a recipe for disaster.


After having watched most of the episodes I started to realize that Lincoln himself does not conform with any particular archetype (other than being the middle child and the only boy) and that that's kinda the main underlying theme of this series. Lincoln's life is so strongly influenced by all his sisters that with everything he does or wants to do, he has to take into consideration how and when his sisters could meddle with it. As a result he started to take on characteristics of all his sisters which in return allows him to efficiently to deal with all of them. So essentially his purpose is being the sibling that connects all the siblings.

In the end of course it's a series meant for comic relief and considering the episodes are short, it's ideal if you're bored and want to have a quick laugh. There are also quite a few easter eggs to be found in the series: a musician name Mick Swagger (Mick Jagger), a band called Smooch (Kiss) and a movie called Lord of the Kings (Lord of the Rings) just to name a few. The animation is also terrific, in particular the way how the characters move, and I'm glad that they lessened the abstraction of the background in comparison to its predecessors.

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- Reviewed by Caliburn
 
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