Happy Wheels: The Series is an animated comedy based on the browser game of the same name. In the game, players attempt to guide riders across deadly obstacle courses to spectacularly bloody effect. The Series does much the same thing, but with a plot![Edit February 2019: Machinima was acquired by Otter Media in January 2019 and abruptly closed. Currently, Happy Wheels: The Series is unavailable until new ownership rites are acquired. I will repost the link if and when it returns.]
Video Game adaptations run the gambit from Super Mario Bros: The Movie(so terrible it’s good) to Mortal Kombat: Legacy(How they should be made!). Most adaptations end up somewhere in the middle of that spectrum leaning more toward the bad side. This is often caused by a lack of understanding of the source material(Final Fantasy) or a desire by the director and/or producer to make a property their own way(Uwe Boll’s Bloodrayne). This is a challenge because games can be a very subjective medium with many players seeing different things based on their own experiences.
Then there is Happy Wheels: The Series.
This nine-episode animated series suffers none of the downfalls of the previous examples because it embraces the source material and expands upon it. Happy Wheels, the town, is a cheerful place where citizens go about their lives oblivious to the many terrible death traps that decorate the environment. Hardly anyone bats an eye when a pedestrian is run down and mulched by a riding mower or when a jump pad launches a cyclist into a giant spinning buzz saw.
Comic dismemberment is a hallmark of the game and the series uses it as its narrative focus. The series begins with a weekly race featuring five of the original game’s characters. Following the race, and its many injuries/casualties, the survivors join together to form the Defensive Education Awareness Team and Heath Society(D.E.A.T.H.S.). Their charge? To promote safety and awareness to all people, and animals, of Happy Wheels. The group travels the city to promote their cause and end up causing just as much harm as good.
The show also features a voice cast of notable internet personalities including: Jordan Maron (CaptainSparklez), Lance Stewart (Lance210), Anna Brisbin (Brizzy Voices), Ryan McNulty (xRPMx13), Shanna Malcolm (HeyYoShanna), Tyler Pappas (LogDotZip), Jerome Aceti, Ricky Hayberg, Eliot Dewberry and Tay Zonday.
The series is produced by Machinima, a leader in internet content creation and veteran of quality video game adaptation. Their library of series include Halo: Forward Unto Dawn, Mortal Kombat Legacy, Street Fighter Ressurection, and Transformers: The Combiner Wars.
There isn’t much else to the Happy Wheels but then again there doesn’t need to be.
Its a simple show with a simple premise and it is executed efficiently. With a total run time of 26 minutes Happy Wheels The Series is a fun, bloody, and ridiculous show that is worth at least one watch. After all, who doesn’t want to watch a bunch of anonymous red shirts get mulched from time to time…right?
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