If you haven’t noticed, the world is pretty crazy right now. Between the pandemic, police brutality and a general feeling of uncertainty, many have been looking for an escape through entertainment. After months of searching, I believe that I’ve found the perfect show to help you destress and relax, even if it's only for ten minutes: “Summer Camp Island.”
I’ve known about “Summer Camp Island” for a while now, but it’s taken me until recently to actually watch it. As a huge fan of and advocate for animation, this show’s art style and premise alone were enough to get me interested. When HBO Max announced they were adding a second season, however, I knew it was time to dive into the series.
What exactly is “Summer Camp Island?” Well, it’s bizarre, but quite charming. “Summer Camp Island” follows Oscar, a young elephant that struggles with social anxiety, and Hedgehog, Oscar’s outgoing best friend. The two are sent to Summer Camp Island by their parents, expecting a normal summer. When their parents disappear from sight, however, the camp counselors reveal themselves to be witches and most items on the island come to life. As you might expect, episodic hilarity ensues.
I can’t begin to tell you how much “Summer Camp Island” puts me at ease. It’s an incredibly strange show, sure, but it brings with it a calming vibe that is hard to explain. From the second the serene theme song by Oona Laurence begins, this feeling of peace just kind of washes over me. It’s sort of like walking into a room filled with your favorite people; the day may have been hard, but it’s okay now.
Much like many animated series from the modern day, “Summer Camp Island” wastes no time in each episode’s 11-and-a-half-minute runtime. Luckily, however, every single episode is filled to the brim with hilarious comedy that will make anyone crack a smile.
“Summer Camp Island” did initially release on Cartoon Network, so it’s to be expected that there will be some low brow humor here and there. I was blown away, however, at how many small jokes intended for adults are sprinkled through the series. This is definitely a show that the whole family can enjoy, no matter your age.
The show feels so incredibly welcome in 2020 due not only to its peaceful vibe, but also its message. The whole series is about getting out of your comfort zone, being kind, being accepting and helping others. It just feels so incredibly wholesome that I can’t help but be enthralled by each episode.
There are virtually no unlikable characters in “Summer Camp Island.” Oscar is lovably awkward and is an incredibly relatable protagonist (we’ve all felt awkward at some point in social situations). Hedgehog is equally charming and watching her help Oscar time and time again constantly reminded me of the best friends in my life.
Even the series’ “antagonist,” Susie, is likable in her own way. Though she is clearly a jerk and is constantly trying to screw over the campers, one can’t help but laugh at her love-able selfishness. Somehow this series even got me to love a plethora of inanimate objects, as Oscar’s pajamas and the moon were two of my favorite reoccurring characters.
Watching “Summer Camp Island” at the end of every day will surely become a new tradition of mine. No matter how bad the world may seem, seeing Oscar and Hedgehog go on some absurd quest to mess with Susie will always put a smile on my face. In this time of uncertainty, “Summer Camp Island” might just give you the peaceful, wholesome vibes you need to help you keep your head up during these troubling times; I highly encourage you to give it a watch.
“Summer Camp Island” is currently streaming on HBO Max.