More than two years after revealing its plan to turn the hit indie platformer Cuphead into an animated series, Netflix announced today that the series will debut on February 18. We've also got a brand new trailer showcasing the lush retro visual style of the show, which will follow the ongoing misadventures of the mischievous Cuphead and his brother Mugman.
Cuphead—the game—was released in 2017 and made quite a splash as "a nails-hard 2D shooter where you fight outlandish bosses, interspersed with palate-cleansing run-and-gun sections," as we described it in our 86% review. But what really made it stand out was its visual style and jazz-infused big band soundtrack, all of which could have been lifted directly out of an animated short from the 1930s and '40s. It looked (and looks) great, and plays just as well.
"Studio MDHR’s outstanding debut pits you against some of the toughest enemies you’ll face in a videogame, and the process of beating them can be slow and sometimes painful," we said in our review. "But when you eventually do, the surge of euphoria is undeniable."
It's hard to say what specifically we can expect as the Brothers Cup embark upon new adventures in the animated realm of Inkwell Isle. The trailer is intensely surreal, with talking animals and vegetables, snappy dialog, song and dance numbers, slapstick violence, explosions, and what appears to be a skeeball machine that eats souls. It looks very faithful to the Cuphead source material, though, which is especially interesting because so much of the game is rooted in the old animated shorts that the Netflix show emulates. In a way, it's kind of like Cuphead and company in their true, natural environment.
The Cuphead series on Netflix will feature 12 episodes of 12 minutes each, starring Tru Valentino as Cuphead, Frank Todaro as Mugman, Joe Hanna as Elder Kettle, Luke Millington-Drake as the Devil, Grey Griffin as Ms. Chalice, and Wayne Brady as King Dice. You can find out more (although, honestly, not much more) from Netflix, and enjoy some pre-release amusements at cupheadcountdown.com.