Chibi Tiny Tales Is An Inexplicable Animated Series
The most noteworthy thing about Chibi Tiny Tales is that something like it exists. “Chibi” is a term from Japan referring to an animation style of large-headed, overly expressive characters. That we now live in a media landscape where random Disney characters (by the actual company) get that treatment is something I never thought I’d see.
And not only that, they also do an animated retelling of Halloweentown. That’s so niche—and done with such care—that I was left baffled. Amused, yes, but baffled.
It’s Hard To Figure Out Who The Target Audience Is
But how are these little shorts? Well, cards on the table, I only watched ones for shows I knew. I haven’t seen Big City Greens (and it’s not even a fantasy/sci-fi/horror show anyway). I’ve watched some of The Ghost and Molly McGee, but the shorts may mean more to fans. I only paid attention/reviewed some of the ones for Amphibia, Phineas and Ferb, The Owl House, and DuckTales. But that was enough to get the vibe. And the vibe is fun but forgettable. It takes effort for me to recall the plots after seeing them.
This is because the episodes almost always consist of a minor conflict, followed by shenanigans and then a basic resolution. There are no real stakes, and the humor is almost always slapstick or little visual gags.
Chibi Tiny Tales Shorts Only Loosely Have Stories
Chibi Tiny Tales also doesn’t feel the need to follow the rules of their franchises. A Phineas and Ferb episode had the sun acting as a sentient being, and an Amphibia one had the frog characters casually going to space in a museum rocket ship. It’s very Looney Tunes logic, where it can break internal rules if it’s funny or cute.
The overwhelmingly positive aspect of Chibi Tiny Tales also partially compliments the original creators. Despite being warped by a new animation style, these characters still look distinctly themselves (except Ann from Amphibia—she’s usually lanky, so it’s weird having her squashed). If you know these shows, then you can tell who’s who. They also keep things relatively accurate to their personalities. Scrooge and Donald react—even if only facially—how you’d think they would when faced with dangerous temple traps. Polly making friends with a space rock is very in character.
There’s Some Commitment To Consistency Shown
Subtle sound cues also help. Having Candace yell “mom” was an obvious inclusion, but still appreciated. It makes you realize how much these series are defined by their audio landscapes. The Owl House short makes this most apparent, with the background music instantly distinct.
Sadly, that’s not enough to make this worth it for older viewers. For little kids, sure. But these are far too shallow for anyone else. Chibi Tiny Tales is a unique media piece, but its only major draw is the visual gimmick.
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