July 22, 2021 — It was a quiet Friday in June when the Netflix Geeked Twitter account blew the lid off some exciting news. Almost exactly two years after news dropped that the anger-inducing antics of Cuphead would translate to their own Netflix animated series, a post revealed King Dice, the big baddy in the action-packed side-scrolling shooter, would be voiced by Wayne Brady.
Now, it is one thing to entice fans of the oft frustrating shooter with news of an animated series. It is another to start slapping some notable star power onto its cast list, and Brady’s charisma will undoubtedly bring life to the square-headed fiend responsible for Cuphead’s deal with the Devil.
— Netflix Geeked (@NetflixGeeked) June 11, 2021
The Twitter post was accompanied by a short teaser of the series, showing the animation style and some of the other denizens of Cuphead’s world, including everyone’s favorite one-eyed merchant, Porkrind. However, the titular character remained absent from the clip as it focused primarily on the animated King Dice. While it is exciting to see some of the animated series in action, what is most striking about the clip is it largely retains the old-timey 1930s feel of the source material.
In the game, Cuphead’s perilous tale was told through a digital storybook overlaid with filters to give it an aged appearance. Though the clip of the series is brief, you can tell the show follows in the game’s footsteps while also giving the world a little bit of polish. There seems to be a vibrancy to the animation that was not quite there in the game, resulting in a more modern up-to-date appearance. Not that that is a complaint, especially as some have already praised the visual style, but it may take a little to get used to as it is likely the scratches and grain present in the game would get old very fast after only an episode or two, so one cannot judge the showrunner’s decision here.
@netflix has revealed the looks of the #upcoming show based on the game #Cuphead. The game’s old-school animation style translate perfectly into an animated series. There is not release date yet. #TheCupheadShow
— Asnow (@asnow_mx) June 17, 2021
It is worth noting this isn’t the first look we’ve had of Cuphead. In fact, in June 2020, Reddit users started posting behind-the-scenes footage of the series. These unfinished videos carry names like “CarnEvil” and “Dangerous Mugman” and are storyboards and animated sketches.
An additional reel of completed material was also leaked, showcasing Cuphead, Mugman, and even the Devil himself. At one point, Cuphead throws some of his traditional bullets at a carnival game, alluding to the possibility that the smiley mug cup may be able to defend himself. The collection of clips does not give away much, save for Cuphead and the Devil’s vocals, but it’s a neat look at what’s to come. That is, if the footage was not test footage (or scrapped later in production.)
Originally revealed by the game’s developer, Studio MDHR, The Cuphead Show will follow Cuphead and his co-op pal, Mugman, as they get into some kooky antics. What does that mean, exactly? Well, we are not entirely sure, but with King Dice slinking around, viewers can expect things to get “dicey.” Will there be towering henchmen like Cagney Carnation and The Root Pack? One can only hope!
With Brady on board and Netflix’s somewhat tiresome track record for political correctness, it is likely the series will do its best to avoid drifting into subtle but unsavory territories. It may be a little difficult to do entirely, considering the source material Cuphead’s animation style. We will have to wait and see how the platformer translates into an episodical animated series.
Oh, if there is one thing we want to see in The Cuphead Show, it is the use of the “Cuphead Rap” from JT Music.