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Humanities 2016, 5(3), 51;

“All That Was Lost Is Revealed”: Motifs and Moral Ambiguity in Over the Garden Wall

Department of Liberal Arts and Sciences, Otis College of Art and Design, 9045 Lincoln Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90045, USA
Academic Editor: Claudia Schwabe
Received: 13 March 2016 / Revised: 30 June 2016 / Accepted: 30 June 2016 / Published: 5 July 2016
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Fairy Tale and its Uses in Contemporary New Media and Popular Culture)
Full-Text   |   PDF [209 KB, uploaded 5 July 2016]


Pointedly nostalgic in both its source material and storytelling approach, Over the Garden Wall’s vintage aesthetic is not merely decorative, but ideological. The miniseries responds to recent postmodern fairy tale adaptations by stripping away a century of popular culture references and using motifs, not to invoke and upset increasingly familiar fairy tales, but as an artist’s palette of evocative, available images. In privileging imagery and mood over lessons, Over the Garden Wall captures something that has become vanishingly rare in children’s media: the moral ambiguity of fairy tale worlds.1 View Full-Text
Keywords: transmedia; artifactualization; motifs; fairy tale; television transmedia; artifactualization; motifs; fairy tale; television
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).
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Willsey, K. “All That Was Lost Is Revealed”: Motifs and Moral Ambiguity in Over the Garden Wall. Humanities 2016, 5, 51.

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