Julien Neaves, Caribbean Head Writer
Part of the mission of this website is to promote Caribbean film and television or “Cariwood” as I have coined it. And unlike “fetch” I will make that term happen. Anywho, I feature a lot of content from Trinidad and Tobago because firstly that’s where I am from (big up all Trini massive!) and secondly because I have the greatest access to content from my beautiful twin island state. Dang, starting to sound like a tourism ad. But TT is not the only country in the region so I do make an effort to feature content from the other states.
And in the spirit of exploring content outside of TT, today I will be taking a look at a charming online animated fantasy comedy series The Adventures of Raz from Bermuda. The series, written, directed, animated and starring the voice of Tashel Bean, follows the titular young adventurer Raspberry aka Raz, his magical lizard Mango and his fellow guardians the “Loquat Hunters” as they battle evil on Loquat Island, a fictional, fantasy version of Bermuda named after an indigenous fruit. Eight episodes have been released online so far on The Adventures of Raz website.
The Adventures of Raz is a very light, colourful, fun and funny series. The animation style is simple but bright, creative and relatively fluid. The humour, while not adult, is very dry and meta, poking fun at everything from anime to local Bermudian issues to the show itself. The lead character Raz is easy to root for with his wide-eyed optimism, bravery and heroism. And his lizard sidekick Mango is adorable and has a surprising array of abilities.
The other characters are quite lively as well. I enjoyed the other two Loquat Hunters Coconut, the cowardly goof, and Strawberry, the sharp tongued spitfire who finds many things “disgusting”. And I laughed every time she called something disgusting. I also enjoyed the thorn in Raz’s side, the annoying bully Goose. There is an ever changing roster of baddies and monsters so you don’t get to know them very well, but they do have interesting designs. The show is more comedy than action but there are a few cool action sequences.
The stories are relaxing little adventures and each serve to expand the rich lore and world. But I do have to point out an issue with the overall structure.
The first six episodes are about 12 minutes each and seemed to be leading up to a major story arc involving magical Loquat crystals and a confrontation with an evil cult. But the last two episodes under the banner The New Raz Adventures are about seven minutes each and are something of a soft reboot, slimming the cast and focusing on a new main mission. I was actually looking forward to seeing where the first main story was going, and I hope it does not get dropped entirely.
But structural issue aside, The Adventures of Raz is a still a delightful series bursting with creativity and packed with humorous moments. So do check it out and show Mr Bean and his team some love. You can find the website here.
Julien “Jules” Neaves is a TARDIS-flying, Force-using Trekkie whose bedroom stories were by Freddy Krueger, learned to be a superhero from Marvel, but dreams of being Batman. I love promoting Caribbean film (Cariwood), creating board games and I am an aspiring author. I say things like “12 flavours of awesome sauce”. I can also be found posting about TV and movie memes, news and trailers on Facebook at Movieville.