A Gearhead’s Review of Netflix’s “Buddy Thunderstruck” Show
Netflix has become known for its adult-oriented shows and movies, but the online video streaming service has produced a myriad of original children’s programming, too. Last year, Netflix released the first season of Buddy Thunderstruck, a stop-motion animated show about a truck-racing, anthropomorphic dog. Children and adults will enjoy watching Buddy Thunderstruck, the eponymous hotshot hero, whose overconfidence gets him into one situation after another.
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The unique vision of Ryan Wiesbrock, who’s worked on other children’s shows like Packages from Planet X, Buddy Thunderstruck deservedly earned 2017 Annie Award nominations for Best Animated Broadcast Production for Children and Outstanding Achievement for Character Design in a Children’s Broadcast Production.
The episodes, overseen by head writer Tom Krajewski, depict the wacky adventures of Buddy Thunderstruck, a talented yet cocky dog who’s the fastest semi-truck racer in the town of Greasepit. As a local celebrity, Buddy has a lot of friends—and enemies—all of which are animals, such as his ferret mechanic Darnell Fetzervalve; the head horse in town, Sheriff Cannonball; and warthog rival Tex Aarkana Jr.
Each episode consists of two standalone 10-minute adventures that involve scenarios like Buddy becoming a rock star (“Buddy Shreds”), investigating vehicular accidents (“Hit and Dumb”), and, of course, racing his truck, the Rabble Rouser.
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Review of Buddy Thunderstruck
The vast majority of today’s children shows—although admittedly witty—are pretty cheaply made. The animation is simplistic and limited, aimed at producing a lot of episodes quickly on a small budget. That’s why shows with as much painstaking detail as Buddy Thunderstruck, which deliver entertainment that’s as appealing visually as it is narratively, are so rare.
This stop-motion animated creation features inspired and talented voice acting, memorable character design, and a brilliant approach to the destructive, intense car crash sequences (like cotton smoke).
There’s plenty of gearhead humor in this youth-oriented show that will please adults with its industry parodies, clever running jokes, and farcical tone. Few of the episodes stand out as particularly memorable above the rest, especially since they’re so short and progress at a rapid pace, but they’re all charismatic and well-produced. There aren’t any moral lessons being taught in Buddy Thunderstruck, but its abundance of catchphrases, quick-delivered dialogue, and charming aesthetic make it a lot of fun.
If you’re looking for an entertaining, suitable show to watch with your kids and all share a laugh, Buddy Thunderstruck is worth a detour.
The first season (12 episodes) of Buddy Thunderstruck are currently available for viewing on Netflix.
Aaron is unashamed to be a native Clevelander and the proud driver of a 1995 Saturn SC-2 (knock on wood). He gleefully utilizes his background in theater, literature, and communication to dramatically recite his own articles to nearby youth. Mr. Widmar happily resides in Dayton, Ohio with his magnificent wife, Vicki, but is often on the road with her exploring new destinations. Aaron has high aspirations for his writing career but often gets distracted pondering the profound nature of the human condition and forgets what he was writing… See more articles by Aaron.