“Victor and Valentino” is off to a Fun, Adventurous Start

By: Dylan Hysen

 

vv1Victor and Valentino premiered this morning at 8:30am on Cartoon Network (not that you’d know from their TV listings) from Powerpuff Girls storyboard artist Diego Molano. In this 11 minute pilot, Molano is faced with the Herculean task of establishing characters and a new setting all while executing a story that can stand on its own. This is completely unreasonable, yet Victor and Valentino finds success in its first episode, introducing us to a fascinating world in the context of a fun, fast-paced story. 

vv5The show is lead by half-brothers (they briefly discuss their shared father at one point) Victor (voiced by Molano) and Valentino (Rico Rodriguez, from Modern Family) who have a familiar adventurous/wet-blanket dynamic. Victor is your Star or Mabel of the show, and Valentino, more the Dipper or Marco. The short episode doesn’t give enough time for either character to jump out at you, but their adventures in it certainly do as the two somehow quickly travel to the underworld via tacos and a magic dog, where they face a supernatural maze.

vv4What stands out most about the show is the humor (Victor at one point in the episode’s best gag chooses a luchador mask over things like a GPS from a video game-like item shop in the maze) and the unique aesthetic of the show. Victor and Valentino feels like Gravity Falls with its sibling-dynamic and supernatural setting, but more fun and absurd, and infused with Hispanic culture. From tacos being the framing device of the episode, to almost everything feeling Día de Muertos-inspired, to the leads themselves and all of the characters being Hispanic, to the partly-Spanish speaking grandmother (very Jane the Virgin-like), the show consistently highlights the cultural influence of its creator, and to me it clearly pays off as that’s the thing that stands out most in my mind looking back on the pilot.

vv2The episode ends with Victor and Valentino’s grandmother telling them an ominous “it’s time for you to learn the truth about Monte Macabre” after Victor’s new mask apparently reveals a ghost-realm in their hometown. I love when seemingly throwaway gags pay off to the overarching plot and Victor’s luchador mask being the key to unlocking this new realm is an excellent example of that device. The end of the episode is an intriguing direction to take the show, playing off the strengths of the Día de Muertos-influence of the episode. This prominent otherworldly dynamic always being at play could be a great distinguisher from shows like Gravity Falls and I can’t wait to see where the series goes next.

Catch the pilot again on November 1st at 3:30pm on Cartoon Network. [Update: it’s now on Youtube.]

Dylan Hysen, a software developer from the DC area, hosts the Overly Animated podcast discussing everything animation.
 

12 Comments

  1. Clara October 31, 2016 at 12:59 am

    I really love the colors and background details so much and the animation is so smooth my only concern is how fast the pilot can go but looking at the already smooth animation who knows how better it will get I actually really REALLY hope CN makes the right decision by choosing Victor & Valentino and stops playing TEEN TITANS GO, that show SUCKS ! BIG TIME. AND MIXELS? Come on! I don’t get it Anyway, if Victor & Valentino does become a show I hope, i think it could even outgrow the shows on CN! (overall i just want Victor & Valentino to become a show) I would love to see the pilot again, is the air time 3:30pm for miami too?

     
    • Dylan Hysen October 31, 2016 at 10:32 am

      Yeah definitely hope CN picks it up. 3:30 should be eastern Miami included, yeah.

       
      • Clara November 1, 2016 at 12:31 am

        Thank you so much Dylan !

         
  2. Tiffany October 31, 2016 at 6:36 pm

    I really luv tht episode, it reminds me of Nick’s El Tigre (which I luv’d) plz PLZ I’m praying CN buys at lease a season worth

     
    • Dylan Hysen October 31, 2016 at 9:16 pm

      Definitely!

       
  3. Manuel October 31, 2016 at 7:25 pm

    I saw this today in the afternoon, the Victor came off as a complete prick and was very off putting way beyond the mold for his character time. I enjoyed the show over all but couldn’t foresee watching the show regularly because of such a jerk character.

     
    • Dylan Hysen October 31, 2016 at 9:17 pm

      Give Victor a break! lol The characterization definitely wasn’t the focus of the pilot but something had to give in the 11 minutes. I’m sure with more episodes Victor’s character could be fleshed out a lot more.

       
    • Clara October 31, 2016 at 11:37 pm

      But here’s the thing, it is obvious that the creator made Victor with the intention of being annoying. And just because of that I find him a whole lot less annoying than I should. Just give him the space he needs to deal with his issues dude (which BTW I can’t wait to find out) This was just the pilot and so far I think Victor is a really lovable, skinny, funny, and cute character. And the episode was amazing! and i really hope it turns into a show!

       
  4. Ivan November 2, 2016 at 10:36 am

    It feels like a dull version of Gravity Falls and El Tigre. Victor comes as a jerk and if the show gets green light it will only focus him getting into trouble. Valentino looks like a good character but he does feel like a pushover and has to take the fall because of Victor’s bonehead decisions.

    It’s a pilot i know but if the creator is going towards making Victor a jerk at least make him a more charismatic one like Grunkle Stan, Ben Tennyson from Omniverse,

    The art wasn’t very impressive, i give them credit to the background but the character designs look dull and boring not to mention that CN seems to be sticking with the same boring style that the PPGR and Ben10 R is getting lately.

    For once, Cartoon Network should try giving the artist more freedom and give the characters a more unique design other than round faces and round eyes that we see lately. The guys that are behind Mickey Mouse shorts and Teen Titans Go are creating their own cartoon pilot “Long Gone Gulch” and it looks more interesting than this.

     
  5. angel romero November 16, 2016 at 1:06 am

    what is that crying lady called in that picture?

     
    • Dylan Hysen November 16, 2016 at 8:06 am

      Not sure!

       
  6. Cristina December 18, 2016 at 7:12 pm

    She’s called: “La llorona”

     

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