Seriously, this show is like My Little Pony meets Cronenberg.
When you think of a show about a character that jumps from one world into a completely different fantasy setting, you probably always assume that character is going to be human. This show cleverly goes in the exact opposite direction, with the main character being a horse who journeys through a fantastic world trying to find her human rider. Along the way, she meets a cast of colorful characters and has amazing adventures, only most of the characters and adventures, while presented as cartoonish and fun, are deeply unsettling when you think about them. I have to give a lot of credit to whoever pitched this initially, they either lied tremendously or managed to convince Netflix to give a lot of money to a crazy idea.
Horse (Kimiko Glenn) is a warhorse who is separated from her Rider (Jessie Mueller) during a war with an army of minotaurs. Horse ends up being transported by a mystical artifact to a cartoonish place called Centaurworld where almost everything is half-animal and half-human. She meets a group of centaurs who agree to help her: Alpaca centaur Wammawink (Megan Hilty), zebra centaur Zulius (Parvesh Cheena), finch centaur Ched (Chris Diamantopoulos), gerenuk centaur Glendale (Megan Nicole Dong), and giraffe centaur Durpleton (Josh Radnor). Together, the group must travel through Centaurworld to find all of the pieces of Horse’s artifact and hopefully reunite her with Rider.
In the first episode of the show, we see the gritty reality that Horse comes from where everything is animated with a lot more shading and a darker palette than the rest of the series, which only makes the colorful cartoonish animation of Centaurworld more pronounced. Horse, notably, starts out with her original animation, which makes her stand out more among the characters. As the series progresses, however, Horse starts to slowly change to resemble Centaurworld’s animation and, much to her horror, takes on some of Centaurworld’s ridiculous magical nature. Centaurworld, like the worlds of My Little Pony or Rainbow Brite, is filled with singing and logic-breaking magical characters, something that contrasts with Horse’s sword-and-sorcery world, so a lot of her arc is adjusting to this new normal. However, while Centaurworld is colorful, a lot of the character traits are genuinely unpleasant. For example, the centaurs shoot tiny copies of themselves out, which tend to just start screaming and running around in terror at being surrounded by giants. At some points, it appears they just kill themselves, something that their normal-sized counterparts seem to just ignore. Tons of other elements of the characters are similarly messed-up. So, while you may enjoy the show for the fun song numbers or crazy designs, you might also enjoy the twisted sense of humor that comes from these elements.
Overall, solid show, just… be warned.