Bradley Trevor Grieve is a best-selling nature creator and presenter who got here to folks’s consideration within the early 2000s; he does look like he’s fairly the character, so making him right into a cartoon isn’t as bizarre because it appears. Within the new Netflix collection Journey Beast, BTG mainly performs an animated model of himself, and the truth that he doesn’t take himself in any respect critically is a plus.
Opening Shot: A shot of the Earth, with Ethiopia highlighted. Then we see the heads of ostriches. A graphic says “Ethiopian Foothills”.
The Gist: Veteran explorer Bradley Trevor Greive (himself), or BTG, is doing a “parasite census,” the place he has an inventory of untamed animals that he wants stool samples from; his goal is to check the parasites which are dwelling within the varied species’ poop. He’s dressed as an ostrich — which has a symbiotic relationship with the zebra — attempting to probe a kind of zebras when he’s interrupted by the screeches of his assistant Dietrich (Josh Zuckerman).
He’s surrounded by bees however is deathly afraid of the “flying hypodermic needles.” He’s afraid of most of nature, which is why he thinks he’s survived as BTG’s subject assistant for a decade, when each earlier assistant died fast and horrible deaths (and their names all appear to rhyme). BTG’s niece Bonnie (Danice Cabanela) is on her first journey along with her uncle, and she or he needs him to see that she’s now an grownup that may tackle duties and make good decisions within the wild.
She overpacks, together with a tranquilizer gun, which is once we see a flashback to Cambodia 30 years in the past, and a younger BTG caring for tigers as an alternative of individuals as considered one of Australia’s high paratroopers. He’s devoted his life to animals within the wild and he figures if he wants a gun to get out of a state of affairs, he’s doing one thing improper. That’s the primary rule of working for Grieve Expeditions — proper together with “By no means attempt to save BTG.”
We additionally learn the way Dietrich ended up as BTG’s subject assistant, and a number of the adventures that Bonnie engaged in through the years, which she thought proved to her uncle that she will deal with issues herself. But when wrestling alligators wasn’t going to persuade him, nothing will. That’s, after all, till he will get severely injured by lions, and, as he’s soaking the bites within the river, he asks Bonnie to get the ultimate pattern he wants, from a “magnificent” mountain ayala.
What Exhibits Will It Remind You Of? It’s really laborious to peg Journey Beast to anyone present. It feels prefer it’s like a human Bluey paired with episodes of Wild Kratts. But it surely’s additionally not for youths, so it’s extra Wild Kingdom with reference to its content material.
Our Take: From tweezing the anuses of untamed animals to the varied animal disguises he seemingly has on the prepared, it’s fairly obvious that Grieve doesn’t take himself in any respect critically, which ends up in some fairly humorous gags in every episode.
They may very well be sight gags, like BTG sticking a hypodermic in his temple for secure conserving whereas he talks to his commanding officer, or operating gags like all of the methods his rhyming-named subject assistants all find yourself useless. He additionally appears to have the ability to survive animal assaults that will kill most individuals. These quickie jokes are combined with the extra character-driven humor, like the truth that he has an assistant who hates nature and a niece who’s all the time attempting to show herself.
Alongside the best way, Grieve, head author Brian Frange and the writing workers handle to get in quite a few fascinating factoids about wild animals that even probably the most nature-fascinated particular person may not know. Do you know ostriches’ eyes are as huge as elephant eyes? We additionally study quite a few mutualistic animal relationships that we’d not have identified about up to now.
Journey Beast packs all of this into 15-minute episodes that neither wallop you over the top with data or rocket from one gag to the following. It manages to get all that data in, make you chuckle, and even get to know BTG and his crew. That’s a reasonably good use of quarter-hour.
Intercourse and Pores and skin: None, until you depend probing for fecal matter.
Parting Shot: We swap to a stay motion model of BTG (Grieve) and Bonnie (Cabanela) in his workplace; they’re joking about how totally different animals characterize the totally different cliques you may discover in highschool.
Sleeper Star: Let’s give this to Grieve himself; he’s not a voice over actor, however he appears to be well-suited for cartoon comedy work.
Most Pilot-y Line: None we may discover.
Our Name: STREAM IT. Journey Beast is a enjoyable and informative animated collection that takes benefit of its star’s inherent goofiness and data to create a personality distinctive to grownup animation.
Joel Keller (@joelkeller) writes about meals, leisure, parenting and tech, however he doesn’t child himself: he’s a TV junkie. His writing has appeared within the New York Occasions, Slate, Salon, RollingStone.com, VanityFair.com, Quick Firm and elsewhere.
https://decider.com/2021/10/23/adventure-beast-netflix-review/ | Stream It Or Skip It?