If you’re looking for a fast, harmless “pick-me-up,” I highly recommend plopping down on your futon and watching this series.

By Melissa Farthing, Staff Writer/Artist

Are you a fan of cats? How about ninjas? Anime-inspired properties? Perhaps you’re more into cute characters, lots of action and comedy that will have you chuckling for minutes on end. What if I told you that there was a show that combines all of these things? You’d probably be pretty happy, right? Well, congratulations! Your dream has come true!

The magical show I am referring to is called Mao Mao: Heroes of Pure Heart. It is an eleven-minute episodic animated series currently airing on Cartoon Network. The show is still fairly new; according to The Hollywood Reporter, it’s official announcement occurred on May 20th, 2019 and its first episode was released on the Cartoon Network app the same day. 

Personally, I was surprised Cartoon Network put out the first episode of Mao Mao on the very day the series itself was announced. Usually, I have a good idea of what new animated shows are coming up, but this one caught me off guard. Since I had no preconceived notions on Mao Mao, I decided to check it out. I’m so glad I did because I absolutely love it!

Mao Mao: Heroes of Pure Heart follows an anthropomorphic black cat named Mao Mao (voiced by series creator Parker Simmons) who travels into Pure Heart Valley with his sidekick, Badgerclops (Griffith Kimmins), a badger with a robotic arm. There, they meet a tiny blue bat named Adorabat (Lika Leong), who teams up with them to learn how to be a legendary hero. Throughout the series, these three unlikely friends have to work together to protect their new home from the forces of evil. 

One thing I love about Mao Mao is its art style. The show is animated by Titmouse, Inc., a company whose passerine logo often makes cameo appearances in episodes. This is the company’s first time fully producing a series for Cartoon Network, but the newness of the endeavor never shows. Despite being fast-paced, the animation is always smooth and easy for the eyes to follow. This is displayed exceptionally well during fight scenes.

Mao Mao also checks out in the comedy department. It’s been a long time since a cartoon has been able to make me laugh out loud consistently. Not every episode is gut-bustingly hilarious, but there are plenty of great gags and one-liners with genius comedic timing found within the series. 

A final intriguing factor about the show is its strong world-building. Just by admiring the impressive background designs, you can tell that a lot of thought was put into creating the valley of Pure Heart. Each place in the show includes an immense amount of detail. Plus, the supporting characters, like Orangusnake’s gang, King Snugglemagne and the Sweetiepies, only add more to the ambiance of an already captivating world.

If you’re looking for a fast, harmless “pick-me-up,” I highly recommend plopping down on your futon and watching Mao Mao: Heroes of Pure Heart. New episodes typically air Saturdays at 10 a.m. on Cartoon Network. Or, you can view episodes on the Cartoon Network app if you log in using a cable provider.