Review: Camp Camp “Campfire Tales”

 

Overview (Spoilers Below)

David decides that it’s the perfect night to tell scary stories, so he tells a vintage tale about three kids who politely listened to some wise old ghosts about the importance of cleaning their rooms. Quartermaster then tells the story about how he stole a man’s hand in the war. Then, Jermy Fartz scuffles out of the bushes to divulge a fantasy (a la The Ugly Duckling) where “a very good boy” is kicked out of the Wood Scouts for being gross and incompetent. He happens upon the Flower Scouts, who attempt to give him a “makeover,” but the “very good boy” then reads a letter from his parents and realizes that family is the true camp he belongs to (“and then he got hot.”)

Dolph follows up with a self-insert narrative of his own, where a renegade graffiti artist escapes the threatening throes of Berlin to live inside the art world of his animated graffiti creations. Max states how none of these are scary stories and goes to tell one of his own, but notices Space Kid is missing. The fire goes out, and when a flashlight is shone onto David, he’s got a demonic voice and chaotically squiggly facial features. Max escapes, but cannot outrun the nightmare of the same fate befalling the rest of the gang.

This turns out to be a scary story Space Kid himself was telling.

Our Take

Hey, this isn’t a Halloween special!

This episode is a prime example of how far Camp Camp’s animation has come. Not only was Space Kid’s scary-story design for the cast genuinely creepypasta worthy, but it also just LOOKED cool. It was nice to be genuinely surprised — visually and narratively. Now we know what all the characters would look like as Mimikyus.

Aside from the big spooky reveal at the end, it just seemed like the animation was more fluid overall — even the tiniest movements (such as when the kids are huddling together in fear) seemed to have more character. The different stories told throughout the episode definitely provided more opportunities to exercise stylistic creativity — especially with the Dolph tale.

But with the upsides of these different narratives, it also came with one big (reoccurring) downside: pacing. Camp Camp, in general, has some obvious pacing and tone problems, and this episode was pretty representative of that. The first few stories weren’t all that entertaining — and it took time away from the main event, which was Space Kid’s story. There obviously needed to be buildup, but the stories could have been much shorter (and cutesier) to highlight how horrifying Space Kid’s narrative would be. Maybe it didn’t even need the other stories to build it up at all.

Also, let’s be real: nobody wants that much Jermy in an episode. That scene could have been more time spent on David’s story, where the main trio was dressed in vintage duds (which was super adorable to see.) Side note: try as they might, Dolph will never be as wholesome a character as they keep pushing for.

Despite the fact that there wasn’t a single spooky scary skeleton insight, though, the animation made it all worth the while.

Kayla Gleeson

Kayla Gleeson is an entertainment writer and media player, with work involved in shows such as Anthony Bourdain's "Parts Unknown" and Chicken Soup for the Soul's "Hidden Heroes." In addition to her work on BubbleBlabber, she also has dozens upon dozens of published articles for RockYou Media. Aside from immersing her life in cartoons, she loves to write and read poetry, be outdoors, go to conventions, and indulge in Alan Resnick stylings of comedy.

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