'The Cuphead Show!' Sneak Peek: Netflix Teases The Nostalgic Design Of Its Video Game Adaptation

Netflix's upcoming animated series The Cuphead Show! has a bit of an unusual background: its retro Max Fleischer-inspired style would have you thinking that it's a modern remake of a 1930s classic, when in fact it's an adaptation of a 2017 video game.

Developed by Canadian video game developer StudioMDHR, Cuphead is a run-and-gun video game that was inspired by the rubber hose style of animation used in cartoons of the 1930s, and built some of the surreal elements of the animation into its gameplay. The result was one of the unique video games in years, with Cuphead earning several awards and selling over 5 million copies within two years. It wasn't much later that Netflix came knocking about turning Cuphead into an animated series. Now the streamer has released a sneak peek, giving a behind-the-scenes look at the nostalgic animation design of the upcoming series.

The Cuphead Show Sneak Peek

In a retro newsreel-inspired teaser complete with grainy footage and an old-timey announcer, Netflix takes us behind the scenes of The Cuphead Show!, an animated adaptation of the wildly popular video game. The animators pay tribute to inspiration that the original video game took from Max Fleischer, the animator behind iconic animated characters like Betty Boop and Popeye, and integrates it into their animated series. While the animation looks notably sleeker than that of the video game — this may be due to the fact that the series won't be completed using traditional pen-and-paper methods as the game did, as it will take far too long to complete — it still features that same brand of hand-drawn characters and movement that made the game such a success.

But it would be hard to beat the animation style of Cuphead, which featured hand-drawn animation and meticulously watercolor-painted backgrounds. Take a look at one of the boss fights from Cuphead to compare:

First announced by Netflix in 2019, production on The Cuphead Show! looks to have been temporarily stalled by the coronavirus pandemic, but the "ragtag tribe of enthusiastic artists and animators," as the trailer boasts, has banded together to complete the work virtually, with the voice actors even recording from the comforts of their home. The series is being co-executive produced by StudioMDHR's Chad and Jared Moldenhauer along with CJ Kettler from King Features Syndicate. Dave Wasson and Cosmo Segurson will co-executive produce, and Clay Morrow and Adam Paloian will serve as supervising directors.

No release date has yet been set for The Cuphead Show!