I’ve heard many a parent say something along the lines of “ugh. They don’t make cartoons like they did back in my day.” And it’s true. Each generation has a different eye and perspective on the world, and it can usually be identified through the animated programming of the era. However, Kiff, coming soon to Disney Channel and Disney+, while taking place completely in the modern day, has a vibe so reminiscent of 90’s animation that it's the closest thing that those parents will get.
Kiff is a nutty animated buddy-comedy about an optimistic squirrel, Kiff, and her chill bunny bestie Barry. The series follows Kiff and Barry as they navigate school, relationships and their often-eccentric community in Table Town, a world where animals and magical oddballs tackle day-to-day life together. Each episode starts with a simple premise, “ride the water slide,” or “be the first to drink from this water fountain” and from there, sets into antics and shenanigans that are entertaining for the target YA demographic, but wild enough to keep the attention of parents too.
The 90s vibe carries over into all the episodes, with subversive humor that will likely go over the heads of younger viewers and hit the adult audience square in the face, leaving the kids wondering what they’re laughing at. Something that occurred in my very youth with shows like Rocko’s Modern Life. The show, filled with simple shapes and bright, vivid visuals, will catch anyone’s attention. It’s the witty storylines and relatable personalities of each character that will retain it.
Relatability stems from Producers Lucy Heavens and Nic Smal, who openly share that the show is inspired by the people and places they experienced when they were growing up in Cape Town, South Africa. Each half-hour episode, comprising two 11-minute stories, includes a new original song. Smal being a musician himself, you can tell that care was given to the catch tunes that are sure to debut on their own album in the near future, including the title theme, which is mostly “Kiff!” repeated numerous times backed by a SKA band. One episode, if you’re like me, will have you trying to find your closest Brunch D.J.
Easily my favorite detail of the new series is a moment during each title card. Each episode has their own fictitious sponsor from a company or store in Table Town, and that company appears (sometimes subtly, sometimes in your face) at some point in the episode. Spotting the company is a fun game to play and is a great treat for paying attention to the episode.
Kiff is sure to delight viewers, and is easily the most lighthearted, care free series on Disney Channel, and it doesn’t take itself as seriously as other fare on the network. Not everything has to be deep, and Kiff knows it, presenting itself as a light, refreshing animated escape for viewers. 4 out of 5.
Kiff debuts on Disney Channel on Friday, March 10th, at 8:00 PM EST/PST, and is also available on Disney+. For more information about Kiff, be sure to check out our interview below!