Flicking Through Netflix: Silverwing

Welcome to another article in my Flicking Through Netflix series.  I was in the mood for something lighthearted today, something that was harmless and maybe a little whimsical.  So, naturally, I turned to children’s cartoons.  The one I picked today is Silverwing, a cartoon about bats… That’s basically it, it’s a cartoon about bats.  Apparently, this cartoon was based on a book, but I’d never heard of it.  So, you’ll forgive me if I don’t talk about the book at all.

I’m going to try to give a brief synopsis for Silverwing.  Unfortunately, that means diving into the backstory of the cartoon.  So, forgive me if this gets boring.

Hundreds of years ago (I think), there was a war between the Birds and the Beasts.  From what I can figure, it was just birds against mammals.  Why was there war?  No clue.  Anyway, the bats didn’t get involved in the conflict because they considered themselves both birds and beasts.  Because of this, once the war was over (with seemingly no victor), the Birds and Beasts were pissed.  They banished the bats to the night, never allowing them to see the sun.  The story starts off with a young bat named Shade deciding to screw that banishment and stay up to see the sun.  The Owls, who apparently are the Big Brother of the woods, don’t like this and set fire to the bats’ home in retribution.

The first in my endless list of questions about all this:  Why?  Why forbid a group from ever seeing the sun?  It just seems stupid.  It’s not like they’re banished to a certain section of the woods or something.  They just have to become nocturnal.  It’s baffling to me.  It’s like letting someone eat anything they want except donuts.  Sure they’ll notice, but what does it change, really?

Second, why did the bats agree to this?  Because they were outnumbered?  Because the other animals are bigger then them?  Because bats are just stupid?  We never get an explanation for why they follow this “law.”

Third.  You’re telling me that in hundreds of years, possibly more, there has never, not once, been one kid bat who decided to break the rules?  This is the first ever time this law hasn’t been listened to?  Bull.  Pure bull.  There had to have been ONE.

This whole thing reeks of a bully story, plain and simple.  The owls are just straight up jerks who enforce rules simply because they can and not because it makes any sense.  Let me just get this out there.  I.  HATE.  Bullies.  Bullies are scum.  Bullies have no reason to do what they do.  They are just jerks to everyone because they can be and they should be stopped.

Other then all the plot holes, this cartoon just felt generic.  The main character, Shade, is basically just a blank slate with no personality to speak of.  The other characters just feel paper thin.  The leader who feels motherly toward her followers, the bully-like bigger bat who brags about everything, the mother who constantly worries.  All just cardboard cut out characters.  The animation was okay, I guess.  It didn’t feel as detailed as it should have been.  It felt like bare bones animation.  Which works for some, but it didn’t work for me.

The whole first episode of this series just left a bad taste in my mouth.  I felt like I wasted my time watching it.  It felt like it was trying to be the Secret of NIMH and it couldn’t even pull off being the Secret of NIMH 2.  I’d say give it a skip unless you’re really into bats.  For me, continuing this cartoon would be just plain batty.


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