By CATHERINE LENCIONE
Young creators have been starting an influence within the animation industry for the past few years, some being lucky enough to reach success in a short amount of time. This has been the case for creator Alan Ituriel with his creation from a few online shorts. This eventually lead into the creation of shorts online that created enough popularity to have an official show be greenlit.
Villainous started as an independent project in 2012 with Alan Ituriel writing, animating, and voicing all of the characters himself on an art website he would frequently collaborate on. When the current series was picked up by Cartoon Network’s Mexican studio, he was able to attach some more professional animators to make the show look more polished and add voice actors to the project. One such voice actor includes the popular YouTube icon Mark Fischbach, (a.k.a. Markiplier) as the character of 5.0.5.
The main premise for the first run of shorts is the Black Hat Organization, run by Black Hat and with the assistance of three less than evil minions, attempting to sell a variety of inventions to the villains of the world through infomercials with disastrous results. The second run of shorts, under the name Villainous Orientation Videos, has Black Hat observing the behaviors of various Cartoon Network (CN) villains and jerks to point out the flaws in their evil schemes while also promoting his own products in the process. This has been especially successful because it references the current run of CN shows while also referencing the classics that many of us grew up with such as the original Powerpuff Girls series. This adds to the unique world building for this show that always appears to have been there and been an influence for many classic characters.
The cast of main characters, while small for the time being, are very colorful and unique in their designs and personality. Black Hat, voiced by creator Alan Ituriel in English and Spanish, is the head of the Black Hat Organization and a pure evil narcissist with a penchant for causing trouble in each episode he’s in. His powers range from teleportation, shapeshifting, conjuring objects, opening portals, and manipulating space while also being able to play the organ and violin. When he isn’t promoting his products, Black Hat takes pleasure in torturing and teasing his minions for the fun of it.
The mad scientist of the organization is Dr. Flug, a nervous young man with a paper bag on his head for a reason not explained in the shorts, but will eventually be explained in the show. Flug is very nervous and stressed out by his position, and does seem to show villainous intent with his various inventions and critiquing other villains in the orientation videos as he assists his boss with his plans despite the constant fear he instills in him.
The third character, who made her official debut in the 2017 run of shorts, is Demencia. A human girl with lizard like qualities, she is Black Hat’s biggest fan and assistant with a knack for destruction. She has a huge crush on Black Hat, though the feelings aren’t returned in the slightest.
The final character, 5.0.5, is a large blue bear with a flower on his head. He’s a failed experiment by Dr. Flug that is incredibly nice and loves hugs, making him the only good guy in the Black Hat organization and serves as their housekeeper.
Villainous is a fun and unique show with colorful animation and character designs. It has an interesting premise, entertaining characters, and the potential to evolve into something great. It is inspiring to see creators from all walks of life have the chance to create a passion project they want to see come into fruition. With something as remarkable as this show, both in how it differs in style and tone from the current run of Cartoon Network shows, Villainous is something that should definitely be checked out on CN’s app or YouTube page.