‘Hazbin Hotel’ a bold step in indie animation

Hazbin Hotel is one of those iconic pieces of art that, years later, will be looked back on as the starting point of a new era in a particular medium.

If The Little Mermaid marked the start of the legendary “Disney Renaissance” period, Hazbin marks the start of what I like to call the “YouTube Animation Renaissance”.

I talk about that in more depth elsewhere, let’s focus on the show.

At the time of writing, Hazbin consists of only one episode so far but the overarching plot follows Charlie, the princess of Hell, as she tries to open a rehabilitation centre (the titular hotel) in order to try and redeem sinners and thus solve Hell’s overpopulation problem.

The series takes the form of an animated musical but this is definitely no children’s cartoon.

As already mentioned, this series takes place in Literal Hell with all the swearing, violence, and general debauchery that entails. Heck, one of the main supporting cast members is an unapologetic adult film star

Despite this, Hazbin doesn’t fall into the obvious trap of being edgy for the sake of it. In fact, for a series with its premise, it is surprisingly restrained.

It helps that the main character, Charlie, is just so darn loveable. Unlike the rest of the cast, she is a cheerfully optimistic do-gooder who tries to see the best in everyone, even though being in Hell means that they are pretty terrible people.

She’s helped along by her aggressive and over-protective girlfriend Vaggie and Angel Dust, the previously mentioned film star who acts as the main comic relief.

In addition to the stunning cast, Hazbin features truly inspired animation and catchy musical numbers that are sure to get your toes tapping.

Hazbin Hotel creator/director Vivienne Medrano has promised to take the series further if there’s enough support and I for one hope they succeed.

The entire show is available on YouTube.

(Warning: strong language; violence/sex/drug references)

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