“Ollie & Scoops”: An Enthralling Fantasy-Adventure Series

Ollie & Scoops
Ollie and Scoops scheming (Screengrab: Ollie & Scoops)

What if a nine-year-old girl could talk to cats? Ollie & Scoops answers this question. This series follows the wild adventures of Ollie and her cat friend, Scoops, in the worlds of cats and humans alike, and is an animated series like no other.

Ollie & Scoops is the creation of Nico Colaleo, an animator, writer, and editor known for his series Too Loud and work on series such as Kid Cosmic, Middle School Moguls, and many others. Ollie & Scoops is an indie animated adventure, fantasy, and comedy series which has been described as a “hidden gem,” with the show’s eight episodes collectively pulling in over 1.3 million views on YouTube and tens of thousands of views on Newgrounds.

As a warning, this show recommendation discusses some spoilers for this series. 

Ollie & Scoops
Ollie reassures Scoops in the third episode that she will always be his friend

Ollie & Scoops centers around Ollie (voiced by Kimmy Robertson) and Scoops (voiced by Eric Bauza) her 2-3-year-old cat friend. Scoops has known her since she was a young child, when Ollie’s parents gave Scoops to her as a present. Ollie and Scoops go on adventures in their neighborhood, home, school, and in an underground city of cats named Catlifornia. In the process, they come across a sleazy cat named Merle (voiced by Rich Evans), an orange-haired cat who works for Merle, Brunk (voiced by Mike Stoklasa), the mayor of Catlifornia, Scrumpy (voiced by Colaleo), a clumsy dark blue-haired cat, Hoagie (voiced by Matt Brailey), and a pink furred cat named Cuddles (voiced by Candi Milo).

Another of the recurring characters is Poopsie St. Pierre, a flirtatious cat in a relationship with Rudy (voiced by Adam McArthur). She is voiced by Vivienne Medrano, creator of the indie animation smash hits Hazbin Hotel and Helluva Boss, and Colaleo’s good friend. In addition, one of the show’s animators, Ashley Nichols, is currently working on her own indie animated show, Far-Fetched, and previously worked on the pilot of Hazbin Hotel as an animator.

Ollie & Scoops features other talented voice actors. For instance, Grey Griffin, voices the rude, demanding girl, Julia Goldburger, while Dana Snyder, most recently known for voicing Scratch in The Ghost and Molly McGee, voices Dougie, a silver-haired cat in the show’s most recent episode, “Warm Cream.” Colaleo has confirmed that Dougie will appear in future episodes. Mike Stoklasa voices the young obsessive and controlling cat owner, Terry Bumble, in “Warm Cream, ” and Brock Baker, known for his role as Stolas in the Helluva Boss pilot and roles in other series, voices an orange-haired cat named Dan Dipple. Piotr Michael voices J. Liquids, the principal of Davis Elementary, where Ollie goes to school, Rich Evans voices Brother Puddles in “Warm Cream,” and Kelsy Abbott, the voice of Sara in Too Loud and Reggie in Twelve Forever, voices Ms. Binnie Bevvins, one of Ollie’s 4th-grade teachers. All these characters shine because of the talented cast.

In some episodes, Daron Nefcy, the creator of Star Vs. The Forces of Evil, voices the cat, Macaroni and Cheese, while animation writer Emily Brundige voices Stacy in the first episode of the series, and voice actress Rebeka Thomas voices a science teacher at Ollie’s school named Wendy Whippleworth. In one episode, Craig McCracken, the creator of Yonder Over Yonder and Kid Cosmic, voiced the narrator!

Apart from the voice acting, with other voice actors not described here, like those in upcoming episodes, the music of Ollie & Scoops is one of the show’s strong suits. Wendy Avalon, a well-known singer, rapper, writer, and actress, sang in the episodes “Warm Cream,” and the fourth episode. The latter consisted singularly of a song by her about the adventures of Ollie and Scoops with accompanying animation. The music and original songs from the series, are a delight. The show plays with this when the Sailor Moon ending theme plays at the close of the episode “Tuitor Suitor.” Additionally, Dave Neff composes the show’s theme.

The series stands out to such an extent that I didn’t even think once about other animated series I’ve seen with cats in the past year, like Cleopatra in Space with its council run by cats, the catgirl in a few episodes of High Guardian Spice, or the cat voiced by Tiffany Haddish in the strange new animated series The Freak Brothers, to name a few I can think of offhand.

In the episode “Tuitor Suitor,” LGBTQ+ representation in Ollie & Scoops shines through. The episode centers on the story of Binnie, who is anxious and nervous to tell another teacher, Wendy, that she likes her. Even the butterflies from her stomach serve as a “physical manifestation of her anxiety” according to Colaleo. Ollie and Scoops scheme together in an attempt to help Binnie and are ultimately successful. In the end, Wendy and Binnie realize they have something in common, a show named Dragon Times, with both agreeing to binge-watch it together while eating pad Thai.

Colaleo noted in a recent Twitter AMA that there will be more of Wendy and Binnie in future episodes. This is not unique to this particular series by Colaleo. For instance, his series Too Loud features a lesbian couple. He confirmed that Molly and Rachael are in a romantic relationship with one another after fans shipped them in the first season of Too Loud.

Ollie & Scoops
Binnie nervously sits at a table with Wendy in episode 7

The animation of Ollie & Scoops is smooth, fluid, and has its own unique style. This is especially the case in the most recent episode, the longest one so far. It was delayed, according to Colaleo, due to its expense and the current pandemic. Colaleo has said that the character design of Scoops is based on the style of Looney Tunes, while Ollie’s design is more of a mix, with knee socks “popular with Japanese schoolgirls,” baggy sleeves and the top that Babs Bunny wears, and the glasses that the boy in “Halloween is Grinch Night” wears. During the show’s development, the designs changed dramatically from their original conception. That isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but it shows that something you work on can change over time, that it is not static and unchanging. The design of Catlifornia was amazing, not only with the funny jokes in signage, or that certain parts can be “seedy,” but the fact it draws you into the world of the show.

One of the strengths of Ollie & Scoops is its characters. For instance, Ollie can be impatient and temperamental while Scoops doesn’t mind taunting others at times, as he does with stray cats in the first episode. Both have their own insecurities, with people calling Ollie “weird” since they can’t understand how she can talk to cats. Hilariously, although Ollie can understand what Scoops is saying, everyone else just sees Scoops meowing all the time, so they have no idea what he is saying at all. In the most recent episode, Ollie lashes out at Scoops after experiencing the sensory overload of hearing lots of cats chatter and he interrupted the season premiere of her favorite TV show. She later tries to find Scoops and reconcile with him.

Julia also has issues with self-worth and self-esteem, trying to get back her title of best student from Ollie using any means possible. She likes to judge people and can be controlling at times. Even Poopsie, the focus of the sixth episode, an episode that doesn’t even feature the two protagonists, gets more depth than being a flirtatious cat. In the sixth episode, she encounters troubles from those trying to hit on her, resulting in her leaving the city of Catlifornia with Randy before facing down a monster, Crumplecranks (voiced by Chase Beck).

Ollie & Scoops, a series produced by a staff of about 20 people, has a lot going for it. It is a series that came about after pitches for the series were rejected by major studios. The ninth episode of Ollie & Scoops is set to air on YouTube sometime later this year. Colaleo noted that future episodes for the series have been written, and voice actors have already recorded their lines. He also said that the tenth episode is coming out in 2022. Hopefully, future episodes will shed light on how Ollie has the power to communicate with cats, and explore the “personalities and diverse characteristics” of those in Ollie’s elementary school class, while remaining a compelling series.

With Ollie & Scoops currently on hiatus, now is the time to watch the show’s episodes on Colaleo’s YouTube channel, including the pilot and seven other episodes from the first season, along with features about the making of the show’s episode, Colaleo answering questions about the show from fans, and clips of seasonal music. You can show your support by contributing to his Patreon, GoFundMe, or through other avenues, so the episodes can continue to be made in the future.

Author: Burkely Hermann

Burkely is an indexer of declassified documents by day and a fan fic writer by night. He recently earned a MLIS with a concentration in Digital Curation from the University of Maryland. He currently voraciously watches animated series and reads too many webcomics to count on Webtoon. He loves swimming, hiking, and searching his family roots in his spare time.

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