Reviews: Oscar's Hotel For Fantastical Creatures

Kirsten reviews the online series Oscars's Hotel for Fantastical Creatures. 

"Eight arms to hold you.
Eight arms for pleasure."
Oscar’s Hotel For Fantastical Creatures is a six episode web series that transports its audience to a whimsical, fantastical universe where Oliver, the manager’s assistant, finds himself as the temporary proprietor of his uncle’s magical hotel when Oscar leaves unexpectedly. Oliver’s struggle to manage the hotel takes him on surreal adventures with its eccentric residents. 

This series originated from New Form Digital’s original “Incubator” short film which premiered in October 2014. Reaching just over an hour in total duration, all the episodes are currently available to watch on Vimeo on Demand. The original is just over ten minutes long, although it's not necessary to see before the newly released episodes, it's entertaining to view and you can familiarize yourself with a few of the creatures that stick through and make an appearance in the new hotel. 

YouTuber kickthepj, AKA PJ Liguori, is the head creator with his helping hands Bertie Gilbert and Tim Hautekiet. The series stars many other YouTube personalities such as Chris Kendall, reprising his role as Oliver, The Holy Trinity (otherwise known as Hannah Hart, Mamrie Hart and Grace Helbig) Felix “PewDiePie” Kjellberg, Dan Howell, Phil Lester, Mitchell Davis, Tom “TomSka” Ridgewell, Jack Howard, Dean Dobbs, Benjamin Cook, Bertie Gilbert, Carrie Hope Fletcher and Marzia Bisognin. Other than internet sensations, Alfred Molina and Patrick Stewart both provide the voices for Albert and Norbet the Repossession Fish.

"No. I will not be your dinner."
Oscar's Hotel is filled with so many organic effects and outrageous costumes, your eyeballs are constantly eating up what's on screen. From the original creature looks, to the paintings on the wall, this web series is eye candy. The Jim Henson Creature Shop, creators of fantasy characters in films such as Labyrinth, Where the Wild Things Are and The Muppets, are bringing Oscar’s Hotel to life with a combination of their expert prosthetics and puppetry, as well as being producers on the series. Despite the majority of creatures still having human faces, it's refreshing to see all the ideas that were put into the looks and how some of the characteristics even suited the YouTuber's personalities that were playing them. It has an overall childlike vibe with some imagination work that goes into it, followed up with adult jokes and some almost too real conflicts that Oliver experiences. 

The camera work is crystal clear, but a little laggy on Vimeo. No super impressive shot tricks but the overall colorful design leaves a good impression, and the score was not memorable except in the first episode. Each of the six stories were completely different but always led you back to the hotel in the end, and really left you feeling like you knew more and more about all that connects inside it. From Octo Chef and the Forgetful Hermit, to the insane gun wielding demon horse clown and Death himself, it stays true to it's name and Oscar's Hotel for Fantastical Creatures takes you through a journey that you won't soon forget, or want to stop imagining.


-Kirsten Anderson

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