Is ‘The Get Down Brothers’ A Real Comic? The Birth Of Hip Hop Gets Animated In Part 2
Of all the series that are available for watching on Netflix, you'd be hard-pressed to find one with more style than The Get Down. The Netflix original series debuted the second half of its first season on April 7, and proves that it's still got plenty of surprises up its sleeve. (Minor spoilers ahead!) Case in point, halfway through the first new episode of the first season, the series throws all expectations out the window and becomes an animated fantasia. The animated scenes might make you wonder if there's a The Get Down comic book that you can pick up at your local shop.
Many hip hop artists have been inspired by Saturday morning cartoons and comic books. And The Get Down uses these sequences to pay homage to the animation of the era in which it's set. The animated scenes don't make up a majority of the episodes, but they have enough of an effect that I can't help but wonder if The Get Down could have a second life as a cartoon. It's clear that the series has a deep love for the animation style of the late '70s, and the scenes made me feel as if I was watching an old comic come to life. As of right now, there is no spin-off comic of The Get Down available, but it would make a nice tie-in to the show.
The first comic book sequence comes out of out nowhere, since Part 1 did not include this element. It brings multiple characters into its cartoon world, as The Get Down Brothers try to promote a show happening that evening, Shaolin Fantastic journeys into "White Boy Land" to retrieve Zeke, and Cadillac Caldwell pulls together a group of disco-minded associates to take down the competition. It's all pretty weird and out-there, even for a show that isn't afraid to go out-there from time to time. But eventually the animation is revealed to represent the Get Down Brothers comic book adventure Dizzee is drawing and sending to Thor while the latter is in prison.
While The Get Down animation itself is very clean and modern-looking, the movement of the characters and the many sound effects utilized harken back to the golden age of Hanna-Barbera animation, including The Flintstones, Scooby-Doo, and Wacky Races. Popular rappers like MF Doom and the Wu-Tang Clan have referenced and sampled cartoons from this era in their music. In a way, The Get Down is sampling cartoons in the same way, borrowing familiar aspects and spinning them into a whole new product.
While The Get Down is set in the early days of hip hop, it doesn't just focus on the music itself, but also on the culture that surrounded it, including animation. These comic book sequences are an entertaining detour, but they're also strong enough to prove that no matter what the medium, there's no other story on TV that's being told that's quite like The Get Down.