Unabashedly crude and unbelievably vulgar, Big Mouth is wickedly entertaining.
Trying to pitch and successfully sell Netflix’s new animated comedy Big Mouth to anyone is nigh impossible. Think Family Guy‘s darkest and edgiest jokes, mixed with Rick and Morty‘s pure absurdity and Sausage Party‘s unabashed crudeness, by way of a sex education class for unassuming Year 6’s and you’ll maybe have something close to what Big Mouth is. Maybe.
From the well versed team of Nick Kroll (The League, Sausage Party), Andrew Goldberg (Family Guy), and husband-wife creative duo Mark Levin and Jennifer Flackett (Nim’s Island), Big Mouth is Netflix’s latest voyage into the world of adult animation, having seen success with the likes of BoJack Horseman and F is for Family. The show centres around a group of teenagers who each face their first experiences of puberty in different ways, along with the messiness, horrors and awkwardness of it all. Kroll, John Mulaney, Jessi Klein, Jason Mantzoukas, Jenny Slate, Maya Rudolph, Fred Armisen and Jordan Peele provide the voice work for the main characters, with most of them voicing multiple roles, each giving a distinct identity and personality to their characters, which, when combined with the script’s strong character development, makes for a well rounded and likable ensemble of characters. The voice work across the board is just as hammy and over the top as the humour.
If you’re expecting, or hoping for, any kind of easing in process or slow removal of the plaster of the show’s premise, then you’ve come to the wrong place: Big Mouth is unapologetically crude and unbelievably vulgar. Such obscenities include the pillow and bathmat shagging sex obsessed Jay (voiced by Jason Mantzoukas), a talking vagina (voiced by Kristen Wiig) and the hormone monster Maurice (voiced by Nick Kroll) and mistress Connie (voiced by Maya Rudolph), a physical manifestation of the teens’ aggressive hormones, complete with sensual voices, a lot of hair and, in the case of Maurice, multiple penises which he carries around. Still with me? OK, so it’s totally unlike anything you’ve ever seen before, but therein lies the appeal in a strange kind of way. Big Mouth is so damn strange that its alarming approach mixes in with some genuinely intelligent and insightful comedy; puberty as a raging, sensual, grotesque monster – isn’t that what it’s like for a lot of teens? A homoerotic trailer for a new Dwayne Johnson film causing one character to question his sexuality? I suppose it could happen… One boy preparing to masturbate like a conductor with an orchestra? OK… On top of the intelligent absurdity, the show packs in an abundance of wit and laugh out loud humour, wrapped up with this crude premise is a hilarious comedy that rivals up to the best moments of the top animated adult comedies.
Whilst some of the humour doesn’t work as well and it does have a tendency to drift into being too over the top at times, Big Mouth is a unique, crude, resounding success. Combining idiosyncratic and bizarre humour with some deceptively deep themes, this vulgar mind trip is riotously hilarious and despicably enjoyable. You’ll hate yourself for loving it so much…
Big Mouth is available to stream on Netflix.