Wake Up, Carlo! Season 1 Review – Light-hearted and enjoyable Brazilian show with a touch of satire

Season 1



Episode Guide

Episode 1 – | Review Score – 4.5/5
Episode 2 – | Review Score – 4.5/5
Episode 3 – | Review Score – 4.5/5
Episode 4 – | Review Score – 4/5
Episode 5 – | Review Score – 4/5
Episode 6 – | Review Score – 2.5/5
Episode 7 – | Review Score – 5/5
Episode 8 – | Review Score – 4/5
Episode 9 – | Review Score – 2.5/5
Episode 10 – | Review Score – 3/5
Episode 11 – | Review Score – 4/5
Episode 12 – | Review Score – 4.5/5
Episode 13 – | Review Score – 3.5/5


The animated satirical Netflix series, Wake Up, Carlo! revolves around Carlo and his closest companions, who once resided on the Island of Fun for No Reason. They used to play silly games such as hide-and-seek under the direction of their ruler, Mount Solange. Despite the fact that there were no winners, every kid could indulge in delectable Guavito cookies after finishing the activities.

Carlo treasured the cookies but yearned for genuine competition. At hide-and-seek, Carlo aspired to come out on top. Discovering the best hiding spot on the entire island was therefore necessary. So, Carlo ignored Mount Solange’s cautionary tales and hid within the Sinister Forest, home to some fairly sinister beings, where he eventually fell asleep.

Almost 20 years have passed when Carlo wakes up to discover that the Island of Fun for No Reason has vanished. Now known as the Land of Decisions, it is ruled by King Blaus, who is an elephant-like figure with a metallic trunk. Every single one of Carlo’s companions, which includes his monstrous best friend, Berto, has grown into an adult. His companions appear to have forgotten the earlier days, whilst Carlo continues to be a kid.

Wake Up, Carlo! uses a stoner’s strange visuals and convoluted anti-communist undertones, which is an intriguing approach. Carlo appears to have dozed off in the pre-communist era and woken up in the era when that phase evolves into tyranny. However, he still appears to have that light in him, the delusion of having no competition and everyone living happily.

The Brazilian show seems to be an altered and animated adaptation of Animal Farm in the initial episodes. There are clear links between Berto’s Junior Monsters Manual and the principles of Animalism. Additionally, there are similarities between how the creatures’ memories are locked away in the show and how the animals start to forget the real principles in the novel.

Carlo and his friends’ storyline, in which they lose a friend to the abyss, is quite moving. It also serves as a metaphor for how we eventually forget people after they pass away, in the sense that their memories fade away.

The show also features the fictitious character Dr. Floyd, who is modeled after Dr. Sigmund Freud. The character portrays the traits of the father of psychoanalysis—from practising therapy to using hypnosis—and it is rather hilarious, at least in the beginning. As the show goes on though, it presents Dr. Sigmund Freud in a negative light, a creative decision that viewers won’t appreciate due to his significant contributions.

The characters in the show represent various themes. These themes that the characters represent sometimes overlap, making the show quite complex, yet intriguing. For instance, King Blaus represents communism at its peak. But he also represents a person’s reality in other situations. This makes separating what he represents based on each episode’s overarching theme challenging.

Carlo is a representation of childhood, fantasy, and the deeply primal aspects of our unconscious nature. On the other hand, Berto has a semi-realistic personality. He is not as naive as Carlo, nor is he as influenced by society as King Blaus. Berto appears to be a hybrid of the two.

Towards the end of the show, we learn the truth about Mount Solange. We come to understand that she is a communist who despises all forms of competition. She is in fact quite cruel in the process, as she is also the creator of the sinister fog. 

Dr. Freud’s research on the unconscious mind is also referenced with Dr. Floyd representing the character’s unconscious mind that is catching up with them because they are under the influence. They do, however, manage to get away, implying that they are able to shrug off the harsh reality of their situation.

Wake Up, Carlo!’s visuals are extremely captivating and skillfully executed. The fantasy genre visuals seem to have been combined with what seems to be a stoner’s bizarre vision, creating something entirely new in the process. The Brazilian show is light-hearted, enjoyable, and humorous, with a touch of satire thrown in for good measure. The show is also chock-full of metaphors but towards the end, the collision of metaphors is absurd.

Sure, there’s a common critique here surrounding communism. However, there are also references to building walls and beliefs that contradict that too. But overall, the show is brilliantly made. This one is worth watching because of the breathtaking visuals and strong character arcs.

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  • Verdict - 7.5/10

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