This week, Amazon Video released a new animated series Undone, receiving hugely positive reviews and earning a rare 100% Fresh rating on Rotten Tomatoes. The series has been praised not only for its impressive use of rotoscoping animation, but also for its fascinating and complex story.
Undone was created by Raphael Bob-Waksberg and Kate Purdy, who served as writer-producer for the animated Netflix series BoJack Horseman. Like BoJack, Undone deals with themes of grief and mental illness. A breakdown of the series by Deadline explains that the series follows the main character Alma, voiced by Rosa Salazar. “After getting into a near fatal car accident, Alma discovers she has a new relationship with time and uses this ability to find out the truth about her father’s death.”
However, as a review from The Hollywood Reporter explains, Undone is not strictly a murder mystery, and is instead more about Alma learning to cope with her reality. “Maybe Alma’s concocting a grand conspiracy around her father’s death because maybe this is just an examination of the way a traumatized mind copes with grief, and you can no more ‘solve’ the mystery than you can solve grief.”
Vox also gave the show an overwhelmingly positive review, describing Undone as unlike any other show. “This is the part where I would usually list some of the shows that Undone is most similar to in order to give you an idea of what it’s like. But there aren’t any, not really.” The review goes on to highlight all the successful elements of the show, including an emotional performance by Salazar.
The rotoscope animation style used in Undone has also been highly praised. The Vox review notes that the series is “the first animated American TV series to feature rotoscoping across the entirety of a traditional 22-minute episode.” Rotoscoping is an animation technique where live-action footage is traced over, meaning that the performances were filmed before they were animated. In an interview with The Hollywood Reporter, Salazar explained that acting for rotoscope can be incredibly demanding: “You’re working a lot more than you normally do… because there is no downtime and we would shoot anything between 10 to 23 pages a day.”
Undone is available on Amazon Prime right now. You can watch the trailer for the series below.