Son of Zorn First Look review: Bright cartoons meet bland life

Chad White

Son of Zorn
“Return to Orange County”
Season 1, Episode 1

Zorn’s son sucks so hard.

This is a first look review of FOX’s newest series Son of Zorn starring Jason Sudeikis, Johnny Pemberton, Cheryl Hines and Tim Meadows.

Cartoons are the most flexible form of media, being able to be meld into many identities from CGI to traditional 2D animation. Those versions of cartoons can then be instilled into the world of live action but, most of the time, it never pans out to its fullest extent. With the exception of Who Framed Roger Rabbit?, 2D X live action never meets expectations. In comes Son of Zorn – the show that looks to bring hybrid animation and live action to the mainstream. Produced by Last Man on Earth and LEGO Movie directors Phil Lord and Chris Miller, Zorn is much less ambitious but just as heartwarming as their previously produced offerings.

Jason Sudeikis plays the titular cartoon hero, Zorn, who returns from his home of Zephyria to Orange County in order to get closer to his son, Alangulon. However, he learns that both his son and his ex-wife’s lives are changing – his offspring is just going by Alan now and is highly embarrassed by his dad’s eccentricities and his ex, Edie (played by Cheryl Hines), has moved on to another man in Tim Meadows’ online psychology professor Craig. For such a unique looking show, the plot is simple at the baseline like many other modern sitcoms. In fact, it’s pretty dull. But the writing from creators Reed Agnew and Eli Jorne is interesting enough to keep things moving. Still, though, the look itself is fantastic.

The animation is shiny like the gloss of a 90’s Disney VHS introduction before the movie starts. Details are minut and up to date. Zorn flies home on an airplane and the passengers in his row are overcome by his hulking 8-foot frame. When Zorn enters Edie’s home, the sunlight hits his body and a shadow casts on the floor. Every bit of the show looks good. There are shortcomings in the hybrid (Zorn threatens to throw Alan up in the air but humans and cartoons touching is ignored for the most part) however the show mostly skirts around that issue.

Should you watch Son of Zorn?

Sudeikis’ performance, solid joke writing and a somewhat compelling set of characters in Zorn and Craig make this show a good watch. But there are issues mainly in the textbook story. Regardless, it’ll be fun to see where Agnew and Jorne take us.