Sometimes you watch something that posseses so much potential that it makes you upset when it comes to an end. That’s exactly the case with Welcome To My Life, a 2017 short from Cartoon Network. The short revolves around a Kaiju-like family, primarily the high-school aged son Douglas, who goes by T-Kash. The short does a great job at nodding to the Japanese roots of monsters, but doesn’t delve beyond that preventing the direct comparison between T-Kash and his family to established franchises.
The short takes a turn into a much more “slice-of-life” story structure with T-Kash’s monster family being viewed through the lens of no different than any other family new to the neighborhood despite being the only monsters we actually ever see. The mockumentary style also goes a long way in adding to the teen drama mood.
Now this is a cartoon short primarily aimed at a younger crowd, so the main conflict centers around another student (Ian) misunderstanding an innocent statement made by T-Kash, and challenging him to a fight after school. While T-Kash is a monster and on the school’s football team, so a fight with a human child likely isn’t a problem for him, he’s still emotionally reluctant to fight.
Once the end of the day rolls around, T-Kash meets with one of his friends from the football team, Lucas, that also knows Ian plays messenger and straightens out the misunderstanding. The message boils down to “what’s wrong with being like him (T-Kash)” and there’s no real justification, other than there’s nothing wrong with being different like T-Kash and they become friends by realizing that a lot more united them than separates them.
Beyond the topically relevant moral of ,”we’re more alike than we are different despite our external appearances”, a lesson that’s seemingly lost by many in today’s world. The moments that actually tantalized me the most were the seemingly mundane introductions of T-Kash’s family and background. While they’re clearly monsters, the similar issues that they experience to common humans can’t be understated. The potential to show this message in unique and varied stories really has me wishing that this short developed into a full season run. Perhaps once Cartoon Network gets through it’s current slate of re-treads and sequel series it’ll take a more serious look at genuinely interesting concepts like Welcome To My Life.