Summer Camp Island is an animated series created by Adventure Time alum Julia Pott. Yet despite an interesting premise and talented people working behind the scenes, the show ultimately falls flat. From insufferable characters to messy world building, it's shocking that the only positive I can say about this show is that the voice acting is at least decent.
The first major problem with the show is the terrible writing. Some episodes feel half baked while other just pad the runtime with tedious inconvenience after inconvenience. The 25th episode, I Heart Heartford, is a prime example of the shows bad writing as rather than take the time to explore this new location, the characters just waste time doing favor after favor all so Oscar can buy a new toothpaste.
Another aspect of this show that falters greatly is the world building. This show primarily takes place on a magical island full of monsters and witches as will as inanimate objects with a face on it. That last part was not a joke. Everything from the rocks, to the trees to the clouds, even the Sun and Moon have a face, a personality and can talk. This makes Summer Camp Island the creepiest island on the face of the earth. Also, this is apparently supposed to be kept secret otherwise the whole world with go crazy. I'd buy that if the characters were humans and not uncanny anthropomorphic animals.
Speaking of characters, it's surprising that not a single one of them is either likable or interesting. Oscar is selfish, arrogant, stupid and annoying and yet he never acknowledges he's got a problem. Hedgehog is dull as a butter knife and the worst thing about her is her awful parents who put too high expectations on her and didn't even give her a proper name. Episodes like The Basketball Liaries, Radio Silence and Tweleve Angry Hedgehogs make me question why these two are friends as Oscar is clumsy, dishonest and, again, stupid. There's a friend with faults and then there's a friend who might as well be your mortal enemy. Then there's Susie, who's basically Angelica but with Helga's nasty attitude yet lacks any charm or relatability to make me care about her. She's easily the worst character on the show as she only does her job when she feels like it, she's never nice and (like Angelica) she calls the characters babies at every turn. I was hoping Oscar or someone on the island would write to their parents about how nasty Susie was, but that never happens. Max is just the boy Hedgehog has a crush on with no personality, Pepper just sleeps, Lucy is just there, Pajamas is so clingly in stupid, and Oliver is just Schroeder as a dog. None of the inhabitants on the island leave any lasting impression and are all either creepy, annoying or just plain stupid.
Visually, the animation is passable at best. The characters movie adequately with occasional off model squash and stretch and the color pallet is acceptable. Yet the biggest problem is the character designs themselves. They feel way too simple and all of their pupils are dilated, giving them a very creepy appearance. I especially don't like how Oscar looks less like an elephant and more like a kid pretending he's an elephant.
The last problem I'd like to mention is the theme song isn't very good. It's lyrics are generic, the singer, Oona Laurence sounds unenthusiastic and it's melody is rather slow and basic.
At the very least, the show has decent voice acting. Nothing spectacular, but the vocal performances of the actors managed to bring in the right amount of emotion and enthusiasm for their respective characters.
My take: Summer Camp Island is most certainly one of Cartoon Network's worst made shows. Adequate vocals and basic animation are nowhere near enough to excuse the terrible writing, insufferable characters, messy world building and even a mediocre theme song. If you want an entertaining camping cartoon, Camp Lazlo is available on the Boomerang app and Amazon Prime. I recommend you watch that instead.