Meet Arnold is a new YouTube series that has more in common with Lemony Snicket’s A Series of Unfortunate Events than it does any other adorable cartoon series.
The premise is simple: an animated character named Arnold is shifted from one unfortunate, near catastrophic situation to the next, just barely kept alive for the next step in his disadvantageous adventure. Meet Arnold starts with Arnold on a plane to Switzerland to meet his brother, but when the plane runs into mechanical failure, he’s forced to jump without a parachute. Arnold lands safely — and miraculously — near the Dome Fuji in Antarctica where he must also find the means to survive.
Meet Arnold is a scientific explainer series that accomplishes the rare goal of not talking down to the audience during its presentation. Meet Arnold relies on its charming animation and adorable character to detract from the information overload while still getting the point across. It’s cute, but still informational. Think of other popular explainer series on YouTube, like Casually Explained, which uses comedy and terrible drawings to do the same thing. The information is accurate and you leave feeling informed without being talked down to.
The series has only existed for one month and, in that time, its creator has published eight videos. Despite that, Meet Arnold has already garnered more than 525,000 subscribers, landed on YouTube’s trending page and received shoutouts from other popular YouTubers, including Philip DeFranco.
Meet Arnold’s creator never identifies himself, keeping the illusion of the world he’s created alive. Instead, he acts as a gentle narrator, guiding the viewer along Arnold’s journey. In the comments section, he takes on Arnold’s persona to update people about the character’s status, informing them that he’s still alive “if anyone cares.”
YouTube can get inundated with negative videos and drama that thrives in the personality-based ecosystem, which is why it’s important to highlight YouTube creators working on positive, interesting series that are enjoyable to watch. Meet Arnold does that — and you’ll be able to tell your friends something cool about Antarctica, which is a nice added bonus.