Netflix’s Tuca & Bertie comes to us courtesy of BoJack Horseman’s producer, but are the shows set in the same universe? Cartoonist and animator Lisa Hanawalt’s instantly recognizable drawing style, featuring anthropomorphic animals in situations both surreal and mundane, helped to give Netflix one of its first real comedy hits in the form of BoJack Horseman. While the series itself was the brain-child of creator Raphael Bob-Waksberg, the design was all Hanawalt, and their combined strengths helped to define Bojack Horseman as one of the most surprising and daring comedies of any medium of the past decade.
For Tuca & Bertie, however, the style and content was exclusively the work of Hanawalt. The show, which released on Netflix in early May, is the story of two 30-something bird women who are best friends - the care-free Tuca (voiced by Tiffany Haddish) and the more neurotic Bertie (voiced by Ali Wong) navigate their lives together as they live in the same apartment building. Tuca & Bertie has already been praised by critics for its uniquely feminine and surreal approach to everyday topics like workplace harassment, sexism, anxiety, and the panic of the quarter life crisis.
Of course, one can’t help but wonder if the show will ever tie into BoJack Horseman. After all, they share an animation style, and the presence of Lisa Hanawalt, both series have starry supporting casts and cameos (including Tessa Thompson, Isabella Rossellini, and Steven Yeun), and nowadays, it feels like absolutely everything has to tie together in a great shared universe. Alas, for those hoping to see Tuca and Bertie pop up in Hollywoo, that won’t be happening any time soon. At an event for awards consideration hosted at Netflix HQ last month (via Cartoonbrew), Hanawalt confirmed this:
“It’s a different world from Bojack. It’s not the same universe. I’m sorry, but there’s not going to be a crossover episode. It’s a looser, more cartoony world than Bojack."
That may be disappointing for some fans, as both shows are very funny and share various themes that you don’t see tackled that often in animated comedies. However, Tuca & Bertie is decidedly its own show, and it's a much more hallucinogenic series than BoJack and one more focused on close-to-home issues where BoJack dives deeper into Hollywood satire.
If Netflix did choose to do a crossover between the two animated shows, though, it wouldn't be too surprising, as networks have been hesitant to commit to crossovers at first only to warm up to the idea later on down the line. For now, a release date for BoJack Horseman season 6 has not yet been announced, but Netflix subscribers can watch Tuca & Bertie season 1, which is now available on Netflix.