Gum­ball rolls in

They have prob­lems like any or­di­nary fam­ily but this bunch is any­thing but nor­mal. Wel­come to thea­maz­ing­worldof Gum­ball.

The Star Malaysia - Star2 - - FAMILY -

TO mark its new look start­ing this month, Car­toon Net­work has kicked off The Amaz­ing World Of Gum­ball, a mixed-me­dia se­ries that no­tably com­bines 2D and 3D an­i­ma­tion in a live-ac­tion set­ting.

While it takes place in an amaz­ingly imag­i­na­tive world with non­sen­si­cal crea­tures, the show is fun­da­men­tally about a fam­ily (the Water­sons), its joys, and the chal­lenges and chaos it faces.

At the heart of the tale is Gum­ball, a blue cat with a gi­ant head who goes through the tri­als and tribu­la­tions of any 12-year-old. But un­like a nor­mal kid his age, his capers in­clude be­ing chased by a ram­pag­ing T-Rex, hav­ing a ro­bot steal his iden­tity and dress­ing as a cheer­leader to im­press the girl he fan­cies.

Dad is a 193cm (6’4”) pink rab­bit who stays at home while Mum works in the rain­bow fac­tory in the town of El­more. Com­plet­ing the ex­tra­or­di­nary sub­ur­ban fam­ily are Gum­ball’s lit­tle sis­ter, who’s a ge­nius bunny, and Dar­win, a pet gold­fish who be­comes part of the fam­ily when he sprouts legs.

The Amaz­ing World Of Gum­ball is the brain­child of 28-year-old French-born Ben Boc­quelet, who worked on all aspects of pro­duc­tion, in­clud­ing writ­ing,ing, sto­ry­board­ing, an­i­ma­tion and di­rect­ing.

The show is the first Bri­tish-pro­duced full-length an­i­mated se­ries, and has been aired on Car­toon Net­work in 166 coun­tries. A sec­ond sea­son has been green­lit.

Here’s a peek at Gum­ball’s world through the eyes of show cre­ator Boc­quelet and ex­ec­u­tive pro­ducer Daniel Len­nard, also Car­toon Net­work Europe’s vice-pres­i­dent of orig­i­nal se­ries and de­vel­op­ment. Where did you get the idea for The Amaz­ing World Of Gum­ball?

Boc­quelet: I got the idea for the show while work­ing as a de­vel­op­ment artist at the Car­toon Net­work De­vel­op­ment Stu­dio based in Lon­don. Pre­vi­ously while work­ing in com­mer­cials, I’d cre­ated a load of char­ac­ters. These char­ac­ters, with their va­ri­ety of styles and for­mats, in­spired the vis­ual mash-up that be­came the fi­nal look for the show. Why did you call it The Amaz­ing World Of Gum­ball?

Boc­quelet: The show has al­ways been called Gum­ball. The name, in fact, came be­fore the char­ac­ter. I wanted to call it some­thing which re­minds you of child­hood, of some­thing a kid might have in their

pocket. Is it true that the show is loosely based on your own child­hood?

Boc­quelet: Some aspects, yes! My sis­ter is very clever, and like the char­ac­ter in the show, she’s not to be messed with. We have al­ways been very close, and still are. She’s now a com­puter pro­gram­mer. My dad is a real char­ac­ter and, yes, at some points he was a stay-at-home dad. My mum is in­cred­i­bly strong and she re­ally held our fam­ily to­gether. We went through a lot but we al­ways had a good time. We’re a close-knit fam­ily and we found our strength in laugh­ter.

Mix­ing 2D with 3D sounds ambi- tious. Why did you choose to do that?

Boc­quelet: I had al­ways wanted it to be 2D, 3D and live ac­tion. In my mind that’s what makes the show dis­tinc­tive. The Go­ril­laz videos were a big in­flu­ence on me in an­i­ma­tion school. I just loved the way they mixed their awe­some de­signs with pho­tos or films.

The tech­nol­ogy now al­lows for this kind of ap­proach on a se­ries scale. It’s re­ally ex­cit­ing to be part of this, and also that Car­toon Net­work com­mit­ted to mak­ing the show in mixed me­dia, de­spite the chal­lenge of the process. Tell us about the ini­tial de­vel­op­ment process.

Boc­quelet: I de­cided to base the show on the ar­che­typal fam­ily sit­com, re­plac­ing nor­mal hu­man char­ac­ters with non­sen­si­cal crea­tures. I wanted to treat the show like a sit­com and use the funny aspects of the char­ac­ters and the free­dom of an­i­ma­tion to ex­pand the humour and the sto­ries into places that wouldn’t be pos­si­ble in live ac­tion.

Do you think The Amaz­ing World Of Gum­ball will raise the bar for qual­ity an­i­ma­tion pro­duced out of Europe?

Len­nard: I think it raises the bar for a kids’ car­toon in gen­eral, and what can ac­tu­ally be ac­com­plished. It doesn’t need to be dumbed down and overly sim­plis­tic. It doesn’t need to look flat and move in a stiff man­ner.

A few in­dus­try peo­ple ad­vised me that there are plenty of good rea­sons that a mixed me­dia se­ries on this scale hasn’t been at­tempted be­fore – it’s tech­ni­cally dif­fi­cult, it’s ex­pen­sive, it’s un­likely to in­te­grate ef­fec­tively – but I’m thrilled we went ahead and pro­duced a truly ground­break­ing show. Some of the char­ac­ters are voiced by real kids, aren’t they?

Boc­quelet: Yes, Gum­ball was voiced by Lo­gan Grove, Dar­win by Kwesi Boakye and Anais by Kyla Rae Kowalewski. They each com­pletely got their char­ac­ters, were spon­ta­neous and funny, had phe­nom­e­nal range as ac­tors, and also had fan­tas­tic comic tim­ing. I wish their mums would sell them to me. How big was the team who worked on the se­ries?

Boc­quelet: Pretty big, at some points there were at least 100 peo­ple work­ing on it. How long did it take to make the se­ries?

Boc­quelet: About two years, like a baby ele­phant (laughs). Do you think this show will ap­peal to adults too?

Boc­quelet: I re­ally hope so. We tried to multi-layer jokes and sto­ries as much as pos­si­ble. I like the idea of a car­toon that is for ev­ery­body and not just for chil­dren. Kids are also much more so­phis­ti­cated than we of­ten give them credit for.

My wish is that peo­ple watch the show to­gether as a fam­ily with the lights off, like we used to do with my par­ents when Looney Tunes was on.

Len­nard: At its core, Gum­ball in­cor­po­rates the fun­da­men­tals of what’s im­por­tant in kids’ lives – fam­ily, school and friends. They’re uni­ver­sal in pretty much ev­ery cul­ture.

There is a lot to iden­tify with in the show; it has lov­able char­ac­ters that you en­joy watch­ing, with re­al­is­tic re­la­tion­ships that just hap­pen to be set in an amaz­ingly imag­i­na­tive world. What shows did you watch as a kid?

Boc­quelet: Film, an­i­ma­tion, TV shows, I loved them all. The Simp­sons was a big in­flu­ence, and I’m also a big fan of South Park.

Len­nard: Live-ac­tion shows like The A-Team, Happy Days, The Won­der Years, The In­cred­i­ble Hulk and Mon­key, a dubbed Ja­panese show. I’m not just say­ing this be­cause I work for Turner (En­ter­tain­ment In­ter­na­tional), but I loved a lot of the Hanna-Bar­bera and Warner Bros car­toons such as those on Bugs Bunny, Daffy Duck and Cap­tain Cave­man. I was also a fan of Bat­tle Of The Plan­ets. n TheA­maz­ing­World­OfGum­ball pre­miered on Car­toon Net­work (Astro Chan­nel 616) on Oct 1. It airs ev­ery

Satur­day at 9am. tion to Anais, treat­ing Dar­win like her own child and en­cour­ag­ing Gum­ball. Any­one who dares threaten the ones she loves, watch out! Dad – Richard Dad is a gi­ant pink rab­bit and stay-at-home dad who looks af­ter the kids, while spend­ing most of his time play­ing video games and watch­ing day­time TV. He’s a well-in­ten­tioned, sup­port­ive and de­voted fa­ther but also just a lit­tle un­der-pre­pared for life.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Malaysia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.