He­roes with a Twist

Animation Magazine - - Tv -

SS­toopid Buddy Stood­ios gets orig­i­nal with the su­per­hero spoof

Sony’s stream­ing plat­form Crackle. By Tom McLean.

toopid Buddy Stood­ios has been pok­ing fun at other com­pa­nies’ char­ac­ters for years with its sketch show Robot Chicken — now it’s fi­nally making the leap into pok­ing fun at its own char­ac­ters with the new on­line se­ries Su­perMan­sion.

“We did it with Star Wars, we did it with DC Comics, why not make our own (uni­verse) and then, hope­fully, we can make fun of it on Robot Chicken — that’s the goal,” says Matthew Sen­re­ich, who cocre­ated the se­ries with Zeb Wells.

Sen­re­ich and Wells draw on their comic-book roots for Su­perMan­sion, which is about a group of su­per­heroes and draws on the genre’s fa­mil­iar tropes but is also just slightly off.

Lead­ing the group is Ti­ta­nium Rex, who’s used his flight, strength and X-ray vi­sion to fight in­jus­tice since World War II. He’s also a crotch­ety old man who just won’t let go of his su­per­hero team. Round­ing out the lineup is the brood­ing disc­thrower Black Saturn; time-dis­placed pa­triot Amer­i­can Ranger; drug-fu­eled brute Brad; a house cat evolved into a woman called Cooch; and Jew­bot, a re­li­gious robot seek­ing to understand hu­man­ity.

“We wanted to look at some of the char­ac­ter types we grew up with and have a lit­tle bit of fun with them,” says Wells.

While Robot Chicken has been a hit on Adult Swim since its 2005

Ede­but, Su­perMan­sion de­buts on Sony Pic­tures En­ter­tain­ment’s stream­ing video plat­form Crackle. The first three episodes of the 13-episode first sea­son de­but Oct. 8 on Crackle with new episodes avail­able weekly.

Sen­re­ich says Su­perMan­sion fits Crackle well and upholds the com­pany’s tra­di­tion of seek­ing out new plat­forms.

a new se­ries de­but­ing on

“With Robot Chicken, we started with Adult Swim when they were just emerg­ing onto the mar­ket and it was the new place to be to help de­fine some­thing,” he says. “And that’s what we loved about Crackle; it’s the new plat­form, and this is the fu­ture. We like the idea of again help start­ing some­thing out.” A key ad­di­tion to the show is ac­claimed ac­tor Bryan Cranston, who voices Ti­ta­nium Rex and is ex­ec­u­tive pro­ducer on the se­ries along­side Seth Green, John Har­va­tine, Eric Towner and James De­gus.

Sen­re­ich says they al­ways had a “Bryan Cranston type” in mind for the show and de­cided even­tu­ally to just see if he’d like to do it. “In 24 hours, we got a call di­rectly from Bryan say­ing he read it on an air­plane,” he says. “It was right to­wards the end of Break­ing Bad and he was like: ‘ You know, I’m read­ing a ton of scripts right now and this is the only one that’s made me laugh. I don’t want to just star in this, I want to make this with you.’”

An­i­ma­tion-wise, the show has a smoother look than Robot Chicken, with more pol­ished stand­ing sets and pup­pets that look less like toys. The stu­dio also is tak­ing ad­van­tage of 3D print­ing to cre­ate pup­pets, props and other on-screen el­e­ments.

“We’re try­ing to hide the seams a lit­tle bit more,” says Wells. “On Robot, we’re proud of the seams.” [

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