Ready to Move On
J.G. Quintel talks about finding a satisfying ending for himself, the crew and the characters of his long-running Cartoon Network series Regular Show. By Tom McLean.
was tricky because we knew it was going to make a lot of people turn off. Like, “Ugh! Space! Jumping the shark!” But we were like, we want to take it there, to this intergalactic battle. It was a lot of content to fill, so we had our traditional fun episodes at the top, but then we were simultaneously writing our more plot-heavy episodes that were going to take the whole arc of the series to a close, that we needed to pepper in and figure out when those episodes were going to hit. And hopefully everybody would watch them all, because this is the first time we’d ever made a season that you need to watch it in order for it to make sense.
And then wrapping it all up, that was definitely a challenge, trying to figure out how to make sure that we were going to satisfy all the things people would want to see and what we wanted to see and kind of top ourselves because we’ve done a lot of crazy things over the years. But I feel we figured it out and put in a bunch of things we had never done and a bunch of things I don’t think you could do unless you were going from that long of a run and ending it.
Animag: Were there any things that you wanted to get into the final season that you didn’t?
Quintel: Margaret and C.J. — that was a very big part of the show for Mordecai that kind of filtered through, and it was something where I knew it would be nice if we could make that work, but I knew that there were two camps: People who liked Margaret and people who liked C.J. And with the way we played that story out, it feels like (Mordecai) messed it up for both of them. There was no way he could get either of them back. It turned into this thing where you felt like, for Mordecai, the reality for him was he learned from his mistake and was able to move on. But because we had Margaret and C.J. in so many of the episodes, it feels a little bit weird not to have them represented more in the end.
Animag: Now that the series is complete and you can look back at where you started from, what is the biggest lesson you’ve learned or taken away from the entire experience?
Quintel: It’s all about character. Make sure that you have really solid characters and then you can put them in any situation and they’ll be funny. It doesn’t matter what they’re doing. I think, looking back on it, it was lucky. All the characters that I put in — I could have put some bad ones in, but they all just jelled and it was very smooth sailing. I don’t know if I thought any more about it than, this guy’s funny, I want to put him in.
Animag: Do you have an episode that you’d say is your favorite?
Quintel: I still really like “Eggcellent.” I thought that was a really powerful friendship episode and had a fun, weird element to it. “The Power” is still a really special one. I like all the baby ducks episodes and all the laser disc episodes, the format wars. And then the finale now. Episodes like that finale don’t come along that often, so that one is definitely one of my favorites.
Animag: I’ll flip that around: Are there any episodes you feel didn’t live up to your standards or were the worst?
Quintel: (Laughs.) Let’s see, I have the list in front of me and it’s huge. I think I remember “Replaced,” which is one where Vincent almost replaces Mordecai and Rigby with these two other workers. That one was for some reason a tough one and it didn’t have that special spark for me. And there’s a couple others. There’s some that just work so well and then there’s others where you’re like, hmm, that feels like we already did that before. But we always tried really hard to make them unique and different. Animag: What do you have planned next? Quintel: I want to make another show, so I’m thinking of stuff. I’ll probably enjoy a little bit of a break. It’s been an insane amount of time working on this show. I remember when I first started, them telling me, “You know, it’s going to be a lot of work.” And I was like, “Yeah, yeah, that’s cool.” Six years later, I’m like, “Oh my god! That was so much work!” A longer version of this interview can be found online at www.animationmagazine.net/regularshow.
Five-story building adds 200,000 square feet of space for the net’s productions with an emphasis on fostering creativity and celebrating its 25-plus-year history. By Tom McLean.
Nickelodeon officially opened Jan. 11 its newly expanded studio in Burbank — a state-of-the-art 200,000-square-foot expansion that will house more than 700 jobs and more than 20 show productions.
Among the shows that will call the expanded studio home are The Loud House, SpongeBob SquarePants, Shimmer and Shine and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.
SpongeBob SquarePants voice actors Tom Kenny and Bill Fagerbakke were hosts of the short ribbon-cutting ceremony that also featured as speakers Nickelodeon Group President Cyma Zarghami, Burbank Mayor Jess Talamantes and Viacom Vice Chairman of the Board Shari Redstone.
The new five-story expansion includes a redesigned courtyard also bordered by the original 72,000 square-foot studio on West Olive Avenue in Burbank. That building, opened in 1998, has been newly renovated.
The expanded studio was designed to reflect the studio’s style and sensibility, outfitted with art and installations to inspire and support creativity, community and a collaborative environment.
For example, each floor features a central trellised “working gallery” that runs the length of the building, providing open space for collaboration and to display work in progress; full-height chalkboard, dry erase and magnetic walls that allow employees to display new ideas; personalized workspaces with adjustable desks and cubbies; an on-site rotating art gallery; and an archive and library.
Also at the new building, employees are invited to create, broaden their artistic reach and experiment in two “Maker’s Labs” stocked with traditional and new technology for employees to tinker with.
Additional new features include: an 88-seat screening room; three voiceover studios, two of them brand new; the new Höek & Stimpson Coffee Co.; courtyard-facing breakout areas and balconies on each floor; a fitness room and a calming Zen garden; a music room, a game room and an arcade, offering employees a place to play instruments or games.
The courtyard covers more than 23,000 square feet and has full A/V capabilities and an art installation site. It also includes a 400-pound statue of Stimpy from The Ren & Stimpy Show; stone benches etched with live-action and animation creators’ artwork and quotes; wire sculptures of Henry Danger, Clarissa Explains It All, Avatar: The Last Airbender and Dora the Explorer, among others; and banners representing every live-action and animation show in current production.
Through a partnership with STUDIOS Architecture, ARC Engineering and Brightworks Sustainability, Nickelodeon’s West Coast facility targeted LEED gold certification by integrating sustainable strategies and resources into the design and operations of the building. [
No. of films pitched at Cartoon Movie since 1999: 268 Total budget of films pitched at Cartoon Movie since 1999: 1.8 billion euros Most popular target demo: Family (33 out of 55 projects, or 60 percent) Nearly one-third of accepted projects are aimed at young adults or adults