Tyler the Cre­ator vs. the Jel­ly­fish

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The pop­u­lar rap­per’s ir­rev­er­ent new an­i­mated se­ries By Ramin Za­hed The Jel­lies! five! They can­celled Static Shock. No­body re­mem­bers Fillmore! They killed Chef on South Park… So I said we will make this n**** black, and he ain’t got no guns, he ain’t shoot­ing no f****** bas­ket­ball, and he is a f****** goober. He ain’t the comic re­lief or the side­kick. He’s the lead char­ac­ter!”

Ac­cord­ing to Boyce, there are five other writ­ers be­sides he and Tyler who come up with the sto­ries in Los An­ge­les. Then it’s up to pro­ducer Aaron Au­gen­blick and his team at his New York stu­dio to bring the show to an­i­mated life.

“One thing I have learned about an­i­ma­tion is that there is so much de­tail in­volved,” says Tyler. “I didn’t know that you needed to have a very ‘ We just said, let’s make a car­toon that re­ally shows our hu­mor. Let’s just make a show that we want to watch, and that’s ex­actly what we did.’ Tyler, the Cre­ator

With of­fices in Los An­ge­les, New York and Van­cou­ver, in­die stu­dio Tit­mouse puts its spe­cial touch on a wide va­ri­ety of pop­u­lar toons. By Karen Idel­son

Iof­fers an an­i­mated snap­shot of pu­berty. By Karen Idel­son

n the pre­miere episode of the new Net­flix orig­i­nal an­i­mated se­ries Big Mouth, pubescent boys Nick and An­drew find them­selves si­mul­ta­ne­ously em­bar­rassed and fas­ci­nated by their chang­ing bod­ies and the Hor­mone Monster that threat­ens to re­make their en­tire lives. If this makes you think of your own jour­ney through the sev­enth grade, there’s good rea­son for that. The scene comes by its au­then­tic­ity be­cause it’s based on the child­hoods of real best friends An­drew Gold­berg ( Fam­ily Guy) and Nick Kroll ( The Kroll Show) and their ex­pe­ri­ences as they went through pu­berty at com­pletely dif­fer­ent rates.

“An­drew is pretty much the same height as he was in the sev­enth grade and I’m a foot taller,” says Kroll. “For me, it didn’t re­ally start un­til high school, and by then I’d felt frus­trated about not chang­ing much for a long time.”

The 10-part se­ries, which de­buted on Septem­ber 29, was cre­ated by Kroll, Gold­berg, Mark Levin and Jen­nifer Flack­ett (who cre­ated the ro­man­tic comedy Lit­tle Man­hat­tan). All of the col­lab­o­ra­tors added bits and pieces of their own per­sonal ex­pe­ri­ences to the se­ries.

Nat­u­rally, top­ics like hor­monal changes, fe­male sex­u­al­ity and sex­ual arousal be­came part of the dis­cus­sion in the writer’s room. Many told sto­ries from their own lives that be­came in­cor­po­rated into the show, or the cen­tral idea for an episode of the first sea­son. Kroll and Gold­berg both fo­cused on mak­ing the shows funny as well as hon­est and real—de­spite the pos­si­bly ex­cru­ci­at­ing mem­o­ries they and the other writ­ers might have to re­call while cre­at­ing the work.

“We made sure that ev­ery­one un­der­stood our writer’s room was a safe space so we could talk about these ideas in a way that made ev­ery­one com­fort­able,” says Gold­berg. “Once we all felt okay—like we could talk about these top­ics—we right away de­vel­oped a lot of ideas, like the Hor­mone Monster char­ac­ter, for ex­am­ple.”

Kroll says he im­me­di­ately knew he wanted to voice the Hor­mone Monster with a scratchy, growl­ing tone, since it would pop up (no pun in­tended) at the most in­op­por­tune times to taunt and tempt the male char­ac­ters on the show. As in life, the boys aren’t the only ones try­ing to ride out the bi­o­log­i­cal storms that start in

For al­most 20 years, beloved chil­dren’s author and il­lus­tra­tor Todd Parr has been mak­ing read­ers of his books feel good about them­selves and the world around them. This fall, he has a new book out ti­tled Love the World as well as a new un­ti­tled an­i­mated TV show in the works, which will make its de­but at MIPCOM.

Parr’s part­ners on this new ven­ture are U.K.’s Spi­der Eye ( Jun­gle Junc­tion) and Sup­per­Time En­ter­tain­ment, who also worked with him on a short an­i­mated project for Sesame Street last year. “I learned a lot from my first TV ex­pe­ri­ence, Tod­dWorld,” says Parr about his Emmy-nom­i­nated se­ries that ran on Dis­cov­ery Kids from 2004 to 2008. “Look­ing back, there were things that I would have done dif­fer­ently. I have a much clearer idea of what the voice, the mes­sage and an­i­ma­tion of this new se­ries should be to match the story. In my first con­ver­sa­tion with Spi­der Eye, we dis­cussed how we might put my themes and style of dis­rup­tion into an orig­i­nal se­ries. I re­ally liked what I heard.”

Sup­per­Time’s Pres­i­dent, Gerry Ren­ert ( Tod­dWorld, M.A.S.H.), who worked with Parr on his pre­vi­ous an­i­mated ven­tures adds, “The ex­pe­ri­ence was so smooth and seam­less. Spi­der Eye re­ally got Todd’s work, so it seemed to be nat­u­ral to try our hand at an­other project.” Cre­at­ing New Char­ac­ters and

Sit­u­a­tions Parr, who is hop­ing to have the show ready by 2019, points out that an an­i­mated show based on his books needs to have more fleshed-out cen­tral char­ac­ters. “You re­ally have to in­vent the main char­ac­ters,” he notes. “It’s like we have to go back and think, ‘OK, if my books were char­ac­ters, what would they say, and who would de­liver the mes­sages of the books?’ I am very proud of Tod­dWorld, but there are cer­tain things I would do dif­fer­ently now. For ex­am­ple, Todd seemed to have all the an­swers. He wasn’t that much fun, and the art didn’t match the books.”

“We had such a great ex­pe­ri­ence work­ing with Todd and Sup­per­Time on our first short film that we jumped at the op­por­tu­nity to de- velop a se­ries with them,” says Erica Darby, part­ner and pro­ducer at U.K.-based stu­dio Spi­der Eye, who has also pro­duced pop­u­lar chil­dren’s shows such as Jun­gle Junc­tion and Hor­rid Henry. “We’re big fans of Todd’s books, and of his abil­ity to get across po­ten­tially com­pli­cated con­cepts to kids with a sim­ple and af­firm­ing ethos, and in a unique style.”

As Ren­ert points out, “Some things have changed sig­nif­i­cantly in our world since Tod­dWorld, and the so­cial cli­mate in our coun­try is very scary. We have be­come much less ac­cept­ing than be­fore. We all believe that Todd’s books help in very sub­tle ways to em­brace a mes­sage of in­clu­sive­ness, and we hope that will also res­onate in the new show.”

Parr says he was quite pleased with the fact that Darby and her team are also keen on em­pha­siz­ing the mes­sages of his books as well as re­flect­ing the artis­tic style of his books. “What’s re­ally im­por­tant is to cap­ture the mes­sages of em­pa­thy and kind­ness, as well as the silly and fun as­pects of it,” he notes “It’s all about let­ting kids know there is un­con­di­tional love in this world and that ev­ery­thing is go­ing to be OK.”

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