Tuesday, October 27, 2009

HE'S NOT A CAT!!

Last year our friends at Nickelodeon International asked us to make a cartoon for a project they called Open Mic - it was basically a chance for a group of studios to strut their stuff and make cartoon shorts with minimal studio interference. The only condition was that the cartoon must be driven by a 'star character'...

Rewind 10 years to the very early beginnings of Mukpuddy, and a Secret Agent Lemur by the name of Dirk Banzai. Cue hideous 10 year old drawings...





Dirk was the first ever Mukpuddy character, and has been through several incarnations over his 10 years. He starred in a couple of webisodes (back when that seemed like a potential way to make money) and even had his own comic for a short time. We've always thought he had star potential, and thought Open Mic might be a good time to get him out of moth balls and give him a revamp.



The 'secret agent' moniker was dropped, and Dirk became more of a kid who creates drama and intrigue wherever he goes, even when none actually exists. Naturally villains assume Dirk is their nemesis and try to destroy him, but Dirk finds it all quite fun and amusing!



We had a few attempts at trying to find a voice for Dirk, but ended up seeking out the original Dirk - our good friend Matt Kelly. Matt had slipped off the Mukpuddy radar for a few years, but turned out to be irreplaceable. Take that Beyonce!

We also enlisted our friend Richard Simpson as the voice of Dirk's nemesis, The Toyminator.

And Jeremy wrote the theme song (as he often does) with the help of our new-found musical genius Ben Sinclair. It was the first time we worked with Ben, but we doubt we'll ever make anything without him again.

Anyway, it turned out it wasn't really what Nickelodeon were after, but we enjoyed making the short and are grateful for the opportunity. Let's see what you think of it... go on... watch it!



Here's some production work...











20 comments:

Todd Kauffman said...

wait a sec...they didn't like this?

i give up.

Joseph said...

Hahaha that was great! You guys do such amazingly funny work!!!

Mukpuddy said...

Don't give up Todd, one day Mukpuddy and Nep-Toon will team up an rule the freakin' world!!

michael foster said...

great stuff. I loved it. loved seeing the sketches too. thanks for sharing.

Dave Redl said...

Great work! The character is a bit like the Madagascar Penguins. (That's a compliment.) But I like this look much more.

And I love the little "ice cream man" rainbow mix in the middle.

I would say it's their loss, but unfortunately it's also ours...

Bev Chapman said...

"Enjoy the journey." You'll get there soon enough!!!

Shane said...

Freakin awesome... This is the kind of stuff that needs to get made!! 2 big thumbs up guys, solid work!

RAWLS said...

I love when he shoots rainbows out of his paws!!

Honkbarn said...

I have to admit that I looked at the drawings which are rad and didn't read the other stuff. Reading is for nerds, looking is for perverts. I'm an art pervert.

Todd Kauffman said...

hmmm, rule the world you say? i like the sound of that.

do i get a gun?

Mukpuddy said...

Guns?!? We're members of the Commonwealth, we don't need guns good sir! Just posh accents!

pakoto said...

hahaha I love the characters!

Art Grootfontein said...

Really fun and well balanced !

ZSL said...

I have to agree with Todd.
How could a network not like this pilot. It was vibrant, it was clever.
Hell, you guys even made the "i fell off a high ledge" gag funny again.

It was all so good. :[

scott gillan said...

Great stuff yet again! :o

What programs apart from Flash do you use?
The camera movements are so fluid.

Mukpuddy said...

Wow, thanks again everyone.
Scott, we use nothing but Flash. We use a lot of custom easing on our camera movements. One thing that's always bugged us with Flash shorts is how often you see really harsh camera moves, so we try to avoid it. Thanks for noticing!!

Dave Redl said...

to continue scott gillan's comment...

Muk, why don't you make a "Making Mukpuddy Cartoons the way Mukpuddy Makes Them. By the guys from Mukpuddy & featuring live uncensored and unappreciated Mukpuddy cartoons."

(I like long titles.)

I've seen your "behind the scenes" stuff online, but who makes money online? HA!

Make a book. Then you can put that beauty to good use.

And if you can't find a publisher, be your own ( lulu.com )

Gnarfdeath said...

so pimp! the cone transformer ruled! great work guys!

Wisdom of Youth said...

How can Nickelodeon not like this??? It's just as wacky and fun as some of the other shows they have and much better than most of them.

TH3DEN said...

Nice one guys! How long did production take over all? :D