Tuesday, October 27, 2009


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...