Tag Archives: twisted toyfare theater

Twisted ToyFare Theater: Robot Edition

13 Mar

How about some TTT for a #tbt? Here are two of my earliest professional stop-motion videos that I created for Wizard Entertainment in 2008.

I was never a Transformers fan. Didn’t watch the cartoon, didn’t own the toys, I couldn’t even name you more than 5 characters. But this one was still a ton of fun to animate because 1) It was funny 2) It was great to delve into a new franchise world after the CHiPS episode I made, and 3) I got to collaborate with a bunch of great folks from the writing and voice acting sides! Justin Aclin pulled double-duty as the couldn’t-have-been-more-perfect Optimus Prime AND Megatron. TJ Dietsch‘s Hot Rod still cracks me up and Anime Insider’s Todd Ciolek was hilarious as Ultra Magnus. Justin, Jon Gutierrez and Zach Oat wrote the bit and I’m still proud of how the video turned out, looking back. I put a lot of effort into¬† the set and it was also when I began to focus on storyboarding these as best as I could as opposed to just setting up the toys and pointing the camera at them.

This one was neat because the GoBots strip this video was based on never made it to print in ToyFare. It was like bringing a deleted scene back from the grave. And as much as I didn’t know about Transformers, I knew even less about GoBots. Thankfully, the script tells the whole story of this franchise’s rise and fall in case you’ve never heard of them either. You can see that I used a bit of elementary greenscreen in this episode, which bugs me seeing it now. Final Cut Pro is not the greatest place to use greenscreen. I tried cutting out every single photograph to fix the rough edges in some shots, so I remember this being a time-consuming and tedious production at points. Major props to Adam Tracey for voicing the main character magnificently and Jon Gutierrez was also great as Joe Barbera, of Hanna-Barbera fame. Rachel Molino, Matt Powell, Dylan Brucie, Zach Oat and Karl Cramer also provided voices – We had the whole Wizard crew in on this one! It was awesome that people took the time to help out with the production of these.

Advertisements

The Animated “TTT” That Never Was

8 Apr

Adventure Kermit

During my time as a Video Editor at Wizard Entertainment, I created five Twisted ToyFare Theater animated shorts which were all based on previously-published strips from the print magazine. Our sixth animated TTT was going to be an original one, though: An Indiana Jones parody starring The Muppets. Unfortunately for the project, I was laid off (along with the rest of the Wizard video department) before I could finish it. I thought that I’d at least release a bit of the progress I had made on it, and perhaps one day I’ll even finish it! (Probably not.)

I believe the writers involved included Adam Tracey, TJ Dietsch, Justin Aclin, Jon Gutierrez, and Zach Oat, but there may have been more, I can’t remember. As a lifelong Muppet fan, I was very excited to work on this. The script had some great gags, like Indiana Frog running away from a legion of wild Koozebanians, the Swedish Chef wielding his cleavers a la the Cairo Swordsman that Indy shot, and a dead Rizzo the Rat (poisoned by bad dates.) There was also this gem:

KERMIT: “Throw me the whip!
LEW ZEALAND: “I only throw fish!
KERMIT: [looks into camera with scrunched up face]

The scene I was most eager to work on was an Ark of the Covenant recreation, though. We had Dr. Bunsen Honeydew, his assistant Beaker and Gonzo the Great as Toht and two German soldiers, respectively, and just the audio alone of those guys screaming as their faces melt/blow up still cracks me up. Speaking of the audio, EVERY CHARACTER’S VOICE was provided by Zach Oat in this episode, he just nailed every one perfectly. It really is a shame I never got to finish this, but at least I can publish the little bit of video I had completed, along with the full audio track here to showcase Zach’s awesome performance. Just close your eyes and imagine the fun Muppet-mation that could have been…