Invent

Animation


Disney x Coach

I did the concept, storyboards and art direction.

Live action by http://trevorundi.com

Animation by http://fluxmedia.co.nz

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Great Character: Ahsoka Tano

Adding a new lead to Star Wars, with its iconic characters and a voracious fanbase, is nothing short of daunting. How do you top Darth Vader? Obi-Wan Kenobi? Muftak and Kabe?! It aint easy being the new kid at school, and true enough, the introduction of Ahsoka Tano had most people rolling their eyes in derision.

After watching the Clone Wars movie (starring a farting slug called Stinky), I was definitely in that camp.  I thought Ahsoka was annoying, slight, and a token addition to appease the kids in the audience. But I’m happy to say I was wrong. Dead wrong. Ahsoka turned out to be the greatest addition to Star Wars since sliced portion bread.

Season one was still a little underwhelming, but by the time Clone Wars got to season two, something had kicked in creatively. The character of Ahsoka just took off. In one memorable episode, Ahsoka is helping lead a huge ground attack, holding her own in battle, defying orders and being unapologetic afterwards. That’s when I started to take notice. Was I crazy, or did this get really good? Answer: It got really good.

Ahsoka is a badass

Ahsoka is an excellent Jedi. Sure, she messes up like everyone else, but then she fixes it. She cares about what happens, and acts. I love seeing main characters who are capable when facing tough situations, who aren’t just succeeding because of luck. She’s comfortable being a leader, is naturally brave, and has a certain confidence that people who excel at something have. There’s no swagger and arrogance. She’s got two lightsabers and gets things done.

She’s important

She’s working alongside Skywalker and Kenobi, two of the greatest Jedis who ever lived. She knows Yoda and Mace Windu. She leads missions for the Republic and commands large amounts of troops who absolutely respect her. In short, she’s a major part of the Star Wars universe in a way that new characters sometimes aren’t. And it feels like she belongs there. The writers made her as well-rounded and as interesting as her peers. And in terms of story, she almost changed the course of the whole Star Wars saga. Which brings me to my next point.

She was right all along

Throughout the Clone Wars, a running theme is that the Jedi didn’t see their enemy coming. They fucked up, basically. But you know who did see it coming, and tried to warn everyone? Ahsoka. She was right about Palpatine and the Sith and how people were being framed. The storyline of her bringing all that to the Jedi Council’s attention and what happens after is one of the greatest in all of Star Wars (and I say that as a die-hard Original Trilogy fan). It’s a hell of an arc, and there was so much more to say. How do you deal with that much of a betrayal, by good people, when you’re 100% in the right? That is why people wanted more Clone Wars.

In fact, Ahsoka Tano fits in so well to the Star Wars universe that it’s almost hard to believe she didn’t exist until after the Prequels. She’s not only the key to understanding Anakin’s story, she’s also the hero he failed to be. Presented with a similar path, Ahsoka handles all of her choices differently.

You’ve got to hand it to the Clone Wars team. They pulled off the impossible.

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New Pitch: Bacon Spacehorse

baconspacehorseI recently sent a pitch in to the Nickelodeon Shorts Program. The requirements have increased over previous years (if memory serves) in that you have to send in a thumbnail board along with the concept and character designs. I jammed that sucker out nice and fast, hopefully translating some of the energy on to the page. Once I got going, this was the most fun drawing I’ve had in a while.

It’s called Bacon Spacehorse and it’s about a magical horse who answers kid’s questions about space.

BACON SPACEHORSE
A naive and magical horse that lives in space. He can do anything he wishes and loves to learn so much, he will tear you apart if you get in his way of his search for answers.

ASTROBEE
A selfish space explorer who left his hive to sting planets. Real name Colin Santana. Wanted to be a spaceman after watching Flight of the Navigator as a larva.

CHARLES RAND
A TV astronomer who knows very little about what he’s talking about. He has undisclosed financial problems.

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STORYBOARD: WHAT’S INSIDE A BLACK HOLE?

Bacon Spacehorse and Astrobee zoom around space in search of a black hole. What they find inside surprises them.

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New Pitch: Crashlander

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New characters: Breakfast Quest

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Tasty!

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Got my first followers on tumblr

This is a huge day in the Hutchinson household. Right after Tumblr sells out to Yahoo and social media is basically over, my tumblr for Hey Lamington gets its first two followers. It took twelve uploads and one question before anything happened… actually, it wasn’t until I tagged the posts that people appeared, so there’s a little social media secret for you.  Anyway, follow heylamington.tumblr.com if you like cartoon dogs!!!

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2013

So this is what the future looks like? Huh.

I’ve been working on the series bible for Cartoon Network over Christmas and it’s all done and in their hands. Waiting to hear back some notes. I hope they like it.

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Technically, this makes me and George Lucas colleagues

Speaking of Disney, I heard this week I will be doing some work on a pilot at Disney Junior! It’s created by a very funny person (Canadian), and I feel pretty lucky to be asked to help. (Also, something is going down at Cartoon Network 4 REALZ, but more on that later.)

Anyway, George better keep his shit together, I demand excellence from my co-workers.

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New Pixie Cop Artwork

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Disney Television Animation

Had an awesome pitch meeting at Disney this week. I think I pitched too much and spoke for too long and geeked out too hard, but what can an ordinary fellow do in such situations. It’s exciting.

I took the opportunity to ask about something I’m a huge fan of: Power Pack. Now that they own Marvel, I suggested Disney should be making it into an animated series… apparently, I was the second person to ask about it THAT DAY. Maybe that’s a sign they should do it. We can only hope.

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