Animation Stuff

Animation Monday: Breadwinners / Wallykazam!

Geek Alabama Animation

On this Animation Monday, I am talking about two new animated shows on Nickelodeon that you need to check out!

Breadwinners

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This new show is something Nickelodeon is banking on to being a major hit for kids.  And watching the first two episodes, I think Breadwinners is going to appeal to the kids!  The show is created by Gary DiRaffale and Steve Borst, and centers upon two anthropomorphic ducks that run a bread delivery service.  The series is based in a world called Pondgea, which is basically a world mostly inhabited by ducks.  SwaySway and Buhdeuce are carefree ducks who fly around in a rocket van delivering bread to their customers.  And as you know, ducks love their bread.  And in the series, you see real bread instead of a cartoon bread.

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The most interesting thing about this cartoon, is that Nickelodeon found these animators after they saw a 4 1/2 minute video on YouTube.  The video was intended to be a one-off short film crafted to entertain fellow animators at a short-film festival held at a New York bar.  Luckily, Nick contacted the animators, and the rest is history!  Enjoy the pilot below!

The first episode features the duo delivering all types of bread to hungry ducks!  When the duo has 12 loafs of bread left, they deliver it to a bad neighborhood.  After getting away from a duck motorcycle gang and a monster, the duo breaths a sigh of relief!  The second episode shows us where the bread comes from, underground in caves where the duo has the mine for the bread.  They find a genie lamp and have fun asking the Breadmaker some weird questions, but the Breadmaker saves the duo from some underground mole.  Yes, this cartoon has some lessons for the kids!

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So what did I think.  The animation is more of a handmade, creative driven animation.  The main characters are animated very well.  But most of the background and background characters are real-life, that are added into the cartoon.  About the storytelling, yeah, there are plenty of weird stories and butt jokes, but for a kids cartoon, I thought the creators did a very good job!  The target audience for the show is boys 7-11, and this show is created for that demographic.  Breadwinners is the first program as a part of a new network development program.  So I can’t wait to see what Nick comes out next!  Learn more about Breadwinners at: http://www.nick.com/shows/breadwinners/

Wallykazam!

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Another great show on Nickelodeon is Wallykazam!  This show is for a preschool audience and so far, it is delivering some great ratings for the network.  Wallykazam!  follows the adventures of a troll named Wally and his pet dragon, Norville, who live in a forest with giants, goblins, ogres, sprites and other mythical creatures.  Wally uses his magic stick to make words come to life on screen that start with a specific letter, sound or rhyme.  Each episode features a new set of magic words that Wally uses to playfully transform the world around him.  The series is Nickelodeon’s first preschool series that embeds a literacy curriculum into a full-length story, introducing skills such as letter and sound identification, rhyming, vocabulary development, and comprehension strategies.

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After watching a couple of episodes, I think this is a great addition to the preschool lineup.  Wallykazam! is created by Adam Peltzman.  For the storytelling, each episode features one letter of the alphabet.  And for the entire episode, Wally can only produce objects with that letter.  This means that Wally has to get very creative to complete the tasks in the episode.  The animation is all computer animation, but you get some great details of Wally’s skin and clothing, and Norville’s dragon scales.  All of the background animation is done very well too!

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Wallykazam! is a show I won’t be watching on a regular basis, since I am an adult now.  But for the young kids, they are going to like this show!  And they are going to get plenty of educational content as well.  Learn more about Wallykazam! at:  http://www.nickjr.com/wallykazam/

All images and videos copyright from Nickelodeon

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