KIPO AND THE AGE OF WONDERBEASTS’ CREATORS ON THEIR STYLISH NEW NETFLIX SERIES
After spending her entire life living in an underground burrow, a young girl named Kipo (Karen Fukuhara) is thrust into an adventure on the surface of a fantastical post-apocalyptic Earth. She joins a ragtag group of survivors as they embark on a journey through a vibrant wonderland where everything trying to kill them is downright adorable. The series is created and executive produced by Rad Sechrist (How to Train Your Dragon 2) and executive produced and developed for television by Bill Wolkoff (The Man Who Fell To Earth). We had a chance to chat with both of them to see how Kipo and the Age of Wonderbeasts came to be.
Can you talk about taking your designs, translating them to the screen, and also working with Studio Mir for your world design, your character designs, and the look of Kipo?
Sechrist: There was a definite hesitance to try it at first because it looked like it was just going to be hard. The eyes get cut off weirdly like halfway off the face and there’s a lot of things that appear, ‘Oh, that’s how that going to move.’
Wolkoff: I’d like to give a big hats off to Studio Mir for making, for taking Rad’s style and finding ways to make it animatable. Because we haven’t seen a show that looks like this style before. I mean, the big lesson for me coming into this role is seeing that challenge and seeing the studio rise to that challenge. It took work and they deserve a lot of credit for that. I know that after working with Angela Sung, our art director, who would provide many expression sheets and acting… We had great character designers who would do key poses that helped them, give them some of the tools to be able to be turn it into an animatable style that you could do on a TV production schedule. I mean for me it was just beyond my expectations, which I think they really knocked it out of the park.
Yeah, I agree.
Sechrist: Yeah. I pinched myself, like I can’t believe we got to work with Studio Mir. Like I mean they’re probably the best in the kind of the Western markets. They’re incredible.
That’s awesome. They did a fantastic job and it was cool to see your initial designs keep their spirit. You can recognize your work in the finished product, but you can see their hand in the animation as well. And it worked really, really well.
Sechrist: It was amazing to visit, too. They’re drawing it on paper and scanning it in.
Yeah, crazy. It’s cool too for like an old animation head like me, it’s cool that people are still doing that today. It’s kind of mind-blowing.
Sechrist: It’s so amazing