Friday, January 22, 2016
More Adult Animation: Augenblick Plans Animated Feature
Augenblick, an animation studio founded by Aaron Augenblick back in 1999, has been on the radar for many years.
In 2008, they unleashed a surreal, madcap Adult Swim show that I loved back then called Superjail! I still think iy holds up a bit compared to other [as] shows from the era. It was a mix of 60s psychedelia, sci-fi fantasy, and raunchy over-the-top comedy and violence. Was it mature? Not really. Was it a whole lot of fun? Yes. Very much so.
The studio also gave us the likes of MTV's Wonder Showzen and Comedy Central's Ugly Americans, among other things. They now have a feature film in the works titled The Adventures of Drunky... And yes, it is indeed going to be an R-rated film.
The first image is right in line with Superjail!'s visuals, while being its own thing. It looks pretty good, plus... Traditional animation!
It's interesting how the recent adult-oriented American animated feature rise is mostly coming from Adult Swim alumnus. Last autumn's Hell & Back was from the Robot Chicken studio Stoopid Buddy, Anomalisa was produced by Starburns of Rick & Morty fame (plus Dino Stamatopoulos, creator of [as]'s Moral Orel and Mary Shelley's Frankenhole, was involved), and the upcoming Nerdland is being made by Metalocalypse studio Titmouse.
What is The Adventures of Drunky about? From Mr. Augenblick himself (via Cartoon Brew):
"It’s hand drawn, surreal, and funny as hell... The film’s main character, Drunky (voiced by Sam Rockwell), is a barfly who finds himself in the middle of a cosmic bet between God (Jeffrey Tambor) and the Devil (Steve Coogan) over the fate of the Earth."
The official description itself says:
“With his life destroyed, Drunky must travel through Heaven and Hell to rescue the girl he loves (Nina Arianda) and save the world. Assisting Drunky on his quest are an alley cat (Tyler The Creator) and a demon (Dave Attell)."
It sounds like it could be a lot of fun, though I don't expect it to be anything actually mature like Anomalisa is, or some other notable adult-oriented animated features. I expect lots of lowbrow humor and heaps of stuff that you don't show to the young'uns. I know that I beg too much for a big American-made adult animated feature that doesn't rely on excessive violence, raunchy humor, gratuitous sex, and/or swearing, but if we need such features to get to an adult animation boom here in the states, I'm all for it. If it takes a few Sausage Party-types and Nerdland-types to get there, then alright!
I'm just happy to see lots of films like this being made to begin with, and they're all going for low budgets, which is very smart. Not too much rides on them, and I think with a lower budget, you can experiment more because there isn't as much pressure.
According to my pal Chris Cookson, an animator who used to work for Augenblick, Aaron has been pitching the film since the studio's inception.
Suffice to say, I'm all for it. I love the weirdness of Superjail!, and most of the Adult Swim shows from the time. If they use that stuff wisely and tie it all to a winning script, we'll have a home run here.
What do you think? Are you looking forward to this film? What do you think it'll do for adult-oriented feature animation here in America? Sound off below!