Veggie Tales meets Top Wing, set in Mayberry.
Pilot in work. Seeking partners/funding for full production.
Logline: A wholesome, small-town tale of a rambunctious, seven-year old boy exploring his ever-changing world while learning more about his never-changing God.
The Show: Kip is seven years old, and to him, no day is ever the same. Even things that might seem mundane to an adult, like getting dressed, making a new friend, or waiting for the mailman or the bus, are new and thrilling to Kip. While these brand-new experiences are wondrous and sometimes scary, each adventure reveals to Kip that even though his world may change from moment to moment, his Heavenly Father does not.
Nutshell: Veggie Tales meets Top Wing, set in Mayberry.
Target Demographic: Kids, ages 2-7, and their families in the Faith Narrow category.
Tagline: Loving, laughing, and learning in Little Boxburg.
Style: Purposefully and stylistically minimal, The Cubekins is simple, colorful, exciting, and pure. The world of Cubekins should invite us in, feel instantly relatable and comfortable, while inspiring us to pull up a chair and stay a while. The characters are intentionally austere, a design choice which corresponds to dramatic reductions in show cost in terms of production, animation, and rendering time. The straightforward character design also translates easily to toy and merchandise design and is achieved by utilizing the Epic Unreal Game Engine.
Setting: The Cubekins is a wholesome, good-natured romp through a near-perfect slice of Americana. Our setting—the small, peaceful town of Little Boxburg—is what some might call idyllic, while others might call it normal. Regardless of how its seen, Little Boxburg is a bastion of peace, safety, and stability, and it always recalls home. Against this stable and hearty background, The Cubekins stories are driven by the common conflicts that arise among us every day.
The challenges faced by Kip, his family, and his friends revolve around how to navigate life, such as: how to be a kid; how to consider others and their feelings; how to understand their problems and perspectives; and how to grow in maturity and responsibility. The solutions to these situations are, of course, found in the Word of God and are presented through the rambunctious antics and riotous ideas of our seven-year-old hero, Kip. To Kip, these problems are anything but common; in his eyes, each new day seems fresh, and every unspoiled experience sparkles, laden with exciting possibilities. The Cubekins’ 3D animated, eleven-minute episodes lightheartedly present this world of change against the impermanence of God’s eternal presence and nature.
Kip is an ever-curious, energy-filled seven-year old cube who never tires of seeing and learning new things. Exploring the neighbor’s yard (often without permission), bringing home frogs from the local pond, or learning how glue works by using his older sister’s pigtails are daily occurrences for Kip. It’s not that Kip is malicious—far from it—he’s just ever curious about the workings of the world and is brave enough to try to find out for himself. Kip tries hard to be a good little cube, but his insatiable curiosity often gets the best of him and lands him into zany situations.
Finn is Kip’s best friend and go-to partner for all of Kip’s fun, crazy adventures. Finn is not nearly as adventurous as Kip, but they’ve been best pals since they were both in the cradle, and neither can imagine doing anything without the other. Finn’s not a risk-taker like his bold pal; he always likes to play it safe and has several fears to boot - he’s afraid of the dark, snakes, bugs, water, heights, and small spaces. None of these fears are strong enough to keep him from joining along, though. Finn also has a bit of a secret crush on Kara as well, but no one knows this yet.
Kara is Kip’s older sister, and at nine years old, is wise to the world and doesn’t hesitate to let folks know about it. Kara's a fanatical pet collector, is always adopting fancy new pets from her volunteer time at the corner Pet Shop, but Kip’s a little more “free range” when it comes to his non-pedigreed pets: a pocket of wriggly earthworms or bucket of salamanders from the creek suits him just fine. Kara’s generally bossy and short-tempered, but deep down, she’s as tenderhearted as they come.
Archibald (also known as Archie) is Kip and Kara’s new baby brother, and his arrival has changed everything for the Cubekins. Archie is a near-constant source of turmoil for poor Kip because he’s already learning to toddle and is constantly getting into Kip’s things and DROOLING all over them. Archie also has an unusual tick where his arms and legs randomly jerk and twitch which can lead to the creation of stunning messes or precious items begin flung all across the house. Archie, like most babies his age, has two settings: simply joyous or screaming his head off. Archie inserts an added level of chaos into any situation, and he’s a perfect comic foil. He’s definitely the Daffy to Kip’s Bugs Bunny!
Jan is Kip’s Mom, and she is the consistent, beating heart of the Cubekins family. Mom is very “by the numbers” and no-nonsense, which balances out Dad’s “seat of the pants” perspective really nicely; she’s not a risk taker and is always the one to look before she leaps. Currently, she’s not working, but once had a job in Big Box City as a CFO, so she’s a whiz with money. Mom loves her little ones and while occasionally, when kids are yelling and plates are spinning, she might dream of beautiful columns of orderly numbers, all summing up neatly and precisely, she thoroughly enjoys the controlled chaos of her sweet little family. Mom is also a passionate cross-stitch enthusiast.
Ed (short for Edison) is Kip’s Dad, and he’s a crafty and skilled entrepreneur who is always doing lots of different jobs. As an idea guy he’s an inventor, and every time we see him, he’s working hard on at least one new job. This will become a running gag on the show, of course, but it can lead to many story ideas as well, as dad interacts with the hardware store, the bank, other vendors around town, or even e-commerce sites. Dad is a little scattered, but he’s very focused on providing the best he can for his family; it just might come from lots of different sources. Dad’s a maker and builder at heart, he’s forever tinkering on some new something, but he always brings his kids along on his kooky ventures.
Pastor Ian is the pastor at the Cubekins’ church and is a mild-mannered, rather mellow fellow. When he’s not studying and preaching the Word of God, or serving his small, but close-knit flock of Christians, he can be found practicing his base guitar (he once wanted to be in a funk band) or dusting his prized collection of vintage Lazer Wars action figures and toys. Ian also loves zipping around Boxburg on his Onewheel XR-Xtreme and has a bad habit of being a bit too reckless on the unusual vehicle. Pastor Ian attributes this carelessness to some bad habits he picked up during the irresponsible “skateboarding days” of his youth.
Meg (short for Megan) is the Cubekins’ usual babysitter. Of course, Kip and Kara don’t think they need a babysitter, so the “Megalosarus” is never a welcome sight for the Cubekins’ kids. Meg’s not a mean babysitter, but she is a top-of-her-class, thirteen-year old girl who’s a consummate rules-follower, list-maker, and box-checker with an extreme “A-type personality”. This definitely puts her at odds with Kip’s rambunctious and chaotic nature, and so Kip views Meg as an outright enemy from the word “go”. Meg has a pet dander allergy too, a weakness that Kip always uses to his utmost advantage.
Lunk is the nine-year-old town bully and is a problem for almost anyone he encounters – even some grownups give him a wide berth. He’s a rough-around-the-edges type, fairly immune to pain (not really, but he just doesn’t let it show), and generally obnoxious to everyone that he meets. As such, most folks simply avoid him.
Pris Pearson is a well-known figure in Little Boxburg (and beyond), as she's a hard-hitting, no-nonsense reporter for Four Square News ("We Give It To You Square). Anytime anything news-worthy happens, you can rest assured that Pris Pearson, microphone in hand and cameras rolling, will be there to capture it!
Here's some #mocap in action for the #cubekins #pilot that #BrainyPixel currently has in #production. Check out the well known Brittany J Smith as she becomes Kara, the of't bossy big sister to our main character, Kip!
By the way, it's important to state that all of the #animation here is raw #mocap and #facecap data - no clean-up! If you know #3danimaiton, then you'll know to be amazed!
Be sure and check out Brittany's YouTube channel. She's waaaay more than just an amazing #mocap actor: youtube.com/user/brittanysmithsings
Join our CEO and Animation Lead, Michael Thoenes, as he gives us a quick sneak peek of Episode 01, Scene 01 of #Cubekins and how easy it is to edit #3danimation in the #UnrealEngine!
Quick video to show some of the #mocap/#facecap #animation #cleanup from our #pilot #episode of #cubekins, currently in #production. This is from the first scene of the first episode and features our main character, #Kip. The vast majority of this #animation came from our #rokoko #mocap and #aquifer #facecap, but this has been tweaked and massaged by our excellent animation gurus
Just a quick example video showing a layered #real-world/#mocap/#facecap capture session for our #pilot #episode, in #production. We're very impressed with the #rokoko motion capture suit, the @aquifer face capture app, and of course, our actor, Harrison Stone as he brings our #cubekins character #Finn to life!
A little #BrainyPixel #Cubekins #cleanup #clip. On the left is the raw #mocap and #facecap data and on the right, #refined #animation. NOTE: Lighting and camera still need to be tweaked, however.
Here's a little #sneak #peek of our in-work #pilot for #cubekins!