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Danny and Future Worm stumble across a 1000 year old Spiderian vs. Lizardian war in "Porthole to the Lizard Hole" featuring Andy Daly as Mr. Zarlid, a lizard man disguised as a human teacher whose concealed first purpose is to inspire Danny to fulfill the prophecy of the Gem Force Five. The first image is a rough concept painting to stage the Spiderians vs Lizardians war. I had fun with the idea of it feeling like an entire universe with its own solar system living beneath the local run down school above. Next is Killah-Pilla, Bugs beastly answer to her battlebot problems with the aid of an engine from the future, it comes alive and takes on a mind of its own eventually destroying the town. Since Bug is also into science and building inventions like Danny, we had to distinguish her inventions by making them out of car parts/salvage yard related, where Danny's inventions are mostly made out of household items. Killah-Pilla metamorphosizes into Hank Flappington after Bug and Danny try to put Killah-Pilla down. This character took some back and forth between Devon Roth and myself in trying to keep what's a complicated character as simplified as possible to animate.
Here it is! Disney XD's "FUTURE WORM!"...the next adventure in making a sci-fi show from scratch...oh season 1's. Let me tell you this boy loves science, "Future Worm" follows 10 year old Danny Douglas, (voiced by Andy Milonakis), whom befriends an ab-assaulting worm from the future, Future Worm, (voiced by James Adomian), skipping across the multiverse in a time travelling lunchbox. Ryan Quincy, (voice of Doug and Robo-Carp) , is our creator in chief, formerly from "South Park" as an animation director, and creator of the IFC series "Out There". When Rick and Morty went on hiatus after season 2, we were informed of an extremely long break between seasons so everyone had to go and find work and thats when I met Ryan and joined the team at Disney. First design above is the Cold Monster virus character that wants to infect everything in its path, we changed the final color for the episode to feel more gross. Next one is the first rough I did for the show, a far out sci-fi cityscape for the Dr. D episode, our lead Bg designer Joey McCormick did the cleanup. GLOOOOOOOPIEEEESSSS! Are Invading and Glooping all over the world! We had to make an entire race of aliens and their worlds built out of spoiled milk. Above are some gloopy ship concepts, the idea was to interweave the tech plated metal ship underneath with globs of Gloop that have overtaken it. Last is the interior of the gloopy ship, in this sketch I thought it would be cool to show openings in the ceiling where gloopy character could pop through by the hundreds to surround Danny and Future Worm in a final stand for humanity. This episode, 'Captain Cakerz', features Neil deGrasse Tyson or as we like to call him NDT!, as an ongoing character throughout the series guiding Danny and Future Worm with his telekinetic powers and a little help from science.
Squeezed out this drawing of Scott Weiland soon after hearing of his passing. Immediately a swarm of memories from the 90's came to mind and felt compelled to put this together. I kept recalling the lyrics "When the dogs begin to smell her, Will she smell alone?" always stood out to me as defining lyrics of STP from their hit song Plush. Plush is loosely based on the finding of a little girl's dead body. In this case dog is slang for someone who does one night stands, people that are vicious and have no care for women. The woman fraught with relationship issues is fronting and pretending to be strong amongst blood thirsty men who are trying to figure out if she is alone.
A dramatic ending to an incredibly dark season! I don't know whether to be happy or sad. Originally this episode was arranged as a two parter to end the season with but plans changed and thus, the purge episode was born. The first two concept sketches are for Squanchys world. I thought it would be fun if the architecture resembled a giant cat toy obstacle course style homes on the beach with colorful above water coral foliage. No one could believe the killing off of the beloved Birdperson, the wedding reception sketch staged his last breath framed by a phoenix symbol banner. Next is a bg paint of the exterior of the wedding reception with afterglow from a Gromflamite ship exhaust on top and finishing touches by Carol Wyatt. The next image is a concept sketch of the PlimPlom tavern exterior I did on top of a Bg that got cut from season one originally painted by Carol Wyatt. I wanted to add a weird membrane hanging from the ceiling that contained some alien jungle juice that transforms into different kinds of alcohol for its patrons in the interior sketch of PlimPlom that you can also see in the glass rooftop in the exterior. Next is a bg paint for the reentry of the Smith family to Earth which Carol took further in the final version and a rough concept sketch of Courier Flaps. After turning himself in, in order to protect his family, Rick is hauled off into a concept painting I did of the federation maximum security prison accompanied by the NIN song "Hurt". I can't believe they got the license to use it, but the song really brought that much more impact to the sequence. We had a few versions of how to play this, but Dan wanted the tone of it to be dire and hopeless. Next is a bg paint of the exterior of the federation prison with some finishing touches from Yaoyao Ma Van As. As difficult as this show was to manage, we really hit our stride this year and never have I been so fond of the material we worked on. In the fine words of MPB- "See you in a year and a half!"
Heres a few sketches for the purge episode, the top one is a first pass on the cat people. Justin wanted them to have a 1920's depression era vibe but still have sci-fi elements about their town. We spoke of changing the characters animal species type, but Arthrisha had to be cute in order for Morty to be attracted to her so we stuck with cat people. Next is the writer of "3 weeks Earlier", the lighthouse keeper who gets mauled by Morty after being bored to death by his long winded and poorly written screenplay. I loosely based him on Republican Senate majority leader Mitch McConnel, his resemblance to a turtle has always astounded me.
Jerry's quest to make everyone like him goes horribly wrong when faced with giving up his wiener in order to keep the most important being in the universe alive in an alien hospital. For the backgrounds we decided to give it a clean look, similar to an apple product. The first sketch is the St Gloopy Noops waiting room where Rick rigs an alien cable box to watch improvised commercials. The next one is the courtyard area where Jerrys press conference is staged. Last but not least is the old reptile played by Werner Herzog, his epic monologue about human culture revolving around the penis had the crew in stitches and disbelief that he decided to do the role.
Tiny Rick! This was one of the crews favorite episodes and most manageable production wise, and its always nice to see Jerry and Beth work out some of their troubled marriage and actually have a fond moment once in awhile even though Tiny Rick steals the show. The first character Glaxo Slimslom was played by Jim Rash, we wanted him to come off like a soothing host at first but give him enough facial space for big expressions when shit hits the fan, I love the simple nacho shaped head. Next is the coveted XenoBeth, this was a collaborative effort with Maximus Paulsen, Gerry Galang and myself. This was by far the most complex character of the season, and it took many rounds to simplify her enough to not be a complete nightmare to animate, Max and Gerry did a few versions and then I did these roughs to get her on track. Her mouth was probably the most complicated mouth we've done to date and still took some time to refine. Next are my takes on Worm Jerry, ewww. For both characters we tried to work their stock colors into their new half breed bodies. The Nuptia 4 world was inspired by a hotel in St Tropez that has bubble structures overlooking the Mediterranean Sea. The mythologue therapy lab was a tricky one because it still needed to come off as a relaxing resort juxtaposed with making the most awful monster version of its guests. We played up the idea of their world being crystal powered and when everything goes dark the back up emergency lighted version of the crystals come on. Lastly is a first pass of the individual battle pits lined along the hall of mythologoues that the guests monster versions of themselves tear each other apart in, all of which was refined further by the BG and color team.
This episode took some planning in figuring out the confusion of what world belonged to whom, and what character designed the following universe based on their good or bad design aesthetics. The first sketch was my first take on Zeeps world that his character created for Kyle's people to produce Zeeps power. Justin wanted his world to reflect that of Frank Lloyd Wright, real pristine clean design where every detail works in harmony with the other. The next sketch is of Zeep and some of his expressions based on the storyboards, if you look at some of the Cromulon head rejects from my previous post you'll see where Zeep began. Everyone was super excited to have Stephen Colbert on board to do a voice. The last set of characters were all rejects for the primitive tree people that Morty gets mixed up with in Kyles Teenyverse. It helped to have the characters figured out ahead of time in order to figure out what their worlds consisted of, but believe it or not Kyle was the simplest design that took the longest to land on.
Time to get Schwifty in here! The first piece is a concept sketch of a flashy solar system set up as a Japanese game show with a disco ball sun and comets spotlighting recently removed planets as contestants with the intention of a giant plasma ray committing animated genocide on a cosmic scale if they don't perform a hit song stat. The next page is a variety of Cromulon head roughs, I started out with more of a deity take similar to the Rapa Nui heads but Justin wanted them to look bored in search of that sweet melody. Next is Birdworlds establishing exterior, I wanted to form the structures around the idea of swallows nests made of mud mixed with adobe style homes, and give off the sense of birdpeople being hunter gatherers. For the interiors I loved the idea of having the inside/outside feel of building his home around the trunk of a tree with bohemian/native american details, but my favorite detail is the scattered newspapers underneath his bed nest of twigs, even Tammy can't change old bird habits.
Total Rickall had a crazy amount of new one off characters and once again the board artists had a real challenge having to stage and track so many characters on screen together. For the true die hards, if you noticed the green rocks from episode 2 that Rick puts in the trunk of his ship you might have seen a couple pink eggs attached to the rocks, the same rocks Rick throws in the trash at the top of this episode. The first parasite, post transformation, is the only one with larvae growing off its back suggesting that others had been laid in the house. From the beginning Justin pictured these parasites with a beef jerky body and after much research of microscopic bacteria/parasites (which is absolutely terrifying by the way) I started some roughs. During that process I thought it needed a dramatic death mechanism by having its neck foreskin fold over its face ending with tendrils shooting out its mouth gasping its final breath to contrast the colorful over the top nature of the parasites pre-transformation. The first page above exhibits my initial roughs and the more refined color versions I tried, but the transformations proved to be a real challenge for animation so the color team had to really simplify the color which worked better in the long run. Next are some early sketches for Tinkles and friends, which were a lot of fun to be able to introduce another style to the show, the far right one is the final color version credit to the color team. Lastly Hamurai, I started with more of a cartoony take on him but Dan wanted to go with a more realistic look to him.
Here's some early concept sketches I did for the latest episode, first being Ricks subterranean layer where he chained up Blim Blam the Korblok. There were many iterations of Blim Blam before landing on the right hand side one and the color team took it further for the final broadcast version. Originally the six blue blob patterns I designed as six beak mouths above his red mandibles only to be used when he screamed but it got lost in translation so it remained a pattern instead. The following pieces conveyed the architecture of the planet I wanted to use, gave it more of what I imagined as a futuristic scientology style campus canvased with cultish looking church glass. The BG team ran with it and turned it into a unique metropolis and the painters simplified the glass color in a way that made this one of the prettiest RAM episodes despite its bleak ending.
This episode was so jam packed with really fun designs. The first two pieces are rough concept drawings I did of a shady space garage that Rick sells his anti-matter gun to Krombopulous Micheal. I wanted to give it a wet and steamy mood to it, and for the final version the color team took it another 10 steps and really made it look amazing. I did quite a few rounds on everyone's favorite assassin, K Micheal, who "just loves killin" played by Andy Daly. These were my favorite 5 out of like 40 before his color was finalized. The next two are roughs of a character that got scrapped from the episode, Krootch, an alien pimp that tries to trick out Jerry as he's walking around Asteroid City lost and confused trying to find his way back home. It was a funny bit but Harmon felt like the stakes needed to be higher and make the environment scarier and unpredictable to terrify Jerry more. Next, are some sketches for the Garble alien who was a throw away character I did as a redline from season one that Justin and I always loved and wanted to find a way to get him into the show for season two. I didn't realize how much it would get used this season, but it was awesome to see it make an appearance in our Simpsons couch gag and a version of them as handmade puppets for a live action promotional ad for the show. Next, is my second pass on the Jermaine Clements character, Fart of course. Loved the way it seeped in and out of tight spaces....brrrrrraap! Lastly, my first rough of Gear City focuses on Gearheads garage. Justin wanted to have a mix of bright plastics with greasy gears and I tried to give it many chasms below the surface level so there were a lot of options for the ship chase sequence to dip and weave in and out of levels of gears and piping.