[Last edited June 2019]
Back in 2013 I met Alexi Wheeler from Nickelodeon at The Imperial Hotel in Annecy, France during the annual ‘Annecy International Animation Festival’. We stood by the main bar and I showed him a sketchbook of rough sketches I had made on the plane over there. I was actually pitching something else, a series called ‘Pixel Safari’ about a camp lion who doesn’t want to become King that I had kind of made up on the way over there and had printed a ‘leave-behind’ thing that morning.
Anyways, I was flipping through the sketchbook made out of recycled paper (it was actually a waiter’s pad I bought for R2 from the local print shop back in South Africa) and he stopped at one picture of a Moose being carried in a Cat that’s also a box. He said ‘heh, that’s funny.’ I got back to South Africa and got news they were keen to include me in their shorts program, I just needed to pitch something properly with a storyboard and show, world and character descriptions. So, I decided to pitch ‘Moosebox’. It was a pretty mad time as my parents were moving house, my mom had just been involved in a car crash – someone came shooting through a stop street and side-swiped her. So I got up early in the mornings to work on the pitch and in a few days sent the pitch through. Lo and behold they chose me for their International Shorts Program! Moosebox was a go! There were contracts and stuff for them to buy the idea, we came up with arrangements to make a pilot, I would go to Triggerfish Studios in Cape Town to work on it, we’d produce it there, and over a couple months we made a flippen’ pilot:
Later, it got more funding to go into further development, and we now have a full show bible and 11-minute animatic for a whole episode, but something went weird during this time and Moosebox somehow got a little derailed.
I’m hecka proud of that show bible. You can see my pitch submission here, the character style guide I made for artists for the pilot here, the environment style guide for the pilot here, and the finished show deck here:
Moosebox Show Bible by on Scribd
There’s also this 11-min episode comic I was doing, which is unfinished, called ‘Glitch Feet’:
Moosebox ‘Glitch Feet&#… by on Scribd
Still, it’s a great show and I believe has potential to be awesome if it’s allowed to be what it wants to be.
Here’s the animatic for a new 11-minute episode that never got further than this stage:
Here’s a little gallery of bits and pieces.
[June 2019 Update]
So, Moosebox has come far since I last updated this page! I was about to be given rights back to Moosebox in 2017, but at the last moment, there was a possibility of Nickelodeon greenlighting digital shorts, thanks in large art to Nina Hahn, another proponent of Moosebox. Was I game? You bet! They greenlit the production of 20 digital shorts, Alexi Wheeler was heading it up from Nickelodeon’s side, we got Mind’s Eye Creative involved – they’re a fantastic 2D animation studio in Johannesburg, South Africa; for my money, the top 2D studio in Africa that I know of. Greig Cameron got involved as head writer, we contacted other writers and board artists we knew, and in short time we had 20 episodes ready to go into production! Ed Lewis from New York was our voice director, it was lank fun choosing from the voice auditions he sent us, and for over a year and a bit I worked almost full-time on Moosebox day (and many nights). Audio Militia, also from Johannesburg, came onboard as the audio house to create the music, foley and do final mix, and we had a killer crew working on Moosebox from top to bottom. The whole thing, bar the voices, was created in South Africa! Even Greig did some voices, heh. Alexi Wheeler then moved to Netflix right about the time we were finishing. We wrapped production in September last year 2018, we launched the show at the inaugural Comic Con Africa in Joburg complete with cardboard cutouts, Moosebox badge pins and Moosebox-themed food, the episodes flighted on TV on Nickelodeon Africa for a while, Nickelodeon released the OG pilot on the Facebook and Youtube page and it did really well, and only recently the 20 new episodes have started being released online on Nickelodeon Asia’s Facebook page. I’ve embedded them below!
OG Moosebox pilot
Moosebox S1 Teaser
Episode 1 – Head Space
Episode 2 – Racey McRace Race
Episode 3 – Shadow of the Honey Badger