The first of 18 short-form animated web series aimed at the 12-24 demo kicks off April 30 with Ryan Naumann’s “Do’s and Don’ts: A Children’s Guide to Social Surival.” Emily Brundige’s “Pubertina” follows May 2 and Michael Granberry’s “Zombies vs. Ninjas” on May 4.
Smosh is a live-action video channel that ranks among YouTube’s most popular outlets. The toon channel was created by Barry Blumberg, Smosh prexy and Alloy Digital exec veep, along with Smosh co-founders Anthony Padilla and Ian Hecox.
Blumberg is a Mouse House vet who led Disney Television Animation from 1994 to 2006. He described Shut Up as bringing his two worlds together.
“It was taking what was great about animation and applying the freedoms and the niche sense of humor you see much more in the online video space,” he said.
Blumberg has tapped former Disney colleague Lenora Hume to head production.
The series slate reps the work of a diverse array of animators ranging from online content creators to established TV and feature directors with passion projects. Cory Edwards, helmer of the two “Hoodwinked!” pics, had the opportunity to make “Krogzilla Gets a Job,” a gag cartoon about a downsized Japanese monster seeking employment.
“My experience told me that every single writer, producer, director who has ever worked in animation had that one project that no one would ever make,” Blumberg said.
Other series will include “Sub 3,” about pizza delivery, from Peter Hastings (“Pinky and the Brain”) and Prudence Fenton (“Pee-wee’s Playhouse”). Peter Hannan (“CatDog”) animated “Really Freaking Embarrassing.”
Although many of the Shut Up series were originated by animators who execute their work independently, some series started off as stories ideas and character sketches that were then developed into series. For example, Padilla and Hecox developed “Teleporting Fat Guy” from a Smosh character.
“We got a chance to make it as ridiculous as possible,” Hecox said. “You can do so much more with cartoons.”
Shut Up! Cartoons will be advertised on Smosh’s main channel, which boasts 4.5 million subscribers, and other Alloy properties. The show will also cross-promote with the YouTube channels of animation vets Fred Seibert and John Evershed.
Alloy Digital is a sibling company to Alloy Entertainment, which has scored with book and TV projects including “Gossip Girl” and “Pretty Little Liars.”