Brazilian hit comedy troupe Porta Dos Fundos, renowned for its irreverent take on the life of Christ in their annual Christmas Specials, is making its first animated special exclusively for streamer Paramount Plus.
The new Paramount Plus Original, titled “Mean Boys,” is written by troupe co-founder Fábio Porchat and co-produced by VIS Americas and Brazilian animation studio, Estricnina.
The move makes sense given that ViacomCBS took a majority stake in Porta dos Fundos in 2017 and co-produced last year’s special with Porta dos Fundos.
“Mean Boys” will give the audience a peek at Jesus’ teenage life before he became Christ as he enrolls in a new high school and, with the help of his pal Lázaro, tries to fit in. “We always wanted to make an animation [film],” said Porchat, adding: “This pandemic turned our desire into a necessity. After all, drawing can’t transmit a virus.” The pandemic continues to rampage through Brazil and some expect its death toll to eventually outpace that of the U.S.
Last year, the comedy troupe used the documentary format in order to better observe COVID-19 safety protocols. The use of talking heads and testimonials were the ideal solution to rules on social distancing in “The Edge of Theocracy,” a play on Petra Costa’s Oscar-nominated documentary, “The Edge of Democracy.”
Porta dos Fundos won an International Emmy for their 2018 Christmas special “The Last Hangover” on Netflix while last year’s “The Edge of Theocracy” amassed over 2.4 million views on the troupe’s dedicated YouTube channel. Its 2019 Xmas special, also on Netflix, “The First Temptation of Christ,” featured a gay Christ, which set off an avalanche of complaints, a petition to ban the special signed by more than two million people and worst of all, a Molotov cocktail attack on their headquarters which sparked a fire that was fortunately put out by alert security guards.
As described by the troupe, “Mean Boys” “will track the woes and misadventures of a group of friends as they navigate life in high school and will undoubtedly push boundaries as they show just how mean boys can be.”
“The Porta dos Fundos Christmas specials have always made a statement and this year will not be the exception,” it said.
“Mean Boys” will be available on Paramount Plus worldwide and will be subtitled in English as well as dubbed in Spanish.
It joins a growing roster of originals and acquisitions on Paramount Plus as it seeks to lure more viewers worldwide and grow its subscriber base.
This includes Mark Wahlberg’s new movie “Infinite,” Spanish series “Parot,” the latest season of the “iCarly” reboot, Ricardo Arjona’s streaming concert “Hecho a la Antigua,” new seasons of “The Handmaid’s Tale” and “Acapulco Shore,” and the hotly anticipated “Manos Arriba Chef.”
In addition, Paramount Plus will soon premiere “Cecilia,” a Mexican series with Mariana Treviño, the return of the groundbreaking docuseries “Behind the Music,” the Madonna documentary “Madame X,” and
Academy Award winner Juan José Campanella’s series “Los Enviados,” starring Miguel Ángel Silvestre and Luis Gerardo Méndez.