This November, Cartoon Network is introducing viewers to The Fungies!, an exciting new series, which introduces Seth, a lovable mushroom kid who lives in prehistoric Fungietown and loves science and discovery. The show revolves around colourful mushroom folk living in prehistoric times, which in itself carries a unique theme for an animated series.
Created by LA-based artist and animator, Stephen P. Neary, the series is set to premiere on Cartoon Network this month. In addition to creating the series, Neary also serves as an executive producer for the show and also lends his voice for Pascal, one of the lead characters of the series.
In this interview, Neary reveals the inspiration for these inquisitive mushrooms, his inspiration as well as how the idea came to fruition for Cartoon Network.
Q: First question on most of
our minds is, how did the idea for The Fungies! come about?
SN: I was up late on Wikipedia, reading about these prehistoric fungi called prototaxites. They lived about 400 million years ago and changed early Earth’s atmosphere. There could have been an entire civilisation living in peace with the Earth and we wouldn’t even know about it. That made me think about what the Earth was like when it was a kid! And that led me to thinking about how I’m at my happiest when I’m outside, looking at plants and having fun with my family and friends. I wanted to merge those two ideas together in the show.
Did your childhood inspire the show?
I loved being a kid, when everything felt sincere, saturated and wholesome. I wanted the show to have that feeling of watching cartoons from the 80s and 90s. As a kid, you can think they’re kind of weird, but you go along with them because they’re fun and colourful. And then of course all the Cartoon Network shows I watched, like Dexter’s Lab and The Powerpuff Girls, were a huge influence. We try to be as much like a kid as possible when creating the show and get that Saturday morning cartoons feeling of everything being very secure, creative and emotional.
Did you ever think you would have a show on Cartoon Network?
Cartoon Network seemed like the stuff I enjoyed doing in my free time. I was working on features during the day, then going home and working on short films on the side. I was looking at Adventure Time and other amazing shows and thinking that on Cartoon Network I could not only make a short film but a whole season of them. It really is a dream come true to have a Cartoon Network show.
you try to incorporate educational elements in the show?
We wanted to make sure that kids would find an explanation for why things are happening if they were to think really hard about them. We want them to look at the environment around them and ask questions about how things work and how they fit into the world.
is your favourite character?
Oh, that’s tough! They’re all different sides of me. I’m very much like Seth and Pascal, split down the middle. Pascal is a sensitive and withdrawn artist who doesn’t want to go outside, and Seth is always pushing him to go out and explore. Those are very much the two sides of my brain.
you have a favourite episode?
I love the episode Long Legs! Seth discovers a pair of long legs, wears them and gets a little crazy with power. It makes the town go a little crazy too, because everyone fights over who gets to wear them.
Join Seth and his friends on a fun, prehistoric adventure as The Fungies! debuts on Saturday, 14 November at 9.30am on Cartoon Network, with new episodes airing on weekends.