Interview: We Talk To The Team Behind Elliott From Earth

Apr 16 • FEATURES • 179 Views • No Comments on Interview: We Talk To The Team Behind Elliott From Earth

In Cartoon Network’s new animated series, Elliott from Earth, a boy, and his mom find themselves suddenly transported somewhere across the universe. The 20-part animated sci-fi comedy, sees the duo meeting an amazing array of aliens from new and unknown corners of the galaxy.

While trying to work out who brought them there and why, they make a new home for themselves and encounter new friends, including Mo, the only other being from Earth – a talking stegosaurus. The series comes from the team who created the global hit animated series – The Amazing World of Gumball.

Ahead of the premiere of the animated series, we speak to series directors and creators, Mic Graves and Tony Hull to find out more about the new series.

Talk us through the show – what is Elliott From Earth about?
MG: Elliott From Earth is a story about Elliott and his mom Frankie finding a rock that takes them to space. They travel all the way to the other side of the galaxy and end up living among aliens, starting a new life there.TH: Unexpectedly their first encounter is with a dinosaur called Mo, who doesn’t know why he’s there either. The show follows these three characters as they first meet each other and then encounter the most eclectic group of aliens you’ve ever seen!

What was the main inspiration behind the show?
TH: The main inspiration behind Elliott From Earth was the shared love of sci-fi. Sci-fi as a genre is great. I was raised on Star Wars films, Star Trek on TV. It’s the desire to do something out of this world, something where you can do whatever your imagination takes you.

Mic Graves

How did the idea for the show come about?
MG: Tony and I worked on a show called The Amazing World of Gumball and as we were coming to the end of it, helped some of the crew on ideas for new projects, one of which became Elliott From Earth. From there the basic original idea was developed over the next couple of years with the brilliant Elliott crew, and we had lots of fun working in the sci-fi genre.
TH: Each new episode we start is really fun as with sci-fi you can really tell all different types of stories, meet eclectic characters and take the characters to amazing places – so each story can go as far as our imaginations do. The universe is a huge place and we’re looking to Elliott, Frankie and Mo exploring it.

Does writing aliens into the show open more creative ideas from both a storyline and animation standpoint?
MG: Absolutely! Writing aliens into the storyline is freeing. You can create interesting stories surrounding strange, quirky, funny properties of aliens. We have aliens with two heads where the bottom head never gets along with the top head, and we have these funny disagreements between the two characters. I think it’s really liberating when you’re writing comedy and (space) adventure.

As directors for an animated show today, what are the considerations you try to put into the show?
MG: The considerations today as opposed to any other time…without being preachy, we would like to reflect the concerns of the society today – the show should be inclusive, and I think this was not something that was always done in the past. Elliott From Earth is definitely about embracing diversity and inclusivity. When Elliott and his mom from Earth turn up in space, everyone looks different, but they are the same really (compared to people from Earth). They are ‘people’, funny different people.

Tony Hull

Following the success of The Amazing World of Gumball, is there added pressure with the creation of Elliott From Earth?
MG: When I cast my mind back to when we started with The Amazing World of Gumball, there was pressure too. There’s always pressure when you’re making a new show and putting it out there and wondering whether people like it or not.
TH: There’s always pressure when you start a new series. It’s the difficult “second album” thing that people always talk about. Every show that you do, you naturally want it to be bestthan the last one. We loved making The Amazing World of Gumball and we want to put asmuch love into Elliott From Earth and whatever we do in the future as well.

How did the idea for the show come about?
MG: Tony and I worked on a show called The Amazing World of Gumball and as we were coming to the end of it, helped some of the crew on ideas for new projects, one of which became Elliott From Earth. From there the basic original idea was developed over the next couple of years with the brilliant Elliott crew, and we had lots of fun working in the sci-figenre.TH: Each new episode we start is really fun as with sci-fi you can really tell all different types of stories, meet eclectic characters and take the characters to amazing places – so each story can go as far as our imaginations do. The universe is a huge place and we’re looking to Elliott, Frankie and Mo exploring it.

Elliott From Earth premieres on Saturday, 24 April at 10.30am on Cartoon Network (Astro Ch 615HD).

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