Feature Pitch – Ben Bocquelet

I had always wanted it to be 2D, 3D and live action. In my mind that’s what makes the show distinctive. The Gorillaz videos were a big influence on me in animation school. I just loved the way they mixed their awesome designs with photos or films. It wasn’t the first time I’d seen animation mixed with live action though.

Windsor McCay had a show where he interacted with his cartoon dinosaur back in the 1900s and there have been landmark films like Who Framed Roger Rabbit, which blew my mind as a kid.

The technology now allows for this kind of approach on a series scale. It’s really exciting to be part of this, and also that Cartoon Network committed to making the show in mixed media, despite the challenge of the process.

It gives it a really unique look, which we hope, gives it an instant appeal. I also think the live action element adds to the scope of fantasy more than if the show were solely animation, by creating a possibility that the world might actually exist.

It excites the human mind to see the boundaries blurred between the real world and invented characters.

The Watterson’s’ house and the Robinsons’ houses were filmed in Vallejo, near San Francisco. It’s a place, which has the type of 1950s/1960s houses where you’d imagine a family sitcom to happen.

Ben Bocquelet [1]

In an interview Ben spoke about his influences and reasons for using mixed media and why he does it, it’s really interesting to see just how passionately he speaks about it and how it affects his art.

Ben hasn’t done a lot of other work – Gumball is his biggest and main success, but he is definitely one to watch for the future!


I love this 3D ape/monkey character and how it works/looks with the 2D characters:

Mixed media films that have served as some inspiration in this project:

Augmented Reality – crazy awesome animation

Caveirão by Guilherme Marcondes

Gorillaz – Music videos

JUNK is the multi-award winning short film produced at London animation studio Th1ng by house director Kirk Hendry in association with the UK Film Council. [2011]

Hair despair – Student film from Freddie Elsom and Giedre Kaveckaite mixing 2D Flash animation and 3D Maya animation and models.

Award winning short film

An experiment to combine traditional animation and timelapse photography to tell a story.

Mixed media is commonplace in a lot of films – life action and CGI animation go hand in hand in big budget films, but the more mixier you get, the less there is! I think that this is something that is slowly changing – as artists and creators realise audiences are ready for more visual experiences and unlikely clashing styles can work cohesively if used effectively. It does NOT have to look like a mess! I think the above examples help to represent the versatility of mixing your medias!

I remember watching something that was a normal 2D animated show, and for comic relief a Sock Puppet is used for a random character that pops up – from what i remember it was very funny. But these kinds of things are not completely uncommon, the mixed media is used as an aside instead of for the main. I think it could have been stop-motion now, either way it was hilarious! I think there is a possibility to utilise this comic relief character idea for Mr Benn as well!

Mr Benn Animated Film Reboot Words:



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