It’s kids’ day, so why not spotlight two cartoons: the popular and successful “Phineas and Ferb,” and the upcoming hip-hop toon from the creator of “The Proud Family” called “Da Jammies.”
Each show puts emphasis on music and musical numbers. Not a background filler, the music is a big part of the shows’ originality. Watching the Con’s final program, “Buffy the Musical,” or Fox’s new “Glee,” it’s brought home how music is used more often to tell stories and not just set a mood. The same can definitely be said about cartoons.
Even on the last day of Comic-Con, there’s still some hustle and bustle. I got to talk to the creators of the Disney Channel’s “Phineas” — Dan Povenmire and Jeff “Swampy” Marsh (who’s in the above video) — while they were in between events. Swampy spoke as they walked to an autograph session, and Dan chatted as he waited for the first person to come through a huge line of people waiting for autographs. [Updated 11:00 a.m., July 27] Povenmire quickly chats about the show’s emphasis on music.
Here’s the intro for the uninitiated.
From an established toon hit, to a (hopefully) future one, “Da Jammies” is unlike most TV toons. A 3-D animated creation, “Jammies” feels a bit like a new shcool “Fat Albert” with music, moxie and messages. [Updated: Ralph Farquhar’s name was misspelled and co-creators Aulsondro “Novelist” Hamilton and William “Dolla” Chapman II were added.] Ralph Farquhar knows all about successful shows, animated or not. Originally a writer for “Happy Days” with many hit shows including “Married .. With Children,” right up through “The Proud Family,” Farquhar now has a new show that that will appear at Mipcom. Co-developed by Dwayne Corbitt and created by Aulsondro “Novelist” Hamilton and William “Dolla” Chapman II of Toon Farm, LLC., “Da Jammies” is about kids in a performing arts middle school, the messes they get into, and the music they create. Enveloped in a hip-hop theme, there’s rap battles, crooning serenades (to food!?), jazz and spoken word performances.
“The story’s about growing up, about loyalty, about friendship, and it’s all told through a hip-hop beat,” Farquhar said.
The show’s panel was Saturday, and it drew a sizable amount of curious audience members who may have wanted to know what this marriage of hip-hop and cartoons would be about. Themes will include the usual: beating bullies and cooking up plans. But, there will also be a moral element embedded, plus dealing with some social issues like homelessness. Guest stars will include MC Lyte, Kurtis Blow, Roxanne Shante, James Avery, Kyla Pratt and Tiny Lister.
The show has yet to be picked up, but Farquhar believes it’s just a matter of time.
“We don’t have the publicity push [of a Pixar], we’re sort of a homegrown production,” said Farquhar. “We have just presented it starting about three weeks ago … What we have, there’s really no comparison on TV … to be perfectly honest, decisionmakers at the network don’t necessarily value that. I can say that. I did ‘The Proud Family,’ and it was undervalued. They didn’t know what it was.” And he believes the same success will come with “Da Jammies.”
— Jevon Philips