Thank you to Disney for sponsoring my attendance at the #TheBFGEvent, which included #FutureWormEvent!
It’s possible you haven’t heard of Future-Worm! yet. That’s OK…it hasn’t premiered yet. But grab a box of Captain Cakerz and get ready: Future-Worm! will launch on August 1st on Disney XD!
During #TheBFGEvent, we had a chance to meet with Ryan Quincy, the creator of Future-Worm! We also got a sneak peek at the very first episode.
What inspired Future-Worm!?
I worked in animation for almost 20 years. A lot of it was in cartoons for adults. I worked on South Park for about 14 years. I have two kids. My daughter is eight, and my son is 12. A lot of times growing up, they’re like, “Dad, we want to see what you’re working on!” We can’t, no. We’re not showing any South Park episodes to the kids. So I always wanted to make a show for my kids, that I could watch with my kids, and that is Future-Worm! It’s fun, time travel show. But it’s not a show that is time travel in the sense of going back and seeing who knocked the nose off the Sphinx. It’s a lot of fun. It’s absurd. It’s silly. It’s the most fun I’ve had in animation. I love the crew. I love the cast, and I can’t wait to share this with you guys.
What can you expect in an episode of Future-Worm!?
We have three cartoons that make up our half-hour. We have an 11-minute, a three-minute, and a seven-minute. So, we’ve got a nice variety of adventures and stories to tell. And Neil deGrasse Tyson, huh? Come on. Alright. He’s been amazing. He’s been all game for everything. His big thing when we asked him about it, he said, “Well, I’d just like to make sure that there’s some science education in there.” So we tried to do some of that, but he always corrects it. There was one time we had a line there where we talk about some galaxy that’s three million light years away. He says, “You know, that’s pretty close. You might want to add a couple more zeros on to that.” So he’s our unofficial science consultant. It’s been good.
Will Future-Worm have an origin story?
There were five shorts that we did last summer, five 90 second shorts. Some of the origin is in that. With the series, we want to just hit the ground running. And over the course of the season, there’ll be some callbacks to some of that. But, basically, what happened was, Danny created this time machine lunchbox, sent it so far into the future that these future scientists found it, opened it up, and some of Danny’s lunch was in there. There was an apple in there that happened to have a worm in it. They put it through their genetic escalator, and gave him all these attributes like the bulletproof beard, the photo-receptor visor, and the 24 titanium-enforced abs. Then they sent Future-Worm back to hang out with Danny. That’s kind of-in a nutshell-the origin of how they met.
What do Ryan’s kids think of the show?
Oh, they love it. They’ve given some notes, too. So not only do we get notes from the execs, which are great. My kids also give [notes]. My son, the line that Future-Worm had, “I love shoestring fries”? Before, it was like, “I hate shoestring fries.” And he was like, “You know what, it should be ‘I love shoestring fries.’ Future Worm should love those.” So, we made that fix. But yeah, they love it. It’s been fun to share it with them, to watch it with them and get their input.
Let’s talk about Captain Cakerz.
It’s kind of like Cap’n Crunch, or, you know, you can pick any of ‘em. But we thought it would be funny if it was a cereal that tasted like birthday cake. Or like, Cookie Crisp, or anything like that. So ridiculously bad for you. There’s callbacks to it. And there’s an upcoming episode where they go into the future and visit the haunted Captain Cakerz factory, and you see the ghost of Captain Cakerz. But yeah, it was just a dumb cereal that we came up with.
Will Bug get to go on any adventures?
That’s kind of the big frustration for her, is there’s sort of this prophecy that a future version of Danny comes, who’s voiced by Paul Williams, and says, “You can’t take her into the future, because when she goes in the future, the whole universe implodes.” So she’s really frustrated, and they know that they can’t take her on these adventures. But there’s a nice arc that you’ll see over the course of the season, where we deal with that. She’s gonna try her hardest.
How did they design the characters?
I started with just the name, Future-Worm. That just sounded funny to me. It started with the name, and it was like, “If his name is Future-Worm, he has to be a time traveler.” So it just started there, and I started thinking about the stuff that I loved as a kid, like I loved pro wrestling. I liked Hulk Hogan, Macho Man, Ultimate Warrior, Mr. T., Chuck Norris. All that’s stuff got thrown into the soup, you know? Also just wanting that sidekick, that Chewbacca, that ET, that would be by you, walking down the halls at school, or having your back. So, that was really the whole inspiration of the character. And I just started drawing worms with beards and weird hairstyles. Then I just started to think of myself as a kid. I was a little bit on the chubby side, but also I kind of had a weird confidence and I wanted Danny to have-he’s just comfortable in his skin, you know? I used to wear a captain’s hat that I got at Disneyland. That kind of inspired that look. I wasn’t so much into the science side of things. I was more into art, drawing, comic books, and making movies. But I thought it’d be fun to have a kid that’s really into science, and playing with that aspect of stuff. So, I just started drawing those characters, and then it just felt very natural, very organic, how they came to be.
Where do the episode ideas come from?
It’s a lot of fun. Going into the writers’ room is some of the most exciting times on the show. What stories are we going to tell? There are no rules. That’s kind of our thing. It is a time travel show, but that’s sort of the backdrop. It’s more about these two best friends. The core of it all is two best friends, where Future-Worm has seen everything, he’s been everywhere. He could hang out with anyone in any time period, and he chooses to hang out with Danny. And that says a lot about Danny’s character. And Danny was always kind of looking for a sidekick, or someone to have his back through all these adventures. And so they complete each other. So that’s the core, heart and soul of the show. And, they just, not to sound cheesy about it, or cliché, but it does-it doesn’t write itself-but it just feels like you have these strong characters, that you know their voices, and that helps so much, to have that character-driven stuff. There’s some of these I’ll watch, I’m like, “Yeah, how did we come up with that?” What were we thinking? But, it’s fun.
How do they pick the chapters for each episode?
We definitely were very mindful of what we paired together. Likewe see the parents in the 11-minute here. We see Bug in the seven-minute. And then the next one, we’re a little strategic about how we plan those out, and space ‘em out. And thenour holiday episode will have two 11-minutes. And then our finale will be a big whopping 21 minutes. So, a nice big finale.
Why should you watch Future-Worm!?
A lot of the Disney XD shows are shows that kids can watch with their families. That was a big part of it. I hope people just are excited to hang out with these characters, and see what they’re doing each week. We have such a variety of stories to tell. We have 21 half-hours. There’s three cartoons per half hour. That’s a lot of stories to tell. But they’re fun, and I’m really excited to just unleash it to the world.
In addition to screening the first episode of Future-Worm! and chatting with Ryan, we also picked up our own time-traveling lunch boxes. They were even customized for us by the animators!
You can catch the first episode of Future-Worm! on Disney XD on August 1st!
Stay tuned for full coverage of #TheBFGEvent right here on As The Bunny Hops!