Six Reasons Why You Should Check Out HULLABALOO This Instant!September 22, 2014
Today we’re featuring Hullabaloo, a promising-looking animated series (or potential film) that’s currently being crowd-funded over at Indiegogo. What is Hullabaloo all about, you ask?
Hullabaloo is the story of Veronica Daring, a brilliant young scientist who returns home from an elite finishing school to find her father–the eccentric inventor Jonathan Daring–missing without a trace! The only clue left behind points Veronica toward Daring Adventures, an abandoned amusement park used by her father to test his fantastical steam-powered inventions. There she discovers a strange girl named Jules, a fellow inventor who agrees to help Veronica in locating her missing father and discovering the secrets of his work.
Here’s why we’re excited, and why we think you should be, too!
Female leads aren’t exactly a rarity in animation. The Disney Princess lineup alone is pretty infamous, and the first ever feature-length animated movie was even named for its lady protagonist. Despite this, most animated movies don’t pass the Bechdel test*, and the majority of leading animated ladies are still stuck in that ever-popular coming of age romance narrative. There’s ab-so-lutely nothing wrong with these narratives, but a little diversity is always appreciated, and lately, studios seem to be agreeing. We’ve been seeing a move away from this with movies like Disney’s Frozen and Dreamworks’ upcoming Home, but it’s still worth pointing out whenever someone does something different. Hullabaloo already has two named female characters and a potential female antagonist, so it’s looking pretty darn likely that it will not only pass the Bechdel test, but give us some substantial relationships between female characters!
*The Bechdel Test: A method for measuring female presence in any given piece of media. Simply ask, does your story have two named female characters who talk to one another about something besides a man for more than a minute of screen time?
If you’re a fan of the steampunk aesthetic, then Hullabaloo is pretty much a dream come true. Cogs, gadgetry, goggles and all the corsetry and Victorian trappings you could long for! Some of the stretch goals include PDF art books, which I’m sure will be valuable resources on their own for aspiring animators and steampunk aficionados. The overall look of the series is joyously geeky and just plain fun, with plenty of opportunity for stunning visuals.
Check out the names behind this thing: James Lopez (The Lion King, Pocahontas, Paperman); Bruce Smith (Tarzan, Emperor’s New Groove, and The Princess and the Frog); Rick Farmiloe (The Little Mermaid, Aladdin, Princess and the Frog); Minkyu Lee (Frozen, Adam and Dog, Princess and the Frog); Sandro Cleuzo (Enchanted, Emperor’s New Groove, Princess and the Frog); Sarah Airriess (The Princess and the Frog, Wreck-It Ralph, Paperman), and many more! Could we be in better hands?
They are SO close to funding a fourth short!
The response to Hullabaloo has been pretty amazing, and one of the most exciting stretch goals can be found at the 340,000 mark. As of writing, the Hullabaloo team are just a little under 30k away from adding a whole new episode to the franchise called ‘Ask the Professor.’ More content means more animation, more time to establish the world and characters, and more material to entice both fans and investors. Either way, it’s nothing but a good thing, and with the response so far topping 300k, it’s completely doable.
Traditional animation is in serious trouble!
When was the last time you saw a Western 2D animated movie in theatres? Was it 2009, The Princess and the Frog? And before that, how long had it been? With the reformatting of Studio Ghibli in Japan, as well as the closure of Disney’s 2D department before that, it’s been a grim landscape for traditional animation for some time now. CGI animation owes everything to 2D, and while it’s understandable that big studios have to approach things from a business perspective, it’s still depressing to think that 2D is not even a blip of the big guys’ radar anymore. We can’t rely on big studios to revive the art, because if we do, we may just be waiting forever.
If we ever hope to see a renaissance of the form, we need to be active about funding projects and showing interest when they pop up—even if you can’t afford to donate, there are ways to spread the word! If Laika could bring back stop motion to North American screens, then the same could very well happen for 2D animation.
Funding creators rather than big studios is always a good thing!
With creators turning to crowd-funding more and more, it’s easier than ever for money to find artists rather than big businesses. Big animation studios have given us some really wonderful, artful films, but despite that, big studios have certain expectations and images to uphold. Nowhere is this more obvious than with Disney, which maintains strict control over its image and the types of films it releases.
I love Disney, but there’s something exhilarating about indie developers working without those restrictions, and having complete control over their own products. You don’t have to be an anti-Disney zealot to see the benefit in funding artists to pursue their own passions, especially when we all get to enjoy the final product.
The Bottom Line:
As of today, Hullabaloo is sitting pretty at well over $300,000, having far outgrossed its original goal of $80,000. If anything on this list has managed to intrigue you, do yourself a favour and head on over, check out the exciting stretch goals, and consider donating. If you can’t, think about spreading the word through social media. You can find the Indiegogo page here!