In some ways, HBO’s upcoming comedy series Animals feels like a sketch-comedy response to Netflix’s BoJack Horseman. There are talking animals, a lot of cynicism, and a famous voice cast as a start. Though HBO is touting the show as being from the prolific Duplass Brothers (Jay you may know from Amazon’s Transparent, and Mark from FX’s The League and their HBO show Togetherness, though both are very active in the indie film scene), the duo are only acting as executive producers. Still, when considering their track record on other projects, it feels safe to trust their judgment on this one.
Animals actually comes from Phil Matarese and Mike Luciano, two advertising creatives from New York who use that sensibility to set a very distinct tone for the show. (Ad execs creating series for TV makes me think of Ken Cosgrove of Mad Men — this would have bee his dream!) The show, based on a series of shorts the two created several years ago (and animated by Starburns, Inc, who also animate Rick and Morty), debuted at Sundance last year. HBO was clearly such a fan of the premise that they not only greenlit the comedy, they also picked it up immediately for two seasons.
In the new trailer, there are a few familiar scenes (of the pigeons, the complaining horses, and more) that will be familiar to those who watched the shorts. But there also appears to be pigeon murder, as well as a suicidal mouse, and more. It’s a comedy! Check out the trailer below:
Animals debuts February 5th on HBO, and features the voice talents of Mark Duplass, Aziz Ansari, Nick Kroll, Katie Aselton, Rob Corddry, Ellie Kemper, Mark Maron, Ike Barinholtz, Jason Mantzoukas, Nathan Fielder, Paul Scheer, Matt Walsh, Chelsea Peretti, Zach Woods, Adam Scott, and more.
Here’s the official logline:
An animated comedy series from co-creators Phil Matarese & Mike Luciano and produced by the Duplass Brothers, ANIMALS. focuses on the downtrodden creatures native to planet Earth’s least habitable environment: New York City. Whether it’s lovelorn rats, gender-questioning pigeons or aging bed bugs steeped in midlife crisis, the existential woes of non-human urbanites prove startlingly similar to our own.