Adult Swim brings the weirdness with an impressive regularity. So when something stands out so vividly from the sea of TV madness that you can’t quite erase it from your mind no matter how much you might want to, no matter how hard you try, you know it’s something special worth paying attention to. Such is Tigtone, the as-unique-as-it-is-insane animated fantasy series that follows the adventures of the quest-hungry title character. It hails from Andrew Koehler and Benjamin Martian and needs to be seen to be believed, but if you need a little more convincing, be sure to check out my review.
I first heard of Tigtone when an early episode screened at RTX 2017, but its roots go back to a pair of Kickstarter campaigns in 2011 and 2014. Now, it’s a fully fledged animated series at Adult Swim featuring actors like Nils Frykdahl, Blake Anderson, Debi Derryberry, John DiMaggio, Tom Kenny, Alan Oppenheimer, Jill Talley, Bill Corbett, Lucy Davis, Brandon Johnson, Cree Summer, and Gary Anthony Williams behind the inhumanly twisted faces of their characters. To see just how that animation style is pulled off, we have an exclusive video to share with you; and to take a deeper dive, actor/Executive Producer Blake Anderson reveals how the series came together and teases what’s ahead.
First up, here’s our exclusive look behind the scenes of Tigtone to see how the bizarre animation is created, followed by our Q&A with Anderson:
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Tigtone is the saga of a quest-addicted hero who slashes his way across a satirical fantasy universe with melodramatic ferocity, always obeying the letter of the law but never its spirit. The quarter-hour animated series is created by Andrew Koehler and Benjamin Martian, and is executive produced by Blake Anderson (Workaholics).
When did Tigtone first come to your attention and how did you come on board?
Blake Anderson: I discovered Tigtone thru my friend, the maniac genius artist, Skinner. He was staying over at my place one weekend and one night we were smoking weed back when it was cool and illegal, and he pulled the original “”The Begun of Tigtone on YouTube and I was instantly hypnotized. It was unlike anything I had seen or heard before.
What was it about Tigtone that made you want to sign on as both an Executive Producer and an actor?
Anderson: After I saw The Begun, I guess Andrew and Ben had heard that I loved it and invited me out to voice record for a new episode of Tigtone in the works. I met up with them, played in the VO booth, had a couple beers with the boys, got a free Tigtone shirt, and that’s when I knew I needed to make Tigtone part of my life journey.
We got a chance to see the torture device you have to lay in for facial performance capture. What is that process like and how bad is it, really?
Anderson: Truly the worst part of the job. Makes me want to quit just thinking about it. You have to spirit gum these stupid beads from a dumb fabric store to your face and lay in a sorry excuse of a dentist chair for hours. It’s a flawed system. If Tigtone ever gets a bigger budget all the money will go to improving that dumb process.
How much of what we see in the facial expressions of Tigtone’s characters is directly from the actors’ performances and how much is stretched and exaggerated by the animators?
Anderson: How much? I mean, what do you want me to do math or something? I guess if I had to crunch numbers I’d say 78.239% comes from the actor and the rest of the math leftover is from animators.
Tigtone’s bizarre character animation is a great hook, but there’s some gorgeous and horrific fantasy-style artwork throughout. Were there any specific artists or paintings that inspired the look?
Anderson: There are ideas thrown around the writer’s room by everybody but most of the design comes from Freddy [Cristy] and then the amazing works of art you see in the series is by the UNBELIEVABLY talented Yigit Koroglu… check his stuff out, he’s truly genius.
As for the story of Tigtone, is there an overarching narrative for the season, or is it more episodic insanity?
Anderson: The more episodes you watch the more the rules of the world make sense and characters become more familiar, but overall I’d say we just try to make good and funny standalone episodes.
What classic fantasy adventure stories (books, TV, movies, etc.) inspired the parody tales of Tigtone?
Anderson: So much stuff! The group we have assembled in the writer’s room have such a deep knowledge of Fantasy/SciFi/Video Games/D&D/He-Man/Magic The Gathering/Comic Books/AD&D/She-Ra you’d swear that none of us have ever had boyfriends or girlfriends in our lives.
What can audiences expect to see in Tigtone’s future adventures? What surprises can you tease for future episodes?
Anderson: Expect the unexpected and also wizards.
How do you really feel about American Horror Story?
Anderson: American Horror Story is genuinely scary and oddly erotic EXACTLY like Tigtone so for that reason we have BEEF.
What else do you have coming up in the near future?
Anderson: More Tigtone?!
More on Adult Swim’s Tigtone can be found at the series’ official site. Watch it, or American Horror Story wins.