Get ready human race: your new favorite Disney XD series is here.
Invade All of the Humans, a brand new animated comedy shorts series, will debut (in total) on Monday, June 13, on the Disney XD app, DisneyXD.com, and Disney XD’s YouTube Channel. The series is produced by Nexus in association with Disney Television Animation and created by brothers Tom and Mark Perrett, who are basing their series on a short musical comedy of the same name that they released online a few years ago.
Also, it is utterly brilliant.
The general conceit of the series is that a couple of tiny, adorable robots are planning to conquer earth, but what they don’t realize is that “earth” is a tiny patch of a dingy British park, in between a trashcan and a park bench. Oh, and all of their schemes are conveyed through a series of jaunty hip-hop tunes (with those sections animated in the lo-fi style of a classic 8-bit videogame). It’s charming and weird and brilliantly stylized, using a combination of real locations, 3D and 2D animation, and manipulated images. Truly, you will fall in love with Caclulord 3 and PX Micron, lively robots that will definitely conquer your heart.
I was able to interview the Perrett brothers via email (they live in England) about the series, the inspiration, and what it took to turn a single short film into a five-episode series.
What was the process of turning the short film into a series?
We had so much fun taking these characters a step further in their journey to world domination. Writing the shorts was an opportunity to explore the characters and get a bit more specific about their delusional invasion plans. As we developed the characters and got into their heads we discovered that there is a lot of fun to be had with their misunderstanding even the most basic aspects of human life. 90 seconds is a very short time to spend with theses guys so we wanted to cram as much as we could into that time but there is also a luxury in making a short burst of shorts; we knew we could be a bit more indulgent aesthetically.
How would you describe these two robots?
PX Micron and Calculord 3 are a pair of slightly broken and very dysfunctional toy robots. Once highly popular ‘educational toys’ of the late 20th century, they’ve long since been discarded and now spend most of their time hanging out in a park working on crazy schemes for taking over the world. They are a classic double act; Calculord 3 is the self-appointed evil genius and leader of the pair and PX Micron his hyper-enthusiastic best friend and subordinate. They would be terrifying if they were not just 5.9 inches tall. They also write and perform their own music.
The aesthetic is incredible and very specific. Were there any touchstones that you were harkening back to?
We really wanted the aesthetic to reflect the era we imagine these guys originated from. So for the music video segments we drew heavily from ‘80s and ‘90s hip hop videos for inspiration. The 2D “bitmap” style animation references clunky old console graphics from the same time as if it was rendered by their own malfunctioning robot brains. In contrast we wanted the “reality” of their situation in the park to feel very unglamorous and everyday. Fortunately in the UK we are very spoilt for drab locations and dull weather!
Disney has a pretty impressive history of robots. Do you have any favourites?
Pretty much anything from the Star Wars universe, with special mentions for R2-D2 and BB-8 … We also loved the hovering robots V.I.N.C.E.N.T. and B.O.B. from The Black Hole when we were kids! More recently WALL-E is a great character, so much expression and emotion packed into a small metal box and Baymax from Big Hero 6 is a wonderful blend of child-like innocence and super futuristic tech.
What can people expect from this first batch of shorts?
A super intense peek into the megalomaniac minds of these pint sized invaders who really have no idea at all what they are doing, served with a side of world conquering robo-rap and some weird dance moves.