The Meeps are one of the more unusual rock bands we’ve seen. They’re a bunch of animated plushies, with a great big sound. Presenting The Meeps with their first song, Love Louder. You’re going to love this. It’s not only fantastic animation from Leo Sanchez Studio, created in partnership with 2 Oaks Productions, XIX Entertainment and T&B Media Global — it’s fantastic fun as well.
This one’s quite the banger. The Meeps are Axel, Mackenzie, Jazz, Brendan and Raphael, and the new band from England is presented as having an entirely animated personna, similar to the way the Gorillaz does things.
The perfectly plush new supergroup of CG-animated animal musicians is the brainchild of British producer Simon Fuller (creator of American Idol / Pop Idol), who has managed some of the most successful artists of the age, including the Spice Girls, Annie Lennox, S Club 7, Kelly Clarkson and Amy Winehouse.
The Meeps are described as a band of five energetic musicians from England — Axel, Mackenzie, Jazz, Brendan and Raphael (a tiger, sheep, arctic fox, giraffe and moose) — whose quest for stardom has brought them from London to L.A. The group is backed by Martin, a porcupine DJ.
The music video journey began when Fuller met animator Olivier Staphylas (Penguins of Madagascar, Puss in Boots, How to Train Your Dragon, Kung Fu Panda; director, Le Building), and the DreamWorks Animation veteran’s studio 2 OAKS Productions became the project’s creative hub. Staphylas, director of the music video, and producer Michelle Jurado Staphylas set out to recruit the right talent for the job.
“I reached out to one of my favorite illustrators, Wiebke Rauers, to design our characters. I wanted characters that were both adorable and quirky, and Wiebke totally nailed it. We then brought in Avner Geller as our production designer who was tremendous in helping me put out my vision for the project,” Staphylas tells Animation Magazine. “We were really lucky to get some incredible artists to join us in the pre-prod and create a vision for this band.”
The team collaborated with Oscar-winning animator and the director’s longtime fiend, Leo Sanchez (producer, The Windshield Wiper). Leo Sanchez Studio handled the modelling, rigging and look development for the characters, while the animation team at 2 OAKS provided animation development, rigging feedback and deformation draw-overs.
“We approached the anim dev and the rigs of each characters in the same way I approached the character creation of any feature film I’ve worked on in the past,” Staphylas notes. “I wanted to create rigs that were very appealing and could do anything (dancing is hard!), and to make sure that we are not doing the characters that work just for the first music video, but creating high end characters that are feature-ready.”
We don’t have a lot more information about The Meeps to offer you, and their social media on TikTok, Instagram and Facebook don’t seem to have a lot of activity beyond an initial flurry of followers. There is a Spotify page as well. We’re doing our part to give this unusual, remarkable new band a boost. Help us out — what have you heard about The Meeps, and is there a feature film in the works? We’ll share what you tell us.
Watch this space.
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