16 top episodes culled from all three seasons of J.G. Quintel’s Emmy® Award-winning series Regular Show have just been released on DVD by the folks at Cartoon Network. Needless to say, that’s 16 great opportunities to share in the hijinks of Mordecai and Rigby, our friendly neighborhood blue jay and raccoon, bored stiff park groundskeepers, best friends and consummate slackers. The show is one of the few animated series that works both for kids and adults without alienating either. We had an opportunity to talk to J.G. (The Marvelous Misadventures of Flapjack, Camp Lazlo) about the show’s success and the challenges faced in creating an animated television series.
Dan: To what do you attribute the show’s popularity?
J.G.: I think it’s because Regular Show is something that both kids and adults can enjoy together. I think a lot of cartoons tend to be for one or the other, but Regular Show works for both audiences. We make the show for ourselves first which is why I think people our age are into it.
Dan: What is the genesis of the show? How did you first come up with the ideas for the characters and story line of the show?
J.G.: When I was working on Flapjack, Cartoon Network started up The Cartoonstitute to look for their next batch of pilots. They said they were looking for aged up pitches, so I put together a bunch of my characters from my Cal Arts student films and came up with Regular Show.
Dan: Can you tell a bit about the production process – where the work is done, what tools you use, what size crew, production times, etc.?
J.G.: We work at Cartoon Network in Burbank to make the show. We still use pencils and post-its to storyboard everything. Our crew is about 40 or so people who work directly with Regular Show, and we get it animated in Korea by Saerom. It’s pretty crazy, but with our current schedule, we deliver one new 11-minute episode a week!
Dan: What are the biggest challenges in producing the show?
J.G.: Coming up with good stories. I think story is the most important part of the show, so we spend a lot of time trying to find the best ideas that we can.
Dan: Where do you find inspiration for the episodes? How do you keep the stories fresh and interesting across numerous seasons?
J.G.: We play lots of writers’ games, and try to draw from real life stories when we can. It’s getting harder though now that we’re at 160 episodes. We have to pass on some great ideas because they’re too similar to things we’ve done in the past.
Dan: What do you enjoy most about producing this series? What gives you the most sense of satisfaction?
J.G.: Writing, boarding, and animatics. It’s great when the animatic is all finished and the episode works. That’s the final bit where you can tell if the episode is going to be good or not. When an episode makes you laugh, it’s really satisfying.
The new DVD, complete with bonus character gallery, is available now at a suggested retail price of $19.82 and features the following episodes:
1. Stick Hockey
2. My Mom
3. Out of Commission
4. High Score
5. Really Real Wrestling
6. But I Have a Receipt
7. Skips Strikes
8. Sugar Rush
9. House Rules
10. Gut Model
11. Fuzzy Dice
12. Big Winner
14. Free Cake
15. Party Pete
16. Karaoke Video