Toon Goggle is a company that brings top-rated kids media to a global audience. Present in over 196 countries, this organization enables children to view cartoons from across the globe with one easy to use app. Recently, Toon Goggles branched out to produce their first original cartoon series titled “Eddie Is A Yeti” which follows the wild adventures of Eddie and his best friend, a nine-year-old girl named Polly. According to the official synopsis:
Eddie was just your average yeti…if being a yeti can be average…living in the glaciers of Alaska, far away from mankind, just doing what yetis do. But being quite curious, Eddie ventured out of this isolated wilderness and stumbled upon the quaint town of Winnetka. And this is where he befriends 9 year old Polly, who helps him out of an elaborate bear trap. After this, they became instant byff’s…”best yeti friends forever”. Eddie fills Polly’s day with adventure. While Polly keeps Eddie under wraps, in disguise and away from the clutches of the evil Dr. Atrocious and his winged sidekick “The Bat” (who btw is actually a bat!). Both wish to add Eddie to their ever growing “furry animals & stuff” collection. For Polly, every day is a big surprise when your best friend “Eddie Is A Yeti”.
“Eddie Is A Yeti” is targeted to children ages 4 to 7. This dynamic 3D animated, short-form children’s series is being co-produced with international giant MondoTV, which is handling overseas distribution and merchandising. “Eddie’s” non-dialogue, action-based format easily allows for worldwide accessibility and vast audience reach. The show was featured on the White House front lawn during their annual Easter Egg Roll event, and was selected out of over 1,000 properties nationwide to be one of the lucky 40 characters chosen to participate.
The show–which just got approval for a second season–features 26 episodes in the initial season and 26 more currently being developed; five episodes can be watched online. One of the most unusual aspects of “Eddie Is A Yeti” is that the shows are extremely short form, approximately 3 minutes per episode instead of the standard 11 minutes. Their reasoning lies in Toon Goggles’ research which revealed that online content has a sweet spot of 3 to 5 minutes, beyond that attention spans appear to dwindle.
The writing team behind the upcoming season of “Eddie Is A Yeti” will be the married dynamic duo Pamela Hickey and Dennys McCoy, who first met when they were in high school. Together, they have written over 1,000 produced episodes of animated and live-action TV series, been nominated for five Emmy Awards (resulting in one win), won several BAFTAs, two Pulcinella Awards, and worked with a wide variety of talent including Mel Brooks, Joan Rivers, Robert Stack, Jonathan Winters, Alexei Sayle, Brad Garrett, Victor Spinetti, and HRH Prince Charles. Recently, Pamela Hickey and Dennys McCoy took the time to speak to the Examiner about their experiences working as screenwriters and their hopes for the future:
Meagan Meehan (M.M.): What influenced you to become a writer?
Pamela Hickey (P.H.): “The Dick Van Dyke Show.” Sally Rogers got to sit in the office and make jokes all day and wear nice clothes. That looked good to me.
Dennys McCoy (D.M.): I have to agree with Pam. “The Dick Van Dyke Show” made writing look like a great career. And, as a young boy, I was pretty much a pathological liar, so writing seemed the perfect job.
M.M.: Growing up, what media inspired you?
P.H.: The staff that wrote all those “Three Stooges” shorts for Columbia. Also Tex Avery, Chuck Jones and Chris Jenkyns–Chris wrote the funniest stuff for “Rocky and Bullwinkle.” As I got older, I appreciated Terry Southern.
D.M.: My earliest influence was Carmine Infantino who wrote “The Flash” comic books. I learned to read through my older brother Ralph, who read me comic books at night. Later I got into Kenneth Robeson (a pseudonym for a group of writers) who wrote “Doc Savage” and “The Avengers” pulp books. What really got me going was “The Smothers Brothers Show” and “Catch 22.” This, plus Pam’s influence on me, got me into surrealistic comedy. Cartoons are the perfect form of surrealism.
M.M.: How did you get into writing for children’s television?
P.H. & D.M.: We had a Barney Miller Spec Script and a spec comedy feature script titled “Full Recovery.” They were getting noticed, but we weren’t making any money. Dennys was working for TV Guide and then Time-Life, while Pam was pregnant with daughter Liz. We had a one-bedroom apartment in West Hollywood and we needed a changing table/dresser and an air conditioner. Our agent called and told us that DIC was hiring writers for “Heathcliffe.” We pitched some ideas, got some script commitments and, voila – dresser and air conditioner!
M.M.: So far, which of your projects has been your favorite and why?
P.H.: “Zazoo U.” The schedule was so tight that we got to do more or less what we wanted. It was fun. Also “The Real Ghostbusters” because who doesn’t want to play Ghostbusters?
D.M.: “Zazoo U” was certainly one of the best. We ran the writing and it was surrealism at its best – we had a wooly mammoth that talked like Nixon. We had blank backgrounds. We had fun. And nobody stopped us. However, if I had to pick a favorite series that we didn’t run it would have to be “The Real Ghostbusters.” We also do the commentary on the box set from Time/Life.
M.M.: How did you think up the concept for “Eddie is a Yeti”?
P.H. & D.M.: We didn’t think up the concept, it was brought to us by Lee Adams at Toon Goggles. Lee knows we love to do non-verbal shows with lots of sight gags. When the second season was picked up we were crazy happy that Lee called us. We did a project for him a few years back called “Monkey Business”–we did a 6-minute silent script that has since become one of our favorite pieces of writing.
M.M.: What other artistic projects have you worked on?
P.H. & D.M.: Whoa. We have a lot right now and we’ve written over 1,000 produced scripts. We have a YouTube series called “The Adventures of Annie and Ben” for Hooplakidz & Broadband TV that currently has 60 million views and over 2.2 million subscribers – which are more viewers than the top Disney series. We worked on “The Insectibles” which is coming out this year – great CGI comedy/sci-fi. And we are currently developing many new projects. Out of our current projects our top favs are “Jack/Chaos” and “Magic Busterz” for Aadarsh Ltd., “The Happys” and “Imp-Possibles” from Hooplakidz/Yoboho/Broadband TV, “Chicken Guard” from Shemaroo Ent., and “Six-Cylinder Samurai” from Bioscopewala Pictures, Green Gold Animation, Hickey-McCoy Productions and Marc Lumer Design.
M.M.: What is your “dream project”?
P.H. & D.M.: “Six-Cylinder Samurai.” This is our own property that we developed with our partner (and genius artist) Marc Lumer. We’re at the Annecy/MIFA animation celebration in France this June to debut the project. It’s funny, exciting sci-fi with a new iconic character – a teenage robot samurai powered by a ’53 Corvette engine. We don’t want to confuse anyone but it’s a combination of an Akira Kurosawa samurai movie, a Sergio Leone western, and a bizarre futuristic science fiction comedy. It’s everything you want… and quite a few things you didn’t know you wanted until you see Six-Cylinder Samurai!
M.M.: To date, what has been the most rewarding part of being a writer?
P.H: The freedom. You can go anywhere, do anything. Until you get notes from your producer.
D.M.: A life of working with my wife, Pam. We met in high school and I have never, for one second, regretted knowing her, loving her, or working with her.
M.M.: Career wise, where do you see yourself ten years from now?
P.H. & D.M.: World domination through animation. It can be done. We’re moving to Vancouver to establish our base of operations. They have good seafood.
M.M.: What advice would you give someone who is aspiring to be a screenwriter for children’s television?
P.H.: Just tell your stories on your own terms as much as possible.
D.M.: Learn how to think a story through before you sit down and write it. It will save you days of anguish. Also, get a partner you trust – good conversations and heated arguments lead to good scripts.