When veteran animation producer/director, Phil Kimmelman telephoned Buzzco to see if we would be interested in creating a new episode for Schoolhouse Rock, we jumped at the chance!
Schoolhouse Rock is a series of short educational musical pieces that aired on ABC Network since 1973. Phil Kimmelman’s studio was responsible for such classics as “Conjunction Junction” and “I’m A Bill.” Schoolhouse Rock was created by David McCall (of the advertising agency McCaffery McCall) and many of the original creative team were still executive producing this new series for ABC/Disney.
Phil Kimmelman had moved to South Florida and, coincidently, I had planned a trip to Fort Lauderdale and was able to meet with him in person. He played a demo of “The Rainforest”, a song written by the very talented Lynn Ahrens. I was immediately hooked, and I started drawing and photographing the Floridian tropical plants and trees.
The Schoolhouse Rock team asked me to design something very different from the wonderfully traditional cartoony Tom Yohe design. In fact, the producers were interested in Buzzco’s independent films—specifically the neon color on black (like “A Warm Reception in L.A.”) and the painterly “Fast Food Matador.” (what could be more different?) I drew a colored storyboard in time for the final recording, sung beautifully by Tituss Burgess, who was performing in “The Little Mermaid” on Broadway. Encouraged by the reaction from Phil Kimmelman, the Schoolhouse Rock team and ABC/Disney, we threw ourselves into production!
This was the closest to realizing an independent film with a client that we’ve ever had! We were proud to have had this opportunity and thrilled that it has been so well received
Participant Annecy International Animation Festival 2009.
Executive Producers: George Newall and Rad Stone
Musical Director: Bob Dorough
Producer: Phil Kimmelman
Song “Rainforest” Lynn Ahrens
Recorded at: Clinton Studios
Sung by: Tituss Burgess
Post Production: DJM Post Production
Now available at the iTunes store and to stream on Spotify! Just search for "Schoohouse Rock: Earth".