Interesting Independent Internet Projects: Bee and PuppyCat

Interesting+Independent+Internet+Projects%3A+Bee+and+PuppyCat

By Claire Frank

This week we’re sticking with the animated web series theme but moving onto something much more recent and very much alive.

Back in July, Frederator Studios, known for popular animated series such as The Fairly Oddparents and Adventure Time, released a 10-minute-long animated short on Cartoon Hangover, its YouTube counterpart. Since its release, the short has received over 1 million views and become a fan favorite among cartoon enthusiasts.

Created by Natasha Allegri, character designer and storyboard revisionist for hit series Adventure Time, the animation follows unemployed Bee and her new pet PuppyCat in an intergalactic adventure in babysitting. Yeah, I know that sounds really weird. It is, but it’s also clever and funny. Bee is highly relatable, especially to teenagers and young adults.

Interestingly, the main character of Bee and PuppyCat is a girl. Now, this is uncommon for regular TV, but it’s almost unheard of for animated cartoons. Generally, networks won’t pick up cartoons with a female lead because they look at their target demographics and think that no one will watch the show. Bee is also not sexualized, another aspect of the show that is unique to the medium. Often in animated series, female characters are dressed in skimpy clothing and used as romantic plot devices. Bee is the opposite; her clothing covers her entire body, and the one interaction she had with a male character was too awkward to be romanticized.

This short was two years in the making, and after its large success, Allegri is teaming up with Frederator once more, this time to turn Bee and PuppyCat into a full series with the help of Kickstarter.

The pair hopes to use the mainstream crowd funding website to raise the funds to make a series of six minute episodes to be released in the summer of 2014. Six minutes seems a little short, but keep in mind that these will be released on the Internet, and online videos rarely last more than two or three minutes.

The kickstarter was launched in the middle of October and so far has received fairly good feedback. Half of the $600,000 goal has been reached with over 7,000 backers, and there are still several days left to raise the rest of the money.

At this point, Bee and PuppyCat will probably become reality. With as much social media attention it is receiving, I doubt that it won’t be funded. It’ll be interesting to see, however, how far it goes.  In my last column, I talked about a online animated series that didn’t last; Bee and PuppyCat will be facing the same struggles as Electric City did. Will it only last for one season of six episodes? Or will it go longer, possibly getting picked up for another season?

The Bee and PuppyCat Kickstarter can be found at http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/frederator/bee-and-puppycat-the-series and the original animated short at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lOG_UtLxh58&feature=youtu.be