Cartoon Brew TV #13: Adventures in Broccoli


(Warning: This film contains strong language.)

As I was watching Dan Mountain’s Adventures in Broccoli at the year-end Pratt screening a few months back, I was thinking to myself that not only is this a damn good student film, it’s also something I wouldn’t mind seeing every week on television. The setup is draped in mystery–a boy wakes up in a broccoli (or is he even awake?)–and odd characters and events are introduced into his life in rapid-fire stream-of-conscious fashion. It’s somewhere between Avatar and Adventure Time with equal mixes of action and whimsy. Frankly, I wouldn’t mind seeing more of any cartoon that gives the hipster-on-a-bicycle his comeuppance.

Dan Mountain will be participating in the comments section so fire away if you want to know anything. Here are some comments from Dan about how the film came about:

Adventures in Broccoli got its title in early May 2008, after about eight months of production, and about forty hours before it was due. This was a very haphazard time, because when I came back to Pratt for the Fall 2007 semester, I had a completely different story already storyboarded, and I was eager to start ASAP on that particular story. However, Pat Smith and Andy London (our class’ thesis advisors) kept telling me that it wasn’t even a story; it was just a bunch of random ideas with the only thread being that it takes place in giant broccoli. This greatly discouraged me, but was the first driving factor to making this.

The problem was that this film is a mere idea of a greater story I have been working on that is sort of an on going social commentary placed in an alternate reality to point out things I think about in this reality. Its a pretty epic story I hope to develop into a series, which is loosely based on The Mars Volta album “De-Loused in The Comatorium”, the evolution of music and the images that come to mind when I listen to music, the colonization of North America, technology, and every day human nature. Also super heroes and the idiots that become them.

I started drawing in October, knowing what I wanted to put in the film, but not how to organize it. I didn’t even have a storyboard; just a few scene animatics that I started placing here and there. Only then did I begin to figure out how to segue between them. This ended up with me accruing a total of about two weeks of all nighters during the Spring 2008 semester. I think that is what made this film so ridiculous; the fact that it was put together on the fly, as it went, while being completely sleep deprived.

Adventures in Broccoli is my first animated film, and I plan to make many more, because I had so much fun making it. It’s funny to sit back and think seriously about how ludicrous you can make a story.


  • Chris Dooit

    That was nuts. In such a great way. It was just completely off the wall and I loved it. I cannot quite describe what I think about that, I can try; it was like a drug trip, which I think our protagonists were on throughout, but also that dreamlike state we all have wen we rest our head at night. I kept thinking our Afro friend was going to whip out a sword via Samurai.

    That was fun. I enjoyed that, I wish I could hear the character’s dialogue a little better, but that was fun regardless.

  • GameOverGirl

    mad ill

  • Dave

    Sweet.

  • Katie Cropper

    Dan Mountain is one of my favorite people in the world and deserves a great round of applause!

  • http://www.blendfilms.com patrick smith

    congrats man! zombie vegan children rock. do a spin off with them. never listen to andy or me.. we’re drunk most of the time.

  • Matt Stroub

    I’ve definitely seen that hipster on the big bike riding around. Nice work.

  • george

    broccoli and easy woman? who wouldn’t want to stay!

  • Chris L

    Rad. I can’t believe I just watched a film that made fun of tall bikes (that dude totally stole the show, even if he was just a side gag).

  • Luke

    I’m trying to pinpoint why this works so well. In the illustration and fledgling animation work I’ve been working on for my course, there’s always a feeling pushed that I need to have some kind of strong message for things to be worth doing.
    Although you say you have big plans for this, I see no particular message here, but it’s charming, entertaining and somehow doesn’t seem stupid or pointless to me. The humour is ‘random’ but not Family Guy random. Hmm..

    I loved it anyway. The comic timing was immense.
    And I was pleased by the unexpectedly satisfactory ending.

  • Jackie Ramos

    Dan…YOU ROCK!!!
    oh and i actually saw a guy with a tall bike the other day….weird. How do they get on those things?

    any who, i wish you the best of luck, your an awesome animator. :)

  • Terri

    Dan has got to be one of the craziest, smartest guys I have ever met. I can’t wait to see him make more cartoons!

    I love the vegans!

  • Will DeGaramo

    this is what my nonsense language looks like when its written frenetically. if you can decipher this then you must be pretty smart..

    I want to see more of this craziness. Keep it up!

  • Ryter

    Unreal…really enjoyed it. Those chicks were hot. I want to see more of this.

  • http://www.mattmurrayanimation.com Matt

    He can surely get Cartoon Network to pick this up if anyone has seen that show Super Jail that they have already. Crazy stuff, but yes I was entertained!

  • http://www.frankrause.com Fran Krause

    Mmmm. Now I have a taste for tall bikes.

  • http://danmeth.com Dan Meth

    Great film, DanMountain. Even better viewing the second time around. I’d love to see more episodes exploring different areas of this broccoli world. Rad.