Disney TV Animation announced an unusual series of pilot deals and projects today with an un-Disney-like roster of creators. The first three projects are pilot deals. In years past, animation pilots were rarely ever reported to the public, but after Adventure Time, where fan enthusiasm for the pilot convinced execs to greenlight it for series production, pilot deals have become public affairs:
- Billy Dilley’s Super Duper Subterranean Summer
Creative Talent: Director Aaron Springer, whose credits include the Emmy Award-winning Mickey Mouse cartoon shorts and SpongeBob SquarePants, is creator.
Synopsis: Summer break takes an unexpected turn when Zak and Marsha end up stuck in uncharted land at the center of the earth with eccentric classmate Billy Dilley.
- Very Important House
Creative Talent: Jhonen Vasquez, creator of cult favorite Invader Zim and character designer Jenny Goldberg (Rick and Morty, Bravest Warriors) are co-creators.
Synopsis: 11-year-old Frolie moves into the Very Important House and suddenly finds herself in the role of caretaker of the universe.
- Douglas Furs
Creative Talent: Highly-regarded illustrator and former Sub Pop Records art director Jesse LeDoux and actor/writer Matt Olsen (Sly Cooper) are co-creators.
Synopsis: Deep in the woods, beyond human reach, exists the thriving animal community of Douglas where Barry the bear, the world’s least-handy handyman, takes it upon himself to fix all the town’s problems.
In addition to the pilots, Disney also announced the new short-form Disney XD series Future-Worm!, created by Ryan Quincy, who worked on South Park prior to creating the short-lived IFC series Out There. Future-Worm! is about a boy who creates a time-machine lunch box and befriends a worm from the future.
Disney TV also announced development of a Disney Channel/Disney XD TV special based on the Haunted Mansion ride. The show will be art directed by illustrator Gris Grimly, who will also exec produce with Phineas and Ferb story editor Scott Peterson. Peterson will write the special with Joshua Pruett, another Phineas and Ferb alum.
Meanwhile, with production ended on Phineas and Ferb, Disney has also announced a development deal for new projects with the show’s co-creator Dan Povenmire. The show’s other creator, Jeff “Swampy” Marsh, is currently attached to direct a European feature co-production called Unstable, which will be produced by Peafur Productions and Surfer Jack Productions.