nerdland nerdland
Feature Film

Titmouse Reveals Teaser for Adult Feature ‘Nerdland’

TV animation producer Titmouse (Superjail!, Black Dynamite, Turbo FAST, Moonbeam City) has released a teaser trailer for Nerdland, the studio’s independently-produced R-rated feature film. The studio announced the project last fall at New York Comic Con.

The preview reveals little about the film’s plot, but plenty of sophomoric vulgarity, including the filmmakers’ warning of “strong bloody violence, puckered anus, language, drug content and some nudity & stupidity.”

Nerdland, directed by Titmouse founder Chris Prynoski from a script by Andy Kevin Walker (Se7en, 8MM, Sleepy Hollow), will have its world premiere at the Tribeca Film Festival in April. The film follows two showbiz nobodies, John (Paul Rudd) and Elliott (Patton Oswalt), with “a plan to become famous—or even infamous—by the end of the night.”

In addition to Rudd and Oswalt, the film’s voice cast includes Hannibal Buress, Laraine Newman, Kate Micucci, Riki Lindhome, and Molly Shannon, as well as TV show creators Mike Judge (Beavis & Butt-head, King of the Hill), Brendon Small (Metalocalypse), and Christopher McCulloch (The Venture Bros.), among others.

No distribution plans have been announced for Nerdland yet.

Numerous American TV animation producers have produced adult-skewing indie animated features in the past few years, from Starburns Industries’ Oscar-nominated Anomalisa to Shadowmachine’s profane Hell & Back. Augenblick Studios announced in January that it would make its own R-rated feature, too: The Adventures of Drunky.

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  • alt animation podcast

    All of these along with Seth Rogans Sausage Party are going to be a (hopefully) dramatic change in the landscape of animated features, resulting in changing opinions and reaching new audiences. I personally believe animation skewed toward adults is a lacking market that will do VERY well (hopefully)

    • ea

      With the right talent (and marketing) adult animation could easily rival Disney/Pixar’s output.

      I’d kill for an R-rated animated adaptation of this:

    • Fried

      We’ve always had small waves of adult animated films that were either raunchy comedies or “MTV”-style films going all the way back to the 70’s (With some European depressing adult films like Watership Down thrown in). Fritz the Cat, Heavy Metal, Cool World, etc. We just recently had Hell and Back, nobody really cared. Same with Waltz with Bashir, Persepolis, etc. They usually influence nothing and only develop cult followings. This film looks like it’s appealing to that type of crowd.

      Even Bill Plympton and Don Hertzfeldt only attract a niche crowd and don’t really influence the animation industry as a whole, but small communities who get inspired by them.

      The only way studios would care about adult animation is if they broke bank (REALLY broke the bank), especially if they had a modest budget, similar to Deadpool. But having a $20 mil budget with $80 mil return? That won’t do enough for studios to pay attention to.

      • ea

        The Simpsons Movie really broke the bank. Not very adult, but a kids’ movie it was not.

    • Netko

      Animation skewing towards adults isn’t lacking. Animation that’s not political or raunchy comedies is lacking and it probably won’t ever caught on to a significant degree. Even if you look at Japan (always treated as a paradise for mature animation by Westerners), most of the successful stuff they produce is lowbrow teen pandering, if it’s not downright softcore porn. Non-pandering movies and series tend not to make much money at all.
      Cartoons just tend to walk that sweet all-ages line really really well and they’re in a financially good place where they attract the biggest audience to make up for the biggest budgets they require.
      And I’m not sure if people would ever take them seriously enough based on their own merits. Stylized characters do well in getting attention on a primitive simplistic level, but that same thing prevents most people from taking them seriously.

      • fried

        And it’s strange because Telltale makes (Or adapts) amazing mature stories into a rather cartoony visual style and they are excellent (Walking Dead, Wolf Among Us, even Tales from the Borderlands was more gut-wrenching than juvenile like its source material at times). I’m waiting for the West’s version of Tokyo Godfathers or the Illusionist.

        I’m happy you included political animated features in your list of (semi) oversaturated topics for adult films. I’ve read enough political graphic novels to almost feel bored by cartoons being utilized to recall someone’s experience with genocide or a political soapbox.

  • Axolotl

    I see that it’s a pretty dialogue-heavy movie from all the moving lips, but they play a j-pop song over most of it. Very obscurantist! Nothing is more grown up than that…

    • ea

      I think the writing will make or break this movie. If it only relies on pushing-the-envelope material instead of story and characters then it may not do too well, but who knows?

  • I like when its considered adult and the description is; “plenty of sophomoric vulgarity, including the filmmakers’ warning of
    “strong bloody violence, puckered anus, language, drug content and some
    nudity & stupidity.”…When I think adult humor I think Preston Sturges

    • Hankenshift

      Could not agree more. This looks “juvenile,” not “adult.” Like a whole lot of Japanese cartoons. I hope it has a story and surprises me.

      Beavis and Butt Head turned a $50 million profit, and South Park movie made $60 million. And that was nearly 15 years ago.

    • Netko

      Yeah it’s really sad how some kids’ movies can have a lot more maturity than what passes for American adult entertainment (Teen entertainment? Sophomore entertainment? Frat entertainment?). I mean there’s a market for this kind of thing I guess and I’m not saying it can’t make for a good movie, it just annoys me that it’s labelled as some daring step in a new direction when it’s really just the same old thing for the same old niche. Call me when a moivie gets made that doesn’t rely on having token “adult” stuff and juvenile humour, then we can talk about brand new directions American animation is taking.

      I never understood why movies obviously aimed at people with a weak sense of decency rely so much on pushing that sense of decency. I would expect that if you have no hangups regarding bodily fluids, violence, sex or whatever that the shock value should’ve stopped working years ago.

  • bachelorrj

    I’m looking forward to this! Reminds me of Ralph Bakshi’s work and sure it was inspired by his work. I hope this is a sign of more animated adult movies. I think animation can be geared towards adults just as much as it is towards children.

  • Rae

    diggin that aesthetic hard tho

  • Mister Twister

    Let’s hope “adult” won’t turn out “gross and childish”.

    • Johnny Bravado

      You saw all the tiddies and the masturbation joke. It’s going to be what you expect.

    • j____l

      Yeah, was thinking the same. Looks like it a bit from the trailer, unfortunately.

  • Johnny Bravado

    Flatshading? Puppet rigs? Blue comedy? I’ll pass. Just kidding no I won’t, but I really don’t expect much.

  • Metlow Rovenstein

    Titmouse is well-known for well-written tv shows with outstanding (for Flash) animation. I think this film will be good.

  • ThatGuy

    it’s got that wonderful independent film ugliness. Looks…like someone’s personal soapbox. Can’t judge til I see it…

  • Chicken McPhee

    Oh Em Gee, they said masturbate, lol lol lol hand me a Pabst beer, lol rofl

    I’m not sure I belong in the target demographic.

  • mechasus

    Mentioning Anomalisa in the same sentence as these “adult” comedies is like holding Seth Rogen in equal regard to Hitchcock.

  • Netko

    It’s not that the audiences care about complex characters, but it’s easier for them to register real people as real people with real (potential) complexity compared to cartoon characters.

    I don’t understand what you mean by “undeserved demographics”.

    • GW

      I said “underserved demographics.” You either read that wrong or typed it wrong. My point is that mainstream American cinema is too focused on white people and that Asians, non-white Latinos and African Americans are underserved by mainstream cinema and may be more willing to accept an animated character of the same ethnicity than white people. I realize that this is a US centric perspective and I don’t know where you’re from.
      You may be right about mainstream audiences accepting more stylized characters but the only way to know for sure is to ask people what kind of animation they like. I suggest that somebody make a diagram with characters ranging from cartoony to realistic and ask people which one they like best.

      • Netko

        Yes, I read it wrong. I don’t get why whether a non-white character is in a cartoon or live action would make any difference.

        I think “like” is putting it too simply. People will like cartoony characters because they’re made with emphasized likeable characteristics. People like Grumpy cat because she’s a caricature of grumpiness, but she is not perceived as a real person. Meanwhile a normal human with a big frown all the time would be perceived as having issues or being downright unpleasant.
        I mean true we often idealize/simplify people we don’t know much about, I’m just saying that the caricaturist nature of cartoon characters leads far more easily toward an overwhelming focus on these characteristics.

        • GW

          Okay. I think I understand it better now. I see what you mean with more abstracted, simple characters. People project simple emotions onto them but don’t fully relate to them as beings with real depth. My question for you is this: If that’s the reason why people have avoided animated films, then how come $9.99 and Anomalisa didn’t perform better? They’re practically like live action and yet they still didn’t attract a notable audience.

  • Gizzy Lerms

    Nothing promotes a “mature adult” film so well as “Lots of boobies!”
    That said,
    I’m still looking forward to this movie. At least it hopefully won’t be bland?