Disney TV Animation Begins Production on ‘Pickle & Peanut’

It’s getting harder and harder to tell the difference between YouTube cartoons dreamt up by teens in their bedrooms and big-budget TV studio productions created by professionally-trained artists.

Today, Disney Television Animation announced the beginning of production on Pickle & Peanut, a “buddy comedy series about two unlikely friends—an emotional pickle and a freewheeling peanut…two underdogs who dream up plans to be anything but ordinary.” Of course, you wouldn’t know any of that from the promotional artwork Disney released since the expression-less identical poses of the pickle and peanut betray no sign of personality or character except their questionable sense of sunglass fashion.

The hybrid 2D animation/live-action Pickle & Peanut will debut in fall 2015 on Disney XD. Concept was created by Noah Z. Jones (Fish Hooks) and developed by Joel Trussell (Electric City), who has ably directed similar mixed-media projects like Carrot and Stick and Mr. Wobble’s Nightmare (below). Jon Heder plays the pickle and Johnny Pemberton is the nut, and Mark Rivers (Jimmy Kimmel Live!) is the story editor.

As his defense for greenlighting the series, Disney TV Animation’s Eric Coleman, senior v-p of original series, said, “We see very few pitches that are as funny and original as Pickle & Peanut. We instantly fell in love with these characters, and Noah and Joel have built a world with a visual style and sensibility unlike anything on TV.”


  • Todd DuBois

    Well. Hmm. It will probably be better than Annoying Orange? That’s as much as I’ll give it for now.

  • Toonio

    From ye Simpsons:
    “….
    Homer: We’ll fake it, and sell it to the FOX network.
    Bart Simpson: They’ll buy anything.
    Homer: Now, Bart, they do a lot of quality programming too.
    [Both burst out laughing]..”

    well. not anymore.

  • Roberto Severino

    I’m really happy that the Mickey Mouse shorts and Wander got renewed so even if this show doesn’t turn out that great, there’s at least that to look forward to.

  • Bob Metcalf

    How long before we get “Penis and Penis”?

    • MaskedManAICN

      No, no, it’s “The Adventures of Cock and Dick”.

      • http://sobieniak.blogspot.com/ Chris Sobieniak

        The irony is that neither of them are either big or small, it’s social commentary on how we think of ourselves or how others treat us (at least how I would do it).

    • http://sobieniak.blogspot.com/ Chris Sobieniak

      I can see people wanting that somehow.

  • SarahJesness

    Er, can’t say I’m looking forward to it. On the plus side, this is a sign that Disney Channel is trying to have more varied programming again. Past several years they refused to give much attention to anything that wasn’t some teeny-bopper live-action “comedy”. I’m guessing the success of Phineas & Ferb (and possibly Gravity Falls) has helped change their minds.

  • Lucky Jim

    Noah Z. Jones , Joel Trussell and Mark Rivers are very talented individuals. I am very happy for their continued success.

  • Ryan

    The press release for “Pickle and Peanut” also mentioned renewals for both Paul Rudish’s “Mickey Mouse” shorts and Craig McCracken’s “Wander Over Yonder.” Wise decisions in my opinion.

    • Inkan1969

      I thought “Wander over Yonder” was cancelled. Maybe the press release was referring to leftower WOY eps Disney is burning out on Disney XD?

    • Funkybat

      What about Gravity Falls? Last I heard (maybe nine months ago) it was in production for a second season, but I haven’t heard jack since then. Was hoping Season 2 would premiere this year, but I’m getting a little worried. In the meantime, would it kill them to release all of Season 1 on DVD/Blu Ray?

  • http://samfilstrup.tumblr.com/ Sam

    Could be interesting can’t knock til you see it.

  • L_Ron_Backfromthegrave

    Honestly, this isn’t bad at all. I really like that it’s experimenting with animation and live action. It’s a style that we don’t usually see, especially on TV. Anything that breaks up the monotony of animation is good to me. I’ve seen Disney do the “Disney style” for enough decades so it’s a breath of fresh air to see something new from them.

    I agree to some extent that it’s hard to see the line between what’s good/bad with online content but finding something creative and original is all I ask for (unlike memes.) The nonsensical nature of internet humor is sort of a reaction to the restrictions of television animation. The “appeal factor” may not always be up to par with what’s popular, but inventiveness and fun is what matters most to me.

    The last time I remember seeing anything like this was way back in the 90s when Nickelodeon used to have animated bumpers and shows like Kablam that utilized all genres of animation. It was inspiring stuff and kept me watching, breaking up the patterns of strictly cel-painted or live-action shows. We need more stuff like this. I’m glad it was green-lit.

    • jonhanson

      I was skeptical until I saw the Joel Trussell short, if the show looks like that I’ll be happy to watch it.

  • Pedro Nakama

    Disney’s version of the Annoying Orange.

  • slowtiger

    Something like that must have been done in the 1950′s already. Talking fruits, come on – how often has this been used in advertising? And the bad 1980-ish styling doesn’t help either. So the whole concept is as far from “new” as possible. The script might be funny, that’s possible, but is this really enough invention for a whole series? In former decades this would’ve been just one skit in the Muppets Show.

    • http://sobieniak.blogspot.com/ Chris Sobieniak

      I sorta wish we had something along the lines of what Xavier Atencio and Bill Justice could do in their time. They certainly knew how to get a whole lot out of ‘junk drawer’ items.

  • https://vimeo.com/channels/wharton Brett Wharton

    After watching part of this video, I’m pretty sure this series isn’t going to appeal to me personally. But I am all for networks trying out new animation styles, and different types of stories and humor. Best of luck to them!

  • Googamp32

    Well… I can’t say that this doesn’t look interesting. However, if Disney can make four of my favorite shows out of ideas that are insane as “A high school freshman is a ninja”, “A fuzzy orange thing and a horse-like creature travel the galaxy”, “Two step-brothers make amazing stuff while their pet platypus fights an evil pharmacist”, and “twins who live in a town of craziness in Oregon”, I think that they can pull it off!

  • otterhead

    Call me crazy, but why not actually wait to see the show before mocking it? Then again, CB had the same attitude towards Adventure Time before it came out, so I shouldn’t be surprised.

    • AmidAmidi

      Making stuff up doesn’t help your argument. Cartoon Brew was the first media site to cover Adventure Time, way back in 2006, and our writing was supportive of the show before it came out. The proof is in our archives.

      • otterhead

        Sadly, the archives only go back to Season 2, but I remember quite well that the editors called it ugly and mocked its rubber hose style. Feel free to prove me wrong, I’d be happy to know that I just dreamed the site readers arguing its merits!

        • AmidAmidi

          Actually, the archives go back to 2006, long before the show was even picked up as a series. And we never wrote such a thing before the show came out.

          • George

            Amid is my hero.

        • JodyMorgan

          I did a little bit of digging, and found two relevant articles about Adventure Time from before the series premiered on CN: one by Jerry Beck and one by Amid Amidi. If you can remember anything specific about that article you’re referring to, maybe you could try searching the archives as well?

    • http://twitter.com/RacattackForce Racattack_Force

      I recall Cartoon Brew being one of Adventure Time’s biggest supporters from Day One, actually.

    • MaskedManAICN

      Nope, I totally remember CB bitching why it was taking so long for CN to get Adventure Time on the air.

  • http://inlibdingcolor.tumblr.com/ ILDC

    I can’t see this show pulling off Disney-style sincerity as well as Wander Over Yonder or Gravity Falls. I’m all for Mickey embracing creator-driven animation, but this is probably taking it too far.

  • Bizzenboom

    I remember hearing about this actually. On Brad Breeck’s (composer for Gravity Falls and more) website, it had this listed as music he was working on. So I knew found out about this show months ago. I didn’t think it literally about a pickle and a peanut though. I thought they would be cats or something.

  • Floyd Norman

    The Annoying Pickle? Brilliant, Disney. Your creativity knows no bounds.

    • shameful

      Weird! The above Floyd Norman just asked for a job on the Pickle and Peanut show… this very afternoon.

  • blandyblottschalk

    It looks interesting, but it’s a bit familiar. Remember “When the Time is Ripe” by Shion Takeuchi? That short was great. http://vimeo.com/11790948

    • Fried

      When a student does it, it’s brilliant. When a studio does it, it’s out of greedy, stupid executive decisions, and appealing to the lowest common denominator.

      That’s the support-the-underdog mindset.

      Also it helps to pump in social commentary to appeal to people, which is a bit hard to do for a campy kids show which is not at all trying to appeal to the same people but they think it is.

  • Inkan1969

    “Fish Hooks”, “The 7D”, and now “Pickle and Peanut”. Plus the non-Disney “Almost Naked Animals”. I still find Noah Z. Jones’s character design style so ugly, and his sense of humor so obnoxious.

  • Grey

    Fish Hooks lasted for a while, but it seemed to be pretty much a bomb. So i don’t know why they would want more of the same.

    • ae

      what did you expect from a show starring background characters from spongebob?

  • Falconfly

    “[...]very few pitches that are as funny and as original[...]”

    Yeah, right, more like “very few pitches that are as cheaply animated and easily produced”.

  • MaskedManAICN

    Looks like something more for Adult Swim.

  • jonhanson

    Wait, what have soccer moms got to do with this?

    • Blake Good

      They hate cartoons like Gravity Falls because they brainwash kids into doing stuff that’s impossible to do in the first place!

  • Mr-Famicom

    Wow, just wow, and I was though Star And The Forces Of Evil looked like garbage.

    Maybe it might be time to fire Bob Iger and replace him with Motoyoshi Tokunaga, as it’s like”You though Star And The Forces Of Evil looked like trash, get a load of this!” as when Japan ran the TV unit the shows came out beautifully, Australia also did a excellent job too.

    But now it’s sickening, this is not Disney, the shows being made now are CN/Teletoon/Nick rejects, we need TMS back &The Answer Studio back as not only Disney Japan but as Disney HQ with a Ghibli buyout/merger as well, only Tokunaga can save Disney now as Lasseter failed when Pooh barely broke even.

    Below is a picture I found that explains what happen with Disney TV animation, TMS was a god send in a pre-Bakshi Mighty Mouse industry, Disney Japan & Australia depended on where the end results ended up at but their A-Units were excellent and thats what Disney TV animation needs badly, their feature unit however is doing fine.

    Time for another “Save Disney” campaign.

    • http://inlibdingcolor.tumblr.com/ ILDC

      Seriously, comparing six screenshots to one?

      • Funkybat

        I think the point of that is that there was a range of stylistic diversity, while still staying generally on-model, back in the Disney Afternoon era. You could pick a half-dozen similar examples from the WB TV cartoons of the time as well.

        Using a single screen shot was meant to drive home the point that “everything basically looks like this” now. A bit of an exaggeration, but if you’ve been following TV animation since the 90s, it really does feel that way, especially when software like Flash and Toon Boom have helped to make shows from different studios with different target audiences feel similar.

        These days, it seems like the only animated shows using traditional limited animation are the Seth MacFarlane series’.

    • THINK OF THE CHILDREN !

      You’re right, that one random screengrab of a show that has yet to be released has ruined Disney! Its all so very clear to me now ! Someone must put a stop to this before all animation quality is lost forever !

  • Craig D

    Um… Veggietales..?

  • jeff

    Watch Mr. Wobbles Nighmare. Tell me that’s not hilarious.

  • Matt Norcross

    I can’t tell you how absurd I believe this is. It’s no wonder the TV animation industry is going to hell in a handbasket, because of garbage like this being allowed. Jon Heder should have stuck with Napoleon Dynamite.

  • Mike Scott

    Ah man, Mr. Wobble reminds me strongly (and is possibly inspired?) by Mr. Oizo’s ‘Flat Beat’ song and video featuring Flat Eric. I used to be kind of obsessed with the video and still draw inspiration from it. http://youtu.be/qmsbP13xu6k

  • Metoş

    Disney’s been reliable in terms of style mixes like this, so this’ll be interesting to watch.

  • http://inlibdingcolor.tumblr.com/ ILDC

    Some people like apples, some people like oranges, executives like whatever justifies the cost. I don’t mind that as long as the shows still feel like Disney in their own strange ways.

  • Floyd Norman

    Looking for a job? I’m afraid not. I still retain a sense of humor, however. Apparently something those in the business appear to lack today.

  • truteal

    When I first saw this, I thought it was a cartoon on a cartoon show (like Itchy and Scratchy)

  • kevin

    great comments.
    I’m not sure what to say as I only know the title and haven’t seen the show yet.

  • What?

    What?

  • http://inlibdingcolor.tumblr.com/ ILDC

    I know this is an old post, but I had to respond. You seem to be ignoring the fact that Disney has had different styles since the beginning, and even then those styles weren’t entirely original. Just compare Snow White to, say, Hawaiian Holiday from the same year. I’m not forcing you to like these newer shows, but you can’t expect them to go forward by going backwards.