Watch 2 New CN Pilots By ‘Regular Show’ Staffers

AJ’s Infinite Summer by Toby Jones.

Tonight, Cartoon Network quietly released two new pilots that were produced in 2013: AJ’s Infinite Summer created by Toby Jones and Long Live the Royals by Sean Szeles. Both Jones and Szeles work on Regular Show—Jones is a writer/storyboard artist, and Szeles is a supervising director/writer/storyboard artist.

Long Live the Royals created by Sean Szeles.

Before Toby Jones created AJ’s Infinite Summer, which revolves around three teenage friends goofing around, he had co-directed a 60-minute indie live-action film called AJ Goes to France (2006). While there’s probably not a lot of continuity between that earlier film and this short, the lead actor in both projects is the same person, AJ Thompson.

Szeles’ short Long Live the Royals also follows three kids, but in this case, the kids are modern-age royal siblings who live with their parents, the King and Queen.

Both shorts are currently available to view online in the U.S., but may be geo-blocked in other regions.


  • Josh Moore

    I got to see these last night! AJ’s Imfinite Summer was the one I liked the least mainly IMO it’s if Regular Show took over Phineas & Ferb, it’s just the concept has been done before. Bonus points for having a similar art style as Regular Show. Long Live the Royals was better to me mainly the plot and animation style being too similar to Regular Show’s (though Paranormal Roomates takes the cake for that) as well as Andy Daly’s great Tim Curry impression as the Lord’s voice.

  • Josh Moore

    We can think Nickelodeon for beating them for that with Sanjay & Craig. Also Disney Channel with The Proud Family.

  • http://twitter.com/RacattackForce Racattack_Force

    Steven Universe has a pretty racially diverse cast. One of Steven’s friends is Indian, and there was recently an episode where he helped the Gems and this Ghanaian family become friends.

  • http://twitter.com/RacattackForce Racattack_Force

    AJ’s Infinite Summer very much has this laid-back, young adult graphic novel feel that I personally enjoy, even if it has been a bit overdone in recent years. Wouldn’t mind seeing more of it as part of CN’s Always On service. Not sure how to feel about “Long Live the Royals”, though. It feels like Szeles has been working on Regular Show for so long that it’s seeped into his bones and can’t leave, since watching it felt a bit like I was watching a more detailed version of JG Quintel’s series. That’s not a bad thing, mind you, since it did make me laugh. But it had a bit of a derivative air to it.

  • Josh Moore

    I got to see these last night! AJ’s Imfinite Summer was the one I liked the least mainly IMO it’s if Regular Show took over Phineas & Ferb, it’s just the concept has been done before. Bonus points for having a similar art style as Regular Show. Long Live the Royals was better to me mainly the plot and animation style being not too similar to Regular Show’s as well as Andy Daly’s great Tim Curry impression as the Lord’s voice.

  • LeoCatelli09

    I also think they have too many mammal leads, not enough reptiles or insects. Pretty backwards, if you ask me.

    • Ana

      So…asking for more diversity gets this kind of response. How open-minded of you.

      • wik

        pig goat banana mantis is diverse. enough mammals!

        so cause ADHD went down was because those two colour guys..? sure ;)
        #fun

  • Ryoku240

    I’m beginning to wonder if Cartoon Network is imposing some sort of “house style” on its artists in order to streamline their production, making it easier for animatorsdesigners to transfer from one show to another.

    That and the inherent efficiency of animationcoloringdrawing characters that have all of the crafty detail of a sketchbook doodle, but with the polish and perfection of a toaster.

    In other words, the visuals are too clean to be interesting, and too simple to admire the craft-work. At least the colors are okay.

    Perhaps HD plays a role, where the smallest error can be picked up and posted in Reddit in just seconds.

    Theres also the possibility that the storyboards themselves aren’t any good, yes its the preferred medium these days over scripts, but you can only draw so much detail on small post-it notes.

    But I know that they have to do this, in todays age of OCD micro-management everyone concerned with every small detail. Instead of using time putting great detail and work into stuff, its used to correctperfecttear away bits of the show and hastily change it around.

    • Roberto Severino

      Interesting comment. When CN has a particular hit show on their hands like Dexter’s Lab or the PPG, a lot of the other shows tend to take influence from that kind of style. I think something similar is happening here with Regular Show and Adventure Time being so big and all though I think there was enough of a difference in Sean Szeles’s cartoon to make the influence not as obvious (cough cough, Sanjay and Craig, cough cough). I noticed Phil Rynda is the creative director on both of these pilots. I’ve also seen him get credited for designs on Gravity Falls. He sure has gotten a lot of good work lately.

      I think CN is just trying to play it safe for the most part and giving people who have worked on their two of their most popular shows right now a chance at their own shows to see how that works out.

      • Ryoku240

        I can see that, one show does well so others simply try to stick to the formula. With the internet stealing viewers it may be a necessary evil, then again, switching things up a bit keeps interest better than saturating stuff.

        I did give Sanjay a shot out of fairness, it really is akin to a Regular Show but with random gross out bits.

        • http://twitter.com/RacattackForce Racattack_Force

          I think it’s less of the studio imposing a style, and more of the artists coming from the same batch. When you think about it, Rebecca Sugar is the only current CN creator to have graduated from SVA (East Coast represent!) rather than CalArts, and Steven Universe reflects that greatly, as art students over here in NYC do take a lot of influence from anime in the same way CalArts students seem to take to the indie scene. In contrast, Quintel and Ward came from CalArts, and most of their crew did as well. Most of them graduated at the same time, and as such — whether they know it or not — absorbed a lot of their artistic sensibilities from each other.

          To bring up another example of this in the network’s history, look at some of the earlier Cartoon Cartoons, which were created by people who were not only classmates, but some roommates. As a result, a lot of the shows ended up with a bit of a UPA vibe to them in terms of character design. Now, this isn’t to say that learning from your friends, sharing ideas with them and such is bad. That’s what should happen in an artistic environment. However, the end result in entertainment is usually a school style or a production house style that takes some effort to move away from.

          • Ryoku240

            A good theory, but no one would mistake a shot from the Powerpuff Girls with a shot from Dexters Laboratory, or Cow and Chicken and Johnny Bravo, two or maybe 3 of those had UPA influences but the styles were distinct enough.

          • Roberto Severino

            That was also one of the things that was on my mind the other day. Rebecca Sugar came from the East Coast and graduated from one of the art colleges in New York so combine that with all the cartoons she likes and you get a show that’s a very reflection of all of those influences blended together which makes it really stand out from a lot of other current cartoons right now in that way.

      • UnclePhil

        I’m not sure if “gotten a lot of good work lately” is a compliment. I hope you don’t mind if I take it as one…. soooo Thanks! I feel very fortunate to have worked with lots of great people on lots of great projects.

    • Adzl33t

      Cartoon Network had a strong UPA clean sharp graphic style with PPG and Dexter’s Lab, but now it’s more thinner and softer, I dont mind the animation of Cartoon Network at all, Regular Show and Adventure Time while simple have alot creativity involve with their settings and plots, with is a fine trade off for a more detail style.

      • Ryoku240

        Its less detail I’d like and more all-around craftsmanship, but if writings what you want thats alright.

  • Roberto Severino

    Both of them were pretty good. The second one IMO has the most potential. I like how CN’s experimenting with more ideas outside of everything being super surreal.

  • http://mattdeanart.com Matt Dean

    I mean, both Jones and Szeles DO work on Regular Show together.

    Besides, at least The Royals strives to differentiate itself with its color scheme and textured backgrounds and all.

  • MJ

    I remember when you could tell shows apart from their own unique character designs. Recess, Teacher’s Pet, Kids Next Door, Dexters Lab, Danny Phantom, heck even Phineas and Ferb. Adventure Time, Regular Show, Gravity Falls, Uncle Grandpa, Steven Universe, Clarence, Sanjay, and Breadwinners all look like they are spin offs of one another. How about a little break from spaghetti arms, bubble cheeks, and marble teeth huh?

    • Bullseye

      1. All the cartoons you named were made in the span of 7 years compared to the cartoons of 4 years so of course they look different.

      2. Dexters Lab looked like Johnny Bravo, PPG, 2 Stupid, and other shows with similer UPA style format and Danny Phantom looked like Fairy Odd Parents.

      3. While they do share spaghetti arms they still have disntict styles and atmosphere. Uncle Grandpa has more of a MAD magazine vibes when it comes to their characters. Regular Show has more realistic looking characters, SU has more of a animesque vibe to it, and Breadwinners is crap( Doesn’t relate to the topic but just want to make a statement)

      • Taco

        “Regular Show has more realistic looking characters”
        This is the most confusing sentace ever…

        Don’t get me wrong here: I love cartoons + good apealing design work and am not a fan of the over use of surface detail “realism” or cluttered design (be it 2D or 3D). Also, I think TheRegularShow is FINE for what it is, but that sentance, it just…
        http://www.reactionface.info/sites/default/files/imagecache/Node_Page/images/1257003814239.jpg

        • Bullseye

          i actually ment realistic in terms of human designs and porpations at least compared to the other toons

          • Ryoku240

            What other toons? The humans in Regular Show have essentially no anatomy to them.

          • Taco

            That’s fair enough, most of the characters do have bipedal human proportions. But at the same time you have a human proportioned BlueJay, a GumBall Machine, A man with a gigantic spherical head (so that his top had looks small & silly), a Sasquatch/Yeti and so on. I mean, the show was based on JG Quintel’s CalArts short film 2 in the AM PM about two Gas Station Convenience Store clerks dropping acid… so I stand by the confused Jackie Chan picture I’ve posted.

            (Note: CB Moderators please use this post & not the last, this one has the correct name for JG Quintel’s Short Films. Thanks)

    • Johnny

      Teachers at schools like CalArts are apparently too busy trying to weed out all the evil “anime influences” in their students to notice this stuff. Either they’re totally oblivious to it or they don’t care because at least it’s American or whatever.

    • Ryoku240

      For what its worth maybe half of those newer cartoons you mentioned were animated by Calarts students, a school not entirely known for diversity.

  • tredlow

    You can find both on Youtube.

  • tredlow

    I really like these. Long Live The Royals have fun character designs and background art, and a lot of great jokes, while AJ’s Infinite Summer starts off looking very grounded, but quickly goes into surreal places, which made me smile the entire time.

    Maybe I’m too easy to impress, but I would love for one or both of these shows to get turned into a series.

  • Bullseye

    Well CN also had Generator Rex( but I gotta take off points because Rex was basically a latino version of Ben 10)

    • carro

      way to prove that you never actually watched generator rex. made by the same company but the shows are not similar.

      • Bullseye

        I meant in terms that both protagonist are both bull headed, attention seeking, think their more funny then actually are and annoying as hell

  • Ryoku240

    While I do understand the practical reasons behind the simpleprimitive designs used in animation today, I’m worried what it’ll do to the next era of artists.

    Remember when anime was a huge thing like 10 years ago and every newcomer was copying it (at least the standard anime look)? At least that style takes a tad bit of effort, and you get things like knees and elbows.

    Sooner or later artists will be great at color palettes and backgrounds, but their characters will have all the charisma of gingerbread-men.

    So if anyone reading this is an up and coming artist, enjoy TV all that you want but please do not let that be the end all for your art, don’t think that you can cheat out of anatomy lessons and such just because rubber-noodles are the thing on TV.

    In todays age we have a bigger variety of animation than any other era thanks to the internet, we just need to use it right.

  • http://kazrocks.blogspot.com Kazzer

    Can’t see this in the country I’m surfing from, but it looks and sounds brilliant. The sardonically existential, self referential, super tangential humor of the Regular Show gang has perhaps taken longer to catch on with certain folk, but being an enjoyer of the show and privileged enough to have seen the original short, I thinks dese guys is goin’s far.

  • BurntToShreds

    So action cartoons are dead now, right? Can I just stick to Toonami and CrunchyRoll now?

  • Adzl33t

    Pretty solid funny shorts, Im a big fan of Regular Show so I just like this off kilter humor, besides why should the Adventure Time staff get all the fun. I do like Cartoon Network is bulking up there original cartoon properties, unlike Nick which relies other properties

  • Karl Hungus

    If you exclusively bring in talent from ONE school (CalArts), then the styles of the shows will all resemble each other. Its elementary.

  • BurntToShreds

    So action cartoons are dead now, right? Can I finally stop hoping and just focus on watching Toonami and CrunchyRoll now?

    • Bullseye

      Yeah if you want to look forward to a good action cartoon right now I suggest you come back in the next 2-3 years because it is basically a drought now with shows like YJ, Spec Spid, Green TAs,BB, MotorCity, Tron uprising, Thundercats, G I joe renegads, Generator Rex, Kaijudo, Avengers EMH,Symbionic Titan, and many others this age sucks if you are a action cartoon fan

      But hey Prodigal might become a show

      http://animationtidbits.tumblr.com/post/66879414129/gojira-senpai-so-titmouse-is-making-a-new-mecha

      • Johnny

        NIck passed on Prodigal and they’re going the live action route apparently.

        • BurntToShreds

          I heard about them passing and going live action as well. That was pretty sad.

        • Bullseye

          Do you have any proof on this

    • http://twitter.com/RacattackForce Racattack_Force

      Pretty much. The only two action shows that are currently running new episodes on childrens’ networks right now (as far as I’m aware) are Korra and TMNT over on Nickelodeon. And those shows alternate seasons, so the only one that’s currently airing is TMNT.

      • Guest

        There’s also Ninjago, Ben 10 Omniverse, Xiaolin Chronicles.
        More to come by Fall 2014, that’s for certain

  • Eman

    People write what they know, and that may be where a lot of this ‘sameness’ comes from. Asking them to change their story or characters to match a personal quota isn’t something I agree with at all. If they want to diversify in their own right, let them.

    The real issue is a problem with diversity in the workplace. Not only in terms of race or sex (this can change with time as we allow our culture to blend more and more), but also in where they find them. A vast majority are Cal-arts graduates. And while that’s a very very good school with some very talented artists, it’s not the only place to find creators.

    Far as ‘sameness’ goes for these shorts (Not really your point but I’ll hope you’ll entertain my tangent.), I’m neither surprised nor upset. The same thing happened in the 90′s when everyone was trying to copy the UPA style, and madcap sitcom style the likes of the Simpsons and Ren and Stimpy. It’s how most industries shift and move. Long as their entertaining to watch, I don’t really mind how samey they look.

    • FlipperPurify

      “People write what they know, and that may be where a lot of this ‘sameness’ comes from. Asking them to change their story or characters to match a personal quota isn’t something I agree with at all. If they want to diversify in their own right, let them.

      The real issue is a problem with diversity in the workplace. Not only in terms of race or sex (this can change with time as we allow our culture to blend more and more), but also in where they find them. A vast majority are Cal-arts graduates. And while that’s a very very good school with some very talented artists, it’s not the only place to find creators.”

      ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^
      Cosign.

  • truteal

    AJ’s Infinite Summer’s humor style reminds me of Harvey Birdman (Hope it gets greenlit)

  • Jaron

    I was against these, and I’m still not liking AJ’s Summer…but as soon as that “Pig in a Vent” joke hit in “The Royals”….I was won over.

  • LeoCatelli09

    I’m glad you got my e-sarcasm. In all seriousness, I’m sure as time progresses, more and more ethnic diversity will be prevalent in animation.