Dumb Bunny & Jackass, the latest creation from the warped mind of original Simpsons animator, Eek! the Cat co-creator, and The Shnookums and Meat Funny Cartoon Show creator Bill Kopp, will get its public debut at this year’s Los Angeles Comic Con on December 3.
Ahead of the show’s L.A. Comic Con bow, Kopp has given Cartoon Brew exclusive access to the first Dumb Bunny & Jackass promo.
Dumb Bunny & Jackass is an idea that Kopp has been developing, sometimes in the background and sometimes full-time, since 2005. After spending much of the last decade working on the development of several productions for major studios that ended up going nowhere, Kopp decided to ditch the studio model of production and start making Dumb Bunny & Jackass all on his own.
“From 2014 till like 2021, it was just great projects at great studios that never went anywhere ever,” Kopp told Cartoon Brew. “Some were original and some I was hired on, but by the time the last one ended I didn’t know if I want to do that anymore.”
That last one was a Crash Bandicoot series for Amazon that Kopp says would have been fantastic, and he still doesn’t know exactly why it was canned.
“That was the straw that broke this old camel’s back,” he lamented. “We worked for like a year on it, a year in development right through the pandemic. It sold to Amazon, and then for some weird reason Activision just pulled out and said we’re not doing it anymore.”
That’s when Kopp knew he didn’t have time for modern studio animation anymore.
“I turned 60 this year. The clock is ticking. I am here on Earth to make funny cartoons. That’s all. That’s what I care about. That’s my passion and that’s what I do. And these guys were getting in the way of my thing,” he said.
So, Kopp put away his paintbrushes and pencils, bought a computer, and started teaching himself Adobe’s Character Animator, with a lot of help from Youtube teacher Okay Samurai. After several months of learning shortcuts, playing with new tools, and learning how to adapt his skillset for digital production, Kopp was ready to start animating Dumb Bunny & Jackass.
“I was amazed,” he says of putting together the first couple of episodes. “From writing to finished animation only took me five weeks for a 10-minute cartoon.”
And Kopp really did do it all. From storyboarding to animating to editing to voice acting. Although to fill out the Dumb Bunny & Jackass voice cast he did recruit some friends and colleagues from his extensive network of animation professionals. The series features performances and cameos from Jon Bailey (Animaniacs), Martin Olson (Adventure Time), Eric Bauza (Looney Tunes), and many others.
The show turns on Dumb Bunny and his best friend and roommate Jackass, who live in a rundown shack owned by a heartless billionaire. The duo gets roped into all sorts of schemes and adventures with neighbors like Pinchy Pig, Tequila Mockingbird, and Van Nuys native Bigfoot.
With five episodes in the can already, Kopp isn’t done yet. Thanks to the ease and inexpensive nature of the show’s production, he’s confident that with a small team of independent animators, the show could go much longer and prove a real alternative to the studio model of production.
“Imagine that you’re a painter and you want to paint, but every canvas costs $8 million,” he said, explaining his take on the modern animation landscape. “It’s gotten trickier and trickier over the years to develop something new, and the development process has become an absolute nightmare. So it came down to… I know how to do every job in animation, so I’m gonna just sit down and do this.”
Although confident that he could finish the series on his own if he needed to, Kopp’s ambition is to prove that animation production doesn’t need to be as difficult as the industry has made it, and that small teams of well-paid workers can produce quality, popular animation.
“We want to do like eight more episodes, so that’s 16 total cartoons,” he explained. “If I hired another couple of layout guys and storyboard artists we could pay these guys top dollar, like the highest mark on the union scale, and we could still finish 16 cartoons for less than half of the money that it would cost to make one episode of a prime-time series.”