Matt Youngberg On The Cartoon Antics In His New Skydance Short ‘Bad Luck Spot’
Apple TV+’s big animated play in 2022 was Skydance Animation’s cg feature Luck. We can’t say whether Apple is planning an entire Lucky Cinematic Universe, but the streamer has released a new short titled Bad Luck Spot which is set in the film’s universe featuring its adorable bunnies.
The short is directed by Matt Youngberg, best known for developing and showrunning Disney’s recent Ducktales reboot, as well as directing episodes of Teen Titans, Ben 10: Ultimate Alien, and Transformers: Animated.
After a very brief cameo from Sam and Dragon, the short goes entirely dialogue-free opting to tell its story through slapstick gags. It takes place within the canonical timeframe of Luck although off-screen from that film’s main narrative.
Cartoon Brew recently caught up with Youngberg who explained the film’s classic cartoon roots and shared a few exclusive stills with us.
Cartoon Brew: What were your goals when planning out the physical language of the film and using the characters’ movements to tell the story?
Matt Youngberg: Our goal with the short was to hearken back to the classic cartoons of yesteryear but to do so with modern sensibilities and technology. We really wanted to make it broad and cartoony, with a lot of physical comedy, but we had to make sure we were set firmly in the world of Luck first and foremost. As the movie had its certain rules and style, I set out to see how far we could push that style without breaking it.
As the short is set in the world of the Luck feature, I wonder, how much freedom did you have to be original with your story and how you told it?
Youngberg: The main constraint was that the short begins with and then weaves back into events seen in the movie, but instead of following the movie’s narrative, our short’s perspective switches to that of these Hazmat Bunnies to see what happens to them when they try to get rid of the speck of bad luck. From there, we had the freedom to tell the Bunnies’ story with the only constraint to remain true to the style and rules of the film.
Did you work with the same crew at Skydance that made the feature? What was the timeline like?
Youngberg: We tackled this short after the film had wrapped, but some of the crew did cross over. Skydance Animation is really fantastic at being able to utilize the artists and technicians we have on hand, so we had some of the best of the best working on the short. You can see by the timeframe of the release of Luck to the release of Bad Luck Spot it was a pretty tight turnaround, and the whole crew did an amazing job of getting it over the finish line.