For the latest entry in our series, which looks at the coronavirus crisis from the standpoint of individuals in the industry, we speak to Frank Falcone. He is the president and creative director of Toronto’s Guru Studio, which has produced numerous kids’ animated series, including the Emmy-nominated Justin Time, Netflix’s True and the Rainbow Kingdom, and Nick Jr.’s PAW Patrol. Guru is now starting production on Mecha Builders, an HBO Max series which will feature Sesame Street characters “in a robot-animation style.”
Sesame Street is a franchise with half a century of history. When Guru Studio struck a partnership with Sesame Workshop to produce Mecha Builders, foremost among Frank Falcone’s priorities was to dive into that heritage, as he tells Cartoon Brew.
“We had all sorts of plans to go to New York, tour the sets and the workshops, and just generally be inspired by the physical props, puppets, sets, and deep archives of the Sesame Workshop,” says Falcone. “But that all ended abruptly at the beginning of March.” As per Ontario’s guidelines, the studio swiftly switched to a fully remote setup, in which it has remained ever since.