Stop MotionTV

Pen Ward, Max Winston, and Others Guest-Direct ‘Uncle Grandpa’

An "Uncle Grandpa" stop-motion short directed by Max Winston. (Click to enlarge.)
An “Uncle Grandpa” stop-motion short directed by Max Winston. (Click to enlarge.)

The Cartoon Network series Uncle Grandpa will debut a new 11-minute episode tomorrow, May 21st, in which four different directors offer their personal takes on the show’s eponymous star, who is everyone in the world’s magical uncle and grandpa.

The omnibus episode includes the following pieces:

  • “Time Burgers” directed by M. Wartella
  • “For Pete, Love Pen” directed by Pen Ward
  • “Total Reality” directed by Max Winston
  • Bumpers directed by Nick Cross

The three mini-episodes as well as Cross’s bumpers are all unique in their own way, with plenty of unabashed cartoon fun on display. Pen Ward’s might be the quirkiest of the bunch—he even voices Uncle Grandpa and Pizza Steve in his version—but the stand-out piece is Winston’s “Total Reality,” during which Uncle Grandpa uses the power of imagination to enter his mind, which happens to be a twisted stop motion universe.

Winston, a drummer in the band Manx that also includes Uncle Grandpa staffers like board artist Myke Chilian and animatic timer/music composer Tommy Meehan, is one of the go-to animators nowadays for projects requiring funny stop motion animation. We’ve seen flashes of his talent in the occasional bits of stop motion that he contributes to various commercial projects, but with this five-minute Uncle Grandpa effort, he finally has room to let loose and direct a mainstream project of his own. Winston more than delivers, creating a satisfyingly wild and ridiculous short that doesn’t let up.

Below is a clip from Winston’s short. The entire episode airs tomorrow at 5pm ET/PT.

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