Watch out Disney XD; there’s a new cartoon in town, and it’s going to make you laugh. Future-Worm! is an animated series about an optimistic 12-year-old who invents a time machine lunch box through which he meets and befriends a fearless worm from the future. It’s off the wall and very funny. Created and executive-produced by Emmy Award-winning director Ryan Quincy (“South Park”), the comedy follows young Danny Douglas and Future Worm as they embark on adventures through space and time.
Creator Ryan Quincy sat down with us and told us about his creation with a self-indulgent time traveling worm, and how much fun he is having working for Disney.
Future-Worm! Creator Ryan Quincy Interview
Welcome. This is really exciting because this is the first episode of Future-Worm! that’s going to premiere, August 1st. A little bit about my history. I worked in animation for almost 20 years. A lot of it was in cartoons for adults. I worked on South Park for about 14 years. I have two kids. My daughter is eight, and my son is 12. A lot of times growing up, they’re like, Dad, we want to see what you’re working on. Like, ah! We can’t, no. We’re not showing any South Park episodes to the kids. So I always wanted to make a show for my kids, that I could watch with my kids, and that is Future-Worm!. It’s a fun, time travel show. But it’s not a show that is time travel in the sense of going back and seeing who knocked the nose off the Sphinx. It’s a lot of fun, it’s absurd, it’s silly. It’s the most fun I’ve had in animation. I love the crew. I love the cast, and I can’t wait to share this with you guys.
We then got to watch the episode premiering on the 1st of August. There are three cartoons that make up our half-hour. An 11-minute, a three-minute, and a seven-minute. So there’s a nice variety of adventures and stories to tell.
It’s pretty awesome that they have Neil DeGrasse-Tyson is in Future-Worm!
He’s been amazing. He’s been all game for everything. His big thing when we asked him about it, he said, well, I’d just like to make sure that there’s some science education in there. So we tried to do some of that. But he always corrects us. There was one time we had a line there where we talk about some galaxy that’s like, three million light years away. He says, “that’s, that’s pretty close. You might want to add a couple more zeros onto that.” So, he’s our unofficial science consultant.
Will you explore how Future-Worm originated?
There were five five 90 second Future-Worm! shorts. With the series, we want to just hit the ground running. And over the course of the season, there’ll be some callbacks to some of that. Bu basically, what happened was, Danny created this time machine lunch box, sent it so far into the future that these future scientists found it, opened it up, and some of Danny’s lunch was in there, there was an apple in there that happened to have a worm in it. And they put it through their genetic escalator and gave him all these attributes. Like, the bulletproof beard, the photoreceptor visor, and the 24 titanium-enforced abs. So then, they sent Future-Worm! back to hang out with Danny. So that’s kind of, in a nutshell, the origin of how they met.
Have your kids seen the show, and do they like it?
Oh, they love it. They’ve given some notes, too. So, not only do we get notes from the execs, which, those are great. My kids also give some. It’s been fun to share it with them.
What was the inspiration behind Future-Worm!?
When I came over to Disney to develop something, what was so liberating about the marching orders was, make a show that you always wanted to make. And I always loved time travel, and adventure shows, I’m good friends with Justin Roiland, who did Rick and Morty, and when we were talking I was like, I think I want to do a time travel show. He’s like, well, if you’re gonna do that, there’s always the rules you have to deal with. I was like, do you, though? I don’t know. Maybe it’s a show that the characters kind of say, forget the rules and just kind of barrel ahead. And that was really sort of the inspiration of doing sort of this self-indulgent time travel. You can see there that not every episode is time travel. There are other adventures, too.
Kids are going to love this level of silliness!
Well, absolutely. And I even tapped into my own nine-year-old brain, and was like, what was the show that I would’ve loved to see on Saturday morning. There was a lot of, what do my kids want to watch, and what do I want to watch with my kids? ‘Cause there’s a lot of fun stuff that I think the parents are a lot of fun. It’s a wide appeal for everyone. I love getting ideas from my kids, and talking to them, kind of pitching out ideas.
Did you have a design in mind for the characters?
I started with just the name, Future-Worm!. That just sounded funny to me. And, it started with the name, and it was like, who is, of course, his name is Future-Worm!, he has to be a time traveler. So it just started there, and I started thinking about the stuff that I loved as a kid. I loved pro wrestling; I liked Hulk Hogan, Macho Man, Ultimate Warrior, Mr. T. and Chuck Norris. All that’s stuff got thrown into the suit. That was all the DNA of all that, and also just wanting that sidekick, that Chewbacca, that, you know, ET, that would be by you, walking down the halls at school having your back. So, that was really the whole inspiration for the character. And I just started drawing worms with beards, and weird hairstyles. I was a little bit on the chubby side. I kind of had a weird confidence, and I wanted Danny to be just comfortable in his skin. I used to wear a captain’s hat that I got at Disneyland. So that kind of inspired that look. I wasn’t so much into the science side of things. I was more into art, drawing, comic books, and making movies. But I thought it’d be fun to have a kid that’s really into science. So, I just started drawing those characters, and then it just felt very natural, very organic, how they, how they came to be.
After the screening we were treated to some Future-Worm! lunch boxes that were personalized by some of the animators that work on the show.
Future-Worm! will air on Disney XD beginning August 1, at 11 AM ET/PT.
*I was invited to screen Future-Worm! to share my experience with my readers. All opinions are my own.