Creating a New Dimension of Cartoon Imagery
By Buddy Sampson
Animators are creative, artistic sorts that bring characters to life in very distinctive ways. From the Warner cartoons that feature lovable characters, such as Daffy Duck, Porky the Pig and Road Runner to modern cartoon characters such as the Teenage Ninja Mutant Turtles, animators and cartoons have captivated the global viewing public from kids to adults alike.
Animator, artist, master musician and drummer Richard Sirgiovanni is continuing in the artistic cartoon paradigm with his project, The Grimps, a group of four musicians transformed by an evil wizard into hideous troll creatures for all eternity. With the help from a sorceress, they find a way to live as human rock stars again – but only at night. Together they form a band, touring the world and searching for a way to lift the curse so they can once again live as humans forever.
But what’s behind the creative process? How did Richard become an animator?
Music and cartoons were always forefront for Richard Sirgiovanni. Among the musical groups he admired were studio musicians, which include The Funk Brothers, featuring James Jamerson. “They played with the best artists for all those years and they were on some many great, great records,” said Richard Sirgiovanni. The drummers that caught his eye included John Bonham of Led Zeppelin, Keith Moon of The Who, Carl Palmer of Emerson, Lake and Palmer and Charlie Watts of the Rolling Stones.
Get Ready to Rock with THE GRIMPS – An Animated Music Series Coming Soon!
Aimed at kids ages 6-12, The Grimps is an animated musical series in development by Suzanne DeLaurentiis Productions and created by cartoonist and musician Richard Sirgiovanni. What sets this upcoming series apart from other cartoons nowadays is its original music, life lessons, and modern content, but with a throwback feel to fictional bands like Josie & the Pussycats, The Archies, and even The Monkees.
Speaking of The Archies, The Grimps’ original theme song was written by Ron Dante, who was the actual voice of The Archies, famous for the hit “Sugar Sugar”. Richard Sirgiovanni told StarShine in an exclusive interview that Dante hit the “nail on the head” with the song. “I wanted something memorable, fresh, peppy, and poppy as a theme song, but not necessarily the sound of the band,” says Sirgiovanni. The Grimps’ sound is actually still being decided on, but Sirgionanni says it will be contemporary and their music won’t be a kiddie novelty.