Emru Townsend: So here you are, you're working at Hanna-Barbera, as an art director. You have this existing idea, and you bring it along. They say, "Great. Let's do it." And where did you take it from there?
Craig McCracken: Then I just did a production 'board, and then I had to pitch it to the Cartoon Network, and they had to approve it, because all these shorts are airing on the Cartoon Network, so I had to pitch it to Hanna-Barbera and the Cartoon Network in a big pitch session. I pitched it, and they liked it, and said, "Great, let's go ahead," then we just went into production on it. It was a little more of an advanced television production than we were doing on Dogs, I mean we took more time to finesse things, to make things look right. And that's how all these shorts are made.
And then I got my work print back eventually, the Cartoon Network took a look at that, and said, "Wow, we really like the way this is turning out. Start working on a second one." Then I worked on the second one, and again I had to pitch it just so they knew what I was doing. So you just keep coming up with ideas and pitching them to the Cartoon Network and seeing if they like it and they want to buy it.
Any hints as to what the second episode is going to be like?
The main villains are the Ameoba Boys, who are these simple one-celled organisms, and their criminal minds haven't evolved, so the worst crime they can possibly come up with committing is jaywalking. And they don't get the respect from Townsville's villains that they want, and all they want to do is get into a fight with the Powerpuff Girls, so the Girls help them rob a bank, because they feel sorry for them.
Why do I get the feeling that you're also a fan of superhero comic books, or at least the clichés therein?
Some of them, yeah. I didn't buy all the X-Men and stuff when I was a kid, but I liked all the weird stuff.
That was the other thing that I liked about Powerpuff Girls the first time, because of its comic book sensibility, of being able to pick apart the things that you find in comic books and play with them. Because this idea, the criminal saying, "Well, the way to establish myself is to beat such and such a good guy," that's straight out of old superhero comics.
Actually, the whole thing seemed to have a very 1960s and '70s look and feel, especially with that--if I remember correctly--starburst coming out towards the end.
That's cool, that's what I was kind of going for. I like that kind of stuff.
Do you see this becoming a series at any point? If they said, "Hey! We like this! Let's make this a series!" would you say "Sure!" and jump at the chance?
Yeah, I'd love to do that. That would be great if that's possible.
Your evil mind is cooking up more ideas already?
Yeah, I've got a lot of other shows I'd like to do with these characters and stuff. Right now, I've been working on these characters for four years because I had them at school and stuff, so I'm a little bit antsy--I want to do something else just to break up the monotony. But I'd really like to take them to series if Hanna-Barbera saw fit and think it's gonna work. I only really want to do it as a series if I think it's gonna be a hit. I don't want to just make something that disappears in a year and doesn't get seen. It's so much work to do this, that I think you've got to get a good reaction from it to justify all the work you put in.