producer Timbuktoons got its start when founder Todd Hampson taught himself how to animate their first short cartoon.
“I hadn’t even had any formal animation training,” says Hampson. Since the company’s beginning in 2003, Timbuktoons Studio has created more than 60 hours of 2D cartoons, with clients as diverse as Phil Vischer’s Jellyfish Labs, ABC’s Extreme Makeover: Home Edition, and Upward Bound Ministries.
That first short cartoon inspired a consistent part of Timbuktoon’s output, though. Hampson recalls, “A friend of mine saw it and said, ‘Hey, this would be great in a children’s ministry environment.’” Thus was born Scripture Shorts, a series of fast-paced and comedic cartoons that illustrate Bible content. “We took a look at what kids were seeing and wanted to make cartoons that looked like the cartoons kids relate to and want to see over and over again.”
They marketed the cartoons to churches and children’s programs and built up a library. Scripture Shorts can be purchased on DVD or as individual downloads from Timbuktoon’s website.
Now Timbuktoons is expanding beyond Scripture Shorts and work for clients. “We’re developing content to be salt and light in the entertainment industry,” Hampson explains, “trying to get content out there that’s good for kids to watch.”
With that in mind, they created Fuzz Feud. “We developed the concept when [creative director] Sean Copley had a number of squirrels in his yard getting into garbage and chewing wires.” As they brainstormed the idea, the squirrels became the heroes: three squirrel brothers who protect the other local animals from the owner of a nearby house.
Timbuktoons is producing a pilot episode of Fuzz Feud, which they’ll use to pitch the concept to networks. Follow Fuzz Feud’s development on the company’s blog.