• Alison Wilgus (aka Numbuh 440) started out as an intern, but over the years turned into one of our best sources for story nuggets. And perhaps one of her sooper best EVER was when she pitched the idea that Numbuh One's dad was one of the greatest KND operatives ever-- but remembered none of it because of decommissioning. This made Mo and I scream like fan girls... but we knew an idea like that couldn't just be a regular 11 minute episode. It was WAY too gihoogic. So we saved the idea in the hopes of getting the opportunity to do a movie... and eventually that time came!
• In the same vein, Mo and I had always been asking ourselves, "WHO is even more evil than Father?!" GRANDFATHER, of course. There was even almost a Grandmother in this movie, but she just complicated things and got the boot early on.
• There's not a lot of extra time floating around when you're in production of an animated series. It's not like we had the time or people to make the biggest KND tale ever inbetween episodes. But there were a couple things that helped solve that problem. One was sooper producer Bruce Knapp's putting the movie into production inbetween seasons five and six and breaking it into 11 minute episode-sized chunks. The production of a movie and a series is VERY different, so treating it like a series helped us immeasurably. The next big thing was having Mo, who was done writing KND, do the screenplay. I was too busy with the series, but since Mo was the only person who knew KND as well as I did (in some cases even better) and had no other responsibilities with the show we only had to meet once or twice a week to go over stuff. The third big piece was pulling supreme storyboard artist Guy Moore (aka Numbuh D20) out of the series and dedicating him solely to plotting out the storyboarding of the movie. This was huge. He was able to roughly pre-board most of the movie HIMSELF and head off potential problems before they got to the storyboard artists.
• ZERO'S air date got changed so many times that it made it hard to keep up the continuity of the series and where ZERO fit into it. But that just became another of Guy Moore's missions and he spent countless hours adjusting things so that ZERO would work cronologicimally. And to be honest... I can't even remember how it does-- but it DOES! If you see Guy on the street, have him explain it to you. And then explain it to me.
• Over the course of the seasons we got to sprinkle a little computer animation into episodes here and there, but only because the folks running Curious Pictures were generous enough to let use their CGI staff whilst they were inbetween projects. It's not like we had extra money in the budget for such frivolities. But they helped us out, and in turn it gave them some awesome stuff to put on their reel. So when we were budgeting for Operation: ZERO, I wanted to make sure we had some money for CGI. Of course, we didn't have the money for a giant CGI space battle AND a fully rotating Moonbase like this:
But somehow Curious made it happen-- and I STILL love 'em for that!
Bonus anecdote: When we showed this scene at Comicon, sooper pal and Venture Brothers creator Chris McCullough punched me in the arm and hissed, "WHERE'D YOU GET THE MONEY FOR A CGI TREEHOUSE!"
• The montage where the Senior Citizombies gradually take over the world was originally a lot longer and included a bunch more really cool KND Treehouses including one in Las Vegas and Florida.
• Autograph-crazy Numbuh 101 was named Matt after invulnerable storyboard artist Matt Peters, who had (has) a bit of a reputation as a Superman fanboy. No physical resemblance, though.
• I still get e-mails asking whether the kiss between Numbuh Three and Four actually counts. Some people say it absolutely does. Others say that Numbuh Three obviously wasn't herself so it never happened. Me? I just think it was gross. See?
• If you ever got your hands on the script for Operation: ZERO, you'd be able see the real names of the Delightful Children! But the only one that leaked into the movie was the tall kid's (David). And we already knew Lenny's. So what about the others? Well, I ain't tellin'. But there IS a way to find out the name of the short kid who stands in front of the DCFDTL. No, REALLY! Here's how:
1. Look reeeeeeeeal carefully through the last bunch of KND stories we did in the Cartoon Network Action Pack comics.
2. In some of the comics there are some posters.
3. That's all I'm sayin'.
Can you figure it out? Maybe not. We never got to finish the scavenger hunt. But there's enough information for you to take an educated guess.
• If you don't cry when Numbuh One hugs his Dad at the end... you're a horrible person.
I mean, no offense, but you just are.
• And the end credits?! They usually get shrunk down really small or chopped out altogether on Cartoon Network, which stinks because they're really brilliant. They're basically 'snapshots' by department of everyone who worked on the movie as if they were KND operatives. For example, the storyboard artists are posing in front of a bomber, the revisionists are hunting bad guys in the swamp, and the voice actors are parachuting into enemy territory. Guy Moore did a great job laying them all out, the design team nailed all the caricatures and Alison Wilgus (and others?!) did some gorgeous coloring on these puppies. I get kinda misty looking at 'em because it really is like looking through an old collection of war photos. I wish I had some screen shots to show you but I don't. Boooooo!
I did find this, though:
So that's all the stuff that comes to mind regarding ZERO. I'm sure if I talked to Mo and Guy about it, I could dig up some more, but they'll just have to wait for another day.
All there's left to talk about are the specials... INTERVIEWS and THE GRIM ADVENTURES OF THE KND!
And I've DEFINITELY got some good stories about those...