Wednesday, March 10, 2010

OPERATION: ZERO!


I know Operation: ZERO has aired a bunch of times recently but I haven't had a chance to give you some juicy tidbits about the making of it like I did with the episodes. But I'm here now to do just that. You ready?

GO!


• 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...


39 comments:

Whackjood said...

Ohoh, a very interesting read indeed. BUT, just out of curiosity, what kind of role did Grandmother have planned before she was cut from production?

Oh, and can't you tell us the short blonde kids name? At all? Pretty please ;_;

sparkyou said...

I LOVE this movie! I really want it on my MP3 player! I would download it from iTunes, but file formats that are downloaded from iTunes are protected so that I cant use my Sansa Media Converter to conmvert them to my Sansa Fuze. It stinks.

Anonymous said...

wow this is really intersting!please tell me what the blonde kids name is cause i can't get the comics in the uk :(

i have a question about the kiss between 3+4 which is did they remember? i have been wondering about for ages now and everytime i see it i always think about it. but i think it did count if they did no matter how gross it was.

Also, whose idea was it to have the kiss in the movie. and if it was never in the film would they kiss in another episode?

anyway thanks for the facts and i hope to see some about the specials soon :)

laura :D

Anonymous said...

TOTAL AWESOMENESS! Operation: ZERO was a FANTASTIC MOVIE! I'm going to try figuring out that DC kid's name.

JoshBisawesome said...

Just Got Z.E.R.O on my ipod saturday and watched it like 6 times, it was sooper awesometastic! if that is a word. Makes me miss it ....but i just bought a hat like Lee and i wear it everyday its really comfortable tho. ... and Is the short blonde kids name Rick?

Anonymous said...

Okay! I looked and Looked for that kids name in various comics lol Can you give us a tiny hint? Maybe like what Comic Numbuh or the name of the Comic mission that were looking for? I saw a Wanted poster and I doubt his name is Wanted lol

Anonymous said...

I think I might have figured out the name of the DC boy: I looked over the comics and my guess for the kid's name is... Cameo. I guessed it because of some of the letters on the posters and the posters always had small appearances in the comics. Plus I looked up the name Cameo: It means "A small perfect child" (that kinda makes sense to the DC right? And that kid's the shortest boy)

Anonymous said...

WHAAAT~!?! That's the only hint you can give us about DCFDTL?

I don't even know where to get your comics! I don't even know if they're still on sale~!

Please, please, please, please, please tell me so I can finally ge the facts straught about on the KND Code Module!

brianna3 said...

i need to get operation zero on my ipod too...and is the short blond kids name cameo? oh, and cant wait to hear facts about the grim adventures of the KND!!

Anonymous said...

Oi, either I'm looking over the detail or I just can't find it.
I've heard from multiple sources that his name is Rick, though

Anonymous said...

I looked over my KND comics again and instead of "Cameo", could that DC kid's name be Camron?
--Tab

MR. WARBURTON said...

wow! no one's even close to figuring out his name yet! i'm not giving out any hints yet... i wanna see if SOMEONE figures it out!

robstar1fan said...

I have NO clue what their names are! The short kid in front kinda looks like Wally.... but I'm sure that it's not his name. Don't you think that Father should call his children by their own names? I mean, that's just my opinion on things......

robstar1fan said...

3/4 is one of my top fave couples! Mr.W, since u are the creator, would you draw the characters and events, or would you just help make up the story board? It freaked me out when I saw that movie, no offense, it's just that for us Kuki and wally lovers, I think that their kiss could of been... well.... more full of romance.... what do u think?

Anonymous said...

You're so mean, Numbuh Eleventy Billion, sir! C'mon, just tell us. I've always thought the blond one was called Rick because that's what everybody say!

I need the info for the Code Module! I don't want to keep believing in a fake name!

Anonymous said...

he always did seem like a 'rick' to me for some reason

I'm tempted to say Weasel... just because of the operation C.H.A.S.E.D. page.
Westley. /guess

or would his name start with a letter in DCFDTL? David, Lenny and Father taking up three of those letters...

Anonymous said...

Wait now people are saying Rick/Ricky? Last time I heard his name was Josh and before that it was Liam and then people were saying William....

People have strange names for the Delightfuls lol I once heard a bunch of people say the Blonde girl's name was Constance and the Braid girl was Beth.

I think people just like playing around with the names to confuse us. Every so often someone changes the name and insists it's the real name. People just like changing the names lol

Is his name Danny?

Will you ever tell us the girl DC's names? lol maybeee eventually? Please?

JoshBisawesome said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
JoshBisawesome said...

well if his name isnt rick or cameo then i dont think it would be mclovin ...so maybe mac or jerry?

Anonymous said...

PLEASE!!! PLEASE, JUST TELL US!!!

sparkyou said...

Barry? James? Jonathan? WE HAVE NO IDEA!!!!! The Code Module cannot properly function wothout...all....possible....information....(gasp).....dying....of.....no.....knowledge...
OK, so maybe that was too dramatic.
But we really want to know.

You're having fun watching us fail and suffer arent you.

Anonymous said...

Okay, I'm going to take the wildest guess here.

Is the Short Blonde Boy's name......






R.C. UNO????


Which, would make him Nigel's cousin, meaning he would be Father's (Benedict Uno) actual biological son, and from there we would have to speculate as to who the mother is.....

I AM THE J.A.M.

a.k.a. Numbuh i

Anonymous said...

Sorry, my signature didn't post right.


Until next time, remember:

I AM THE J.A.M. (a.k.a. Numbuh i)

Good evening.

[WARP!!!]

Anonymous said...

I pulled letters together from Operation C.H.A.S.E.D. and came up with 'Coby'. Or Cody.

Anonymous said...

Cody? That's a nice name!!


Mr. Warburton, I swear if you don't tell us I will keep bothering you until you tell us about Sector Z!

PLEASE!!! PLEASE!!! PLEASE, TELL US!!

Tell us the name of Numbuh 0.1 (Blond boy) and his real Numbuh!!!

Please!!!!! Please!!!! Please!!!!! Please!!!!

Whackjood said...

Totally calling it, he's going to be called 'Rick Astley' and he will appear in the new music video for the song 'Never Gonna Let You Down', all similarities to an already existing song are totally coincidential.

brianna3 said...

im guessing his name is rick...because that's his real name....isn't it? please help us out mr.warburton!

-numbuh 14a
(a stands for awesome)

robstar1fan said...

James? Can some me tell me that? Tyler? Louis? Caleb? Joesph? Jonathan? Lenny? For crying out loud, can we get a hint? Like what letter his name starts with????

Anonymous said...

TELL US!!!! TELL US!!! PLEASE!!!! I NEED TO KNOW HIS NAME FOR THE KND CODE MODULE!!!!!!


PLEASE!!!! I NEED TO KNOW!! AND I WANT TO KNOW! THIS INFO IS FOR THE CODE MODULE!!! JUST TELL US, ALREADY!!!!


PLEASE!!!!! PLEASE!!!! PLEASE!!!!! PLEASE!!!!! PLEASE!!!!! PLEASE!!!! PLEASE!!!!! PLEASE!!!!! PLEASE!!!!! PLEASE!!!! PLEASE!!!!! PLEASE!!!!! PLEASE!!!!! PLEASE!!!! PLEASE!!!!! PLEASE!!!!! PLEASE!!!!! PLEASE!!!! PLEASE!!!!! PLEASE!!!!! PLEASE!!!!! PLEASE!!!! PLEASE!!!!! PLEASE!!!!! PLEASE!!!!! PLEASE!!!! PLEASE!!!!! PLEASE!!!!!PLEASE!!!!! PLEASE!!!! PLEASE!!!!! PLEASE!!!!! PLEASE!!!!! PLEASE!!!! PLEASE!!!!! PLEASE!!!!! PLEASE!!!!! PLEASE!!!! PLEASE!!!!! PLEASE!!!!! PLEASE!!!!! PLEASE!!!! PLEASE!!!!! PLEASE!!!!! PLEASE!!!!! PLEASE!!!! PLEASE!!!!! PLEASE!!!!! PLEASE!!!!! PLEASE!!!! PLEASE!!!!! PLEASE!!!!!


Don't make me suffer!!

Anonymous said...

Well it's been a couple of days now and we still fail @ knowing his name.

Can we get a hint? Please?

Anonymous said...

Thanks for sharing these interesting facts with us. :) I've always liked the look of the CGI treehouse. I didn't know that Mo Willems wrote the screen play alone for this one; I should probably pay better attention to the beginings of episodes. As for the 3/4 kiss, I still say that it counts. Some say it's gross, others say it's cruel, but I say it was pretty funny actually.

I have absolutly no idea what the DCFDTL's real name could be. It's kind of funny how everybody think's it's Rick.

Anonymous said...

Please!!! Please!!! Please!!! Please!!! Please!!! Please!!! Please!!! Please!!! Please!!! Please!!! Please!!! Please!!! Please!!! Please!!! Please!!! Please!!! Please!!! Please!!! Please!!! Please!!! Please!!! Please!!! Please!!! Please!!! Please!!! Please!!! Please!!! Please!!! Please!!! Please!!! Please!!! Please!!! Please!!! Please!!! Please!!! Please!!! Please!!! Please!!! Please!!! Please!!! Please!!! Please!!! Please!!! Please!!! Please!!! Please!!! Please!!! Please!!! Please!!! Please!!! Please!!! Please!!! Please!!! Please!!! Please!!! Please!!! Please!!! Please!!! Please!!! Please!!!Please!!! Please!!! Please!!! Please!!! Please!!! Please!!! Please!!! Please!!! Please!!! Please!!! Please!!! Please!!! Please!!! Please!!! Please!!! Please!!! Please!!! Please!!! Please!!! Please!!! Please!!!

Tell us!!!

Anonymous said...

That was a great story you told about making ZERO. (I love part where you said you and Mo screamed like fan girls!) Sounds like you guys did a lot of hard work on this movie. But I'm really glad you guys made it. It's still one of the best animated movies ever!
And my next guess for the DC kid's name is Curtis.
--Tab

Anonymous said...

Can you please tell us now?

Anonymous said...

Hi. Just wanted to say...absolutely loved operation Z.E.R.O

My thought is...where did you get the idea to have Monty and Father be brothers? Honestly, that part just blew me away. I mean, not only showing that father has actual relatives, but also that he is Nigel's uncle? And subsequently Grandfather is his real grandfather? Pure genius.

Do you think Father ever regrets not going with Monty that first time he asked?

Anonymous said...

I know all the Delightful Children's names, and no, I'm not telling. Just for the record, you're all wrong about the blonde boy's name, no one has even guessed the first letter. Too bad it is what is it, though. It would have been awesome if their names spelled out dcftl (they don't) or if his name was cameo.

Anonymous said...

I LOVE THIS MOVIE! its my favorite movie evuh!

i know about david and lenny but rumor has it the short blonde boy's name is bruce, the tall girl is ashley, and the short girl is ogie or olivia.

pretty pretty please? could you tell us?!
btw KND is the awesomest show ever! :D
~Julie

Anonymous said...

Where did you guys come up with the idea to have the DCFDTL be former KND members? That was the best realization EVER! Did they originally have a bigger role?

Anonymous said...

His name is Bruce!