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Duck Tales

TFK quacks up with the creators of Nickelodeon’s newest cartoon, Breadwinners

February 27, 2014
NICKELODEON. ©VIACOM, INTERNATIONAL, INC.

SwaySway (left) and Buhdeuce (right) are the star ducks of Nickelodeon's new series, Breadwinners.

Things are getting riduckulous on Nickelodeon. Breadwinners, created by Gary Di Raffaele and Steve Borst, is a new cartoon series about two ducks that run a bread delivery service on their home planet, Pondgea. The show’s best buddies, SwaySway and Buhdeuce, are full of energy and adventure, and get into all sorts of trouble on the job. TFK talked to Di Raffaele and Borst about the inspiration for the show, how they created the world of Pondgea, and what we can expect to see in the cartoon’s premiere season.

TFK:

What is Breadwinners about?

GARY DI RAFFAELE:

It’s a show about two booty-shaking ducks that deliver bread in a rocket van to every hungry beak out in the world of Pondgea.

STEVE BORST:

At its core it’s about two best friends, SwaySway and Buhdeuce, and SwaySway is showing B the ropes as a Breadwinner. Together, they get into all sorts of adventures.

Gary Di Raffaele drew the characters for Breadwinners.

NICKELODEON. ©VIACOM, INTERNATIONAL, INC.
Gary Di Raffaele drew the characters for Breadwinners.

TFK:

How did the idea for the show come about? Why ducks?

DI RAFFAELE:

Steve and I were collaborating for a bit, and I doodled these two characters. They didn’t have a name or anything, but I had the image of them tossing bread up in the air. So, I showed it to Steve and he said, “Hey, these guys are cool, and I could put a name to them and get this going.”

But as far as the bread and the ducks go, I’m a big fan of bread. Once, I was hanging out with a friend and I was eating bread with nothing on it, kind of a bread sandwich. He looked at me and said, “What are you, a duck?” I wanted to say, “Yes, I’m part duck, part human.” But the sad reality of it is that I’m just human. So that moment also sparked the idea [for the show].

TFK:

Breadwinners started as a YouTube video. How did it become a full-length series?

BORST:

Gary and I launched the short video at an animation festival. Once we debuted it, the next logical thing to do was put it on the Internet and link all our friends and family to it. It was funny, because we didn’t have any expectations of it getting picked up by a network. Our goal was just to have fun and make some cartoons and see what happens. But, the responses on YouTube were extremely positive. The first week the video hit 10,000 or 15,000 views, and it just took on a life of its own. Everyone wanted more. Then, we linked it to Nickelodeon.

TFK:

What do you keep in mind when illustrating the world of Pondgea?

BORST:

Lots of things! The idea of ducks delivering bread is pretty silly, so we wanted to juxtapose that with a really crazy world. In our human world, delivering bread sounds like a harmless thing to do, but in Pondgea, it’s actually pretty dangerous. The ducks have to go underground and mine the bread, and then deliver it in this crazy, reckless rocket van. They fly all over the place and are constantly being chased by monsters. They have to go to some real bad places for their job, but they always do it, because they’re super positive and super enthusiastic.

DI RAFFAELE:

When I’m thinking about design, it’s about what is the silliest, the weirdest, and what makes you smile and laugh. The image is really important because it can tell its own joke. Sometimes you don’t even have to write a joke into the script. The illustration can provide all the humor a moment needs.

TFK:

How would you describe the dynamic between SwaySway and Buhdeuce?

BORST:

We describe it as big brother and little brother relationship. SwaySway is the leader, and he’s showing Buhdeuce the ropes. But even SwaySway is not always the best role model. He always means well and has a heart, but doesn’t always make the best decisions.

Steve Borst writes the script for Breadwinners.

NICKELODEON. ©VIACOM, INTERNATIONAL, INC.
Steve Borst writes the script for Breadwinners.

TFK:

How does Breadwinners fit in with other Nickelodeon cartoons?

BORST:

It’s just a zany, fun, silly show, and Nickelodeon has always been really big on comedy. And then there’s the heart, too. We really try to show that these characters, SwaySway and Budeuce, really care about each other. There’s an earnestness and a lot of heart to their relationship, and that’s something Nickelodeon has done [with their characters] throughout the years.

DI RAFFAELE:

We grew up on Nickelodeon, so when we think of a cartoon, we think of the cartoons you used to watch. So now we are teaching a new generation of kids what a cartoon can be. We don’t put limits onto how we should produce this show, we are cracking new codes everyday with our creative process and how we get from point A to point B. We just want to make Breadwinners wacky, zany, and colorful, and inject a crazed energy into the cartoon.

TFK:

What were your favorite cartoons growing up?

DI RAFFAELE:

I really liked Ren & Stimpy, Doug, Rugrats, and Rocko’s Modern Life.

BORST:

I grew up on all the live-action shows on Nickelodeon, like Double Dare, Hey Dude, and all that stuff.

TFK:

What other trouble and adventures can we expect from SwaySway and Buhdeuce this season?

DI RAFFAELE:

We’re going to see the guys interacting with some of their customers, exploring the bread mines and seeing what kind of danger and trouble lurks down there, and hanging out with their rocket ship mechanic. Also, expect a lot more music.

BORST:

Their motto is “No matter the challenge, no matter what, we always deliver, and never give up.” This is a dangerous job, but they’re always going to have a positive attitude, deliver the bread, and keep on smiling.

 

Breadwinners airs on Saturday mornings at 11 A.M.


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