Penn Zero reaching new worlds


April 21st, 2015 – Disney Television Animation has again teamed up with Mercury Filmworks to bring to life a new animated series; “Penn Zero: Part- Time Hero”. The show follows Penn Zero, an ordinary boy and a part-time hero who is sent into various dimensions to finish adventures other heroes have left unfinished.

The creators of the show, Jared Bush and Sam J. Levine, wanted a character driven show that allowed them to dive into bizarre worldly settings while the characters figure out who they are and they how they work together.

Animated films from the 1950s and 1960s influenced the shows unique vintage look. The show’s creators also wanted a more abstract and textured look like that of studios like UPA and early Hanna-Barbera. Mercury Filmworks worked alongside Levine and Bush to come up with their ideal look and feel for the show. Characters and backgrounds were given paintbrush strokes in order to achieve that distinctive style, and extensive use was made of CG elements, traditional animated effects and high end compositing techniques. Creating brand new worlds for each episode was a challenging process but the Mercury production crew is singular in its ability to increase a show’s production values for maximum visual impact.

“Casting is another important nut to crack” said Levine and Bush. They were lucky to find Canadian comedian, actor and writer, Thomas Middleditch, to voice Penn Zero. Penn’s tenacious sidekick Sashi, is voices by Tania Gunadi, and Boone, Penn’s goofy best pal is voiced by the hilarious Adam DeVine. Alfred Molina has also lent his voice to the show by playing villain Rippen, whiles his sidekick Larry, is voiced by Larry Wilmore.

The series premiered on Disney XD in February 2015 and aired a pre-Christmas advance episode, to which the response was surprisingly good, Levin and Bush said in a recent interview with Animation Magazine.

Based on the February 2015 issue of Animation Magazine, 18-19.