As the noisemakers come out and we begin to round the corner into 2023, the urge to look back over your shoulder and dwell on the past year becomes impossible to resist. 2022 gave us plenty of challenges, from the usual nail-biting deadlines and software glitches to working in the (hopefully) waning year of the COVID pandemic, but our days here at Something’s Awry were made brighter by historical heroes, grumpy ghosts, paunchy pirates, looming leprechauns, and the chance to work with some amazing artists, studios and clients! So let’s steal a little glance back, shall we?

Back in March, the year started off with a bang when our Creative Director Kris Theorin won Clinton Jones’s (aka PWNISHER’s) latest 3D community creative challenge: ‘Infinite Journeys’. With more than 2,000 entries, the YouTube contest challenged 3D artists to build their own custom scenes based on only the phrase “infinite journeys” and the stipulation that the animation contain a moving vehicle. Kris won 1st place with “Space Nomblers”, a playful, bite-sized sci-fi scene onboard a spaceship, which led to him giving a seminar at The 3D and Motion Design Show for Maxon later in July. In April, Kris was chosen as one of 12 artists from around the world (and one of only two U.S. participants) to contribute to an ad for Xiaomi phones. In the ad, Chinese Olympic runner Su Bingtian runs through a series of worlds hand-crafted by each of the chosen artists. 

While all this was going on, we were hard at work on Something’s Awry’s next short, our sweet and spooky animated film “Grump in the Night”. The film, about a father facing off against a grumpy ghost who just wants to watch TV, premiered in May and has since been shown at the Chicago International Film Festival, Portland Film Festival, Hollyshorts, and other film festivals around the world.

Next, hot off the heels of summer, we took to the seas to create a swashbuckling pirate toy commercial in September for Blackbeard’s Treasure, a game by VanGo Toys. Pirates scramble across the salt-sodden deck amidst a storm to collect their dice and unlock the treasure chest in this raucous, vibrantly-animated ad. Our characters and graphics even feature in the rulebook and on the game’s box art, if you have young ones we highly recommend it!

And speaking of mischief, we capped the year off in October with the surprise release of our latest and scariest animated film to date, “Unlucky Charms”. Remember the childhood joy of finding a toy at the bottom of your cereal box? “Unlucky Charms” takes that joy and turns it to horror as a cashier comes face-to-face with a tall and nasty cereal mascot who is anything but lucky. Just in time for Halloween, our little short went low-key viral thanks in large part to YouTuber CoryxKenshin, who posted a reaction video to his channel and boosted our subscriber count from 15,000 to 115,000 in just five days. Amazing! Thanks, Cory! You’ll be able to watch “Unlucky Charms”on other platforms early next year!

Of course, between the commercials, our shorts and the holidays, the Something’s Awry team has been busy with other projects that aren’t quite ready yet for the spotlight but we can’t wait to show you what we have in store! Our work continues with WWE superstar Big E, Jonathan Davenport and Andreas Hale on Our Heroes Rock!, a 3D animated family series that explores the Heroes of Black History through Hip-Hop and Science Fiction, and is shaping up for the release of its epic (and catchy) pilot episode. Additionally, we have two original series of our own in development: Drive! Cal Gal Drive!, about a wild-child rideshare driver and a calculating AI heroine in Neo California, and The Mad Mysteries of Mary & Marsha, a supernatural comedy-mystery based on our award-winning short film, “Mary & Marsha in the Manor of Madness”. On top of all of that, we’ve been honored to have been asked to pass on some of our tips and tricks about our unique workflow in several interviews for outlets in the U.S., China, the Philippines, and London

It’s been one rollercoaster of a year for Something’s Awry and we are grateful for this moment before New Year’s to look back on the work we’ve done and relax with family and friends. We are ready to meet 2023 head on with the hopes of new challenges, partnerships and projects that will blow you away!

Happy New Year to all!

Animation of family looking behind a TV in shock