Choosing the right story to tell can be just as important as telling a story well, and there are few stories as deserving of the spotlight as that of Ruby Bridges, whose historic achievement as the first black child to attend a formerly all-white school was matched only by her bravery in doing so— and it’s for both these reasons that she’s the star of “Bridges”, the pilot episode of Our Heroes Rock, a hopefully soon-to-be series that Something’s Awry Productions had the pleasure of working on. Conceived as a hip-hop odyssey through black history, Our Heroes Rock is an animated series that shines a spotlight on history’s unsung heroes of color through infectious music, stunning 3D animation, and a family-friendly, sci-fi-flavored narrative designed to appeal to both parents and kids alike. The project was written and directed by our frequent collaborator, award-winning artist and narrative designer Jonathan Davenport. The Our Heroes Rock team also includes award-winning sports and cultural historian Andreas Hale and world-renowned talent and TV personality Ettore Ewen (“Big E” in the ring!). In addition, the short features a new song by Grammy-nominated artist Rapsody and musical score by our amazing composers Dan Rufulo and Adam Kromelow, with 2D art design by Angelica Agelviz and Andrew Cremeans. The talented VO actors (including Big E as a giant robot tour guide- ETour) were cast and recorded by Paula Gammon Wilson.
When it came to developing and realizing the look of the series, Something’s Awry had just the man for the job. Our creative director Kris Theorin, directing the talented crew at Toonz Media, created the vibrant 3D animation you’ll see in Our Heroes Rock, as well as handled all aspects of cinematography, editing, texturing, and sound design, while our Producer Amy Theorin oversaw the project from start to finish. Almost three years in the making!
“When we first set out to make ‘Bridges’ we could only hope the animation would be as powerful as the message we were trying to convey,” said Jonathan Davenport. “All too often, if the art doesn’t match the strength of the message, it can fall on deaf ears. Something’s Awry brought our vision to life in ways we only dreamed of and made our Ruby Bridges story significantly more impactful than we anticipated. Our little engine that could became a powerful locomotive that is now an NAACP Image Award nominee. And so much of that is thanks to the brilliance of Something’s Awry.”
We’re grateful to have worked with so many talented teams and individuals to bring “Bridges” to life, but more than anything we’ve been touched seeing all the pictures of classrooms full of children watching and experiencing the film for the first time at school. You too can watch the first episode of Our Heroes Rock on YouTube using this link, and experience the magic of animation, hip-hop, and the right story well told.