Image Credit: Nickelodeon
Sanjay and Craig manages a neat trick: On one hand, it’s a quick-paced, eminently GIF-able product of the Internet age that stars actors from cool-comedy touchstones like 30 Rock and Arrested Development. On the other, it’s a clear throwback to a simpler time.
The cartoon’s specific brand of gross-out humor (as well as its title) evokes classic ’90s shows like Ren and Stimpy and Beavis and Butthead. Its premise — “kid and his talking animal best friend have active fantasy life, wild adventures” — is a slightly updated take on Calvin and Hobbes. Its format — a half-hour featuring two different mini-episode — hearkens back to the Nicktoons of old. And its team knows more than a thing or two about pre-millennial entertainment: The show is executive produced by Will McRobb and Chris Viscardi, the creators of beloved flannel-era touchstone Pete & Pete.
But while Sanjay‘s young creators did grow up watching the Golden Age of Nickelodeon — and ordering copies of Pete & Pete‘s theme song “off the back of a box of Life cereal” — they say their show isn’t a conscious callback to that era. “We’re just making the cartoon we wanted to make,” says animator Jim Dirschberger, who brought Sanjay to life along with Jay Howell and Andreas Trolf. “The sensibilities from older Nick shows tie into what we’re up to, but this is entirely our own new, good thing.”
So, what exactly are Dirschberger, Howell, and Trolf up to? Check out this exclusive clip to find out — and learn more about the method to their madness by reading the interview below.
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