Secret Mountain Fort Awesome

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Secret Mountain Fort Awesome
Secret Mountain Fort Awesome logotype.svg
Genre
  • Comedy
  • Animated[1]
Created by Peter Browngardt
Directed by
Creative director(s) Chris Reccardi
Voices of
Composer(s) Mike Conte
Country of origin United States
Original language(s) English
No. of seasons 2
No. of episodes 26 (List of episodes)
Production
Executive producer(s)
  • Peter Browngardt
  • David P. Smith
Producer(s) Pernelle Hayes
Running time 11 minutes
Production company(s) Cartoon Network Studios
Distributor Warner Bros. Television
Broadcast
Original channel Cartoon Network
Original run August 1, 2011 (2011-08-01)  – February 17, 2012 (2012-02-17)
Chronology
Related shows Uncle Grandpa
External links
Website

Secret Mountain Fort Awesome is an American animated television series created by Peter Browngardt for Cartoon Network. The series revolves around a group of five monsters as they live in their eponymous mountain to unleash wild stunts to the outside world. It is loosely based off Browngardt's animated short, Uncle Grandpa, which attracted praise and an Emmy Award nomination. It employed Mike Conte of the heavy metal band Early Man as composer.

The series premiered as a sneak peek on Cartoon Network on August 1, 2011, and later as a formal premiere on September 26 of the same year. The series received multiple accolades, including two at the 64th Primetime Emmy Awards. The Uncle Grandpa short that Browngardt had produced was eventually adapted as a full series of the same name, which he felt as a more lighthearted adaption for children.

Plot[edit]

The main characters of the series; from left to right: Slog, the Fart, Festro, Gweelok and Dingle

The series centers around a group of five monsters named the Disgustoids: Festro, Dingle, Slog, Gweelok and the Fart. Due to their grotesque appearances and wild behavior, the Disgustoids are shunby society and are forced to live underground at Secret Mountain Fort Awesome. From this place, they unleash their antics upon the public.

Festro (voiced by Peter Browngardt) is the main leader of the group; he has purple skin with green eyes, two tusks protruding from his mouth, and wears only his underpants and a pair of tennis shoes. Dingle (also voiced by Browngardt) is a scrawny blue creature who acts as a pet to the group. Slog (Steve Little) is a monster with black fur, an orange shirt and a human nose brimming with mucus. Gweelok (Paul Rugg) is a green ball with acne, who is the smartest of the Disgustoids and is obsessed with technology. The Fart (Pat Duke) is a monster made of human buttocks, who farts upon being touched or by dancing; he is the most sane and sensitive of the Disgustoids.

Production[edit]

At their 2011 upfront, Cartoon Network announced Secret Mountain Fort Awesome along with various other series.[2] The series was created by Browngardt and based on his animated short Uncle Grandpa,[3] which garnered praise, a cult following and an Emmy Award nomination.[4]:45[5] Meanwhile, production was done at Cartoon Network Studios.[6] Before landing his own show, Browngardt had worked at Augenblick Studios and MTV, as well as on individual programs, such as Futurama, The Marvelous Misadventures of Flapjack and Chowder. Browngardt's work on the last series began when its creator C.H. Greenblatt looked through one of his pitch bibles that he left at the studio.[4]:45

The series borrows elements and its design style from his Uncle Grandpa short, which was pitched to the network as a pilot. According to Browngardt, they were unsure about having a series centered around the identifying protagonist. He called this an "amazing learning experience for the whole process—of pitching something and then seeing how it can manipulate and change while you're working on it."[3] Browngardt depicted the production schedule as "really tight," which called for them to manage their time and to pick their battles with the network.[4]:45

In the United States, the series is rated TV-PG.[1] Referring to his encounters with the network over content, Browngardt learto let go and find the "right balance", as well as to question to himself, "Is my grandma going to notice this?"[4]:45 For the music, Mike Conte of the heavy metal band Early Man was employed as composer. The score, which incorporates heavy metal elements and "lots of riffage,"[7] was originally put in to the animatics as a rough draft. Browngardt found that it harmonized with the imagery and "what I was going for with the design."[3] Conte noted Browngardt's inspirations from Garbage Pail Kids and Don Martin of Mad magazine but called the result "definitely its own thing."[7]

Broadcast and reception[edit]

Secret Mountain premiered on August 1, 2011 on Cartoon Network, as part of a sneak preview;[8] this broadcast was seen by 1.8 million viewers.[9] It premiered formally on September 26 as part of their Monday night programming block,[6] where it was seen by 1.3 million viewers, marking a slight decrease from the previous broadcast.[10] In a positive review of the show, Aaron Simpson of Lineboil was reminded of Garbage Pail Kids and the works of Don Martin, two elements of his childhood.[11] Amid Amidi of Cartoon Brew called its character designs by Robert Ryan Cory "impressive" and "distinctively styled".[12] The series was moved to Thursdays upon its second season premiere on December 30, 2011.[13] The remaining eight episodes of the season were published on iTunes from March 8 to March 29, 2014.[14]

The episode "Nightmare Sauce" received multiple accolades, including at the 2012 Annecy International Animated Film Festival for "Best TV Production" (of which Browngardt was the recipient[15]) and at the 64th Primetime Emmy Awards, where Cory and Chris Tsirgiotis were awarded "Outstanding Individual in Animation".[16] Cory also won at the 39th Annie Awards for "Character Design in a Television Production", while Tsirgiotis, Sue Mondt, Daniel Elson and Mark Bodnar were collectively awarded "Production Design in a Television Production".[17]:16, 39 At the 40th Annie Awards, Thaddeus Paul Couldron was nominated for "Character Design in an Animated Television or Other Broadcast Venue Production" for his work on the episode "Secret Mountain Uncle Grandpa".[18]:5

Legacy[edit]

Main article: Uncle Grandpa

The Uncle Grandpa short that Browngardt had produced was eventually adapted as a full series of the same name,[3] developed as part of the network's shorts development initiative at Cartoon Network. The series revolves around the titular character, who is simultaneously the grandfather and uncle of everyone in the world.[19] Browngardt explained that while the new series would retain some aspects of Secret Mountain, it would be a more lighthearted adaption for children. He ultimately expressed that he wanted "more variety in the music and be able to go sort of a happier place, though it does go dark and heavy at times."[3]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "Secret Mountain Fort Awesome". TV Guide. CBS Interactive. Archived from the original on September 27, 2014. Retrieved September 27, 2014. 
  2. ^ Andreeva, Nellie (March 23, 2011). "Cartoon Network Announces New Series Slate, DC Nation Block at Upfront". Deadline Hollywood. Penske Media Corporation. Archived from the original on September 27, 2014. Retrieved September 27, 2014. 
  3. ^ a b c d e Amidi, Amid (September 2, 2013). "Interview with Uncle Grandpa Creator Pete Browngardt". Cartoon Brew. Archived from the original on September 27, 2014. Retrieved September 27, 2014. 
  4. ^ a b c d Zahed, Ramin (October 7, 2011). "Rising Stars of Animation: 2011". Animation Magazine 25 (8): 37–46. ISSN 1041-617X. Archived from the original on September 27, 2014. Retrieved September 27, 2014. 
  5. ^ "62nd Primetime Emmys Nominees and Winners". Television Academy. Academy of Television Arts & Sciences. Archived from the original on September 27, 2014. Retrieved September 27, 2014. 
  6. ^ a b Milligan, Mercedes (September 26, 2011). "Secret Mountain Fort Awesome Blows Up CN". Animation Magazine. ISSN 1041-617X. Archived from the original on September 27, 2014. Retrieved September 27, 2014. 
  7. ^ a b Neilstein, Vince (September 26, 2011). "Early Man's Early Mike Composing Metal Cartoon Score". MetalSucks. Archived from the original on September 27, 2014. Retrieved September 27, 2014. 
  8. ^ "Cartoon Network presents a sneak peek episode of Secret Mountain Fort Awesome". Constant Contact. July 28, 2011. Archived from the original on September 27, 2014. Retrieved September 27, 2014. 
  9. ^ The Futon Critic staff writers (August 4, 2011). "Monday's Cable Ratings: Pawn Stars Takes Demos, The Closer Wins Total Viewers". The Futon Critic. Futon Media. Archived from the original on September 27, 2014. Retrieved September 27, 2014. 
  10. ^ The Futon Critic staff writers (September 27, 2011). "Monday's Cable Ratings: MNF Keeps ESPN Unstoppable". The Futon Critic. Futon Media. Archived from the original on September 27, 2014. Retrieved September 27, 2014. 
  11. ^ Simpson, Aaron (September 15, 2011). "Watch Clips from Secret Mountain Fort Awesome". Lineboil. Archived from the original on October 1, 2014. Retrieved October 1, 2014. 
  12. ^ Amidi, Amid (October 3, 2011). "Secret Mountain Fort Awesome Talkback". Cartoon Brew. Archived from the original on September 27, 2014. Retrieved September 27, 2014. 
  13. ^ "Secret Mountain Fort Awesome Season 2 episodes". TV Guide. CBS Interactive. Archived from the original on September 27, 2014. Retrieved September 27, 2014. 
  14. ^ "Secret Mountain Fort Awesome, Season 2". iTunes Store. Apple Inc. Archived from the original on September 27, 2014. Retrieved September 27, 2014. 
  15. ^ "2012—The Cristal for best TV production". Annecy International Animated Film Festival. Archived from the original on September 27, 2014. Retrieved September 27, 2014. 
  16. ^ "64th Annual Primetime Emmy Awards". Television Academy. Academy of Television Arts & Sciences. September 15, 2012. p. 10. Archived from the original on October 2, 2014. Retrieved September 27, 2014. 
  17. ^ "39th Annual Annie Awards". Annie Awards. ASIFA-Hollywood. December 5, 2011. Archived from the original on February 14, 2012. Retrieved August 29, 2014. 
  18. ^ "40th Annual Annie Awards". Annie Awards. ASIFA-Hollywood. February 2, 2013. Archived from the original on February 3, 2013. Retrieved August 29, 2014. 
  19. ^ McLean, Thomas J. (September 11, 2012). "CN Greenlights Steven Universe, Uncle Grandpa Series". Animation Magazine. ISSN 1041-617X. Archived from the original on September 27, 2014. Retrieved September 27, 2014. 

External links[edit]