Secret Mountain Fort Awesome

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Secret Mountain Fort Awesome
SMFAtitle card.jpg
  • Comedy
  • Adventure
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)
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
Original channel Cartoon Network
Original run August 1, 2011 (2011-08-01)  – February 17, 2012 (2012-02-17)
Related shows Uncle Grandpa
External links

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.


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

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

Festro (voiced by Peter Browngardt) is the main leader of the group; he has purple skin with green eyes, and only wears his underwear 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 group.


At their 2011 upfront, Cartoon Network announced Secret Mountain Fort Awesome along with various other series.[1] The series was created by Browngardt and based of his animated short Uncle Grandpa,[2] which garnered praise, a cult following and an Emmy Award nomination.[3] Meanwhile, production was done at Cartoon Network Studios.[4] 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.[5]

The series borrows elements 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."[2] Browngardt depicted the production schedule as "really tight," which called for them to manage their time and to pick their battles with the network.[5]

In the United States, the series is rated TV-PG.[6] Referring to his encounters with the network over content, Browngardt learned to let go and find the "right balance", as well as to question to himself, "Is my grandma going to notice this?"[5] 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."[2] 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,[4] 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, 2012.[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 was also nominated at the 39th Annie Awards for "Character Design in a Television Production", while Tsirgiotis, Sue Mondt, Daniel Elson and Mark Bodnar collectively won "Production Design in a Television Production".[17] 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]


Main article: Uncle Grandpa

The Uncle Grandpa short that Browngardt had produced was eventually adapted as a full series of the same name,[2] 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."[2]


Work cited[edit]

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