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Secret Mountain Fort Awesome

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Secret Mountain Fort Awesome
The phrase "Secret Mountain Fort Awesome" in a bold, black and raggedy typeface
Genre Comedy
Created by Peter Browngardt
Story by
  • Peter Browngardt
  • David P. Smith
  • Dave Tennant
  • Fred Belford (7 episodes)
Directed by See § Production
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 Cartoon Network
Warner Bros. Television Distribution
Release
Original network Cartoon Network
Original release August 1, 2011 (2011-08-01) – March 29, 2012 (2012-03-29)
Chronology
Related shows Uncle Grandpa
External links
Website

Secret Mountain Fort Awesome is an American animated television series created by Peter Browngardt that debuted in 2011 on Cartoon Network. The show revolves around a fraternity of five monsters who unleash wild stunts upon the public from their eponymous mountain fort. The show is loosely based on the antagonists that appeared in Browngardt's animated short, Uncle Grandpa, and employs Mike Conte of the heavy metal band Early Man as composer.

The show premiered as a sneak peek on Cartoon Network on August 1, 2011, and had a formal premiere September 26, 2011. The show has been well received, and designers Robertryan Cory and Chris Tsirgiotis both won awards for "Outstanding Individual in Animation" at the 64th Primetime Emmy Awards ceremony. The Uncle Grandpa short that Browngardt had produced was eventually adapted as a full series of the same name, which he felt was a more lighthearted adaptation for children.

The series last aired on February 17, 2012, with the remaining episodes being dumped off on ITunes from March 8-29, 2012.

Plot[edit]

The five main monsters of the series, show together in their living room, facing the viewer
The main characters of the show; clockwise from left: Slog, Festro, the Fart, Dingle and Gweelok

A fivesome of monsters known as the Disgustoids are banished from society due to their unruly behavior and grotesque appearances. From their sentient and eponymous mountain fort, they unleash crazy stunts on the public. Their leader, a purple, tusked creature named Festro (voiced by Peter Browngardt), is a macho party animal willing to do anything to help out his group, even when his help is less than desired. Dingle (also voiced by Browngardt), scrawny and blue, acts as their faithful pet, intelligible only to the group. Slog (voiced by Steve Little), a black-furred monster, is likewise blindly loyal, but lacks critical judgement skills—the more hazardous something is, the more likely he will be to follow it. Gweelok (voiced by Paul Rugg), an acned green ball, has a demanding attitude and an obsession with technology. The Fart (voiced by Pat Duke), a monster made of buttocks who flatulates when touched—is the most sensitive and levelheaded of the group.

Episodes[edit]

Season 1 (2011)[edit]

Secret Mountain Fort Awesome season 1 episodes
No. in
series
No. in
season
Title Written and storyboarded by Story by Original air date Prod.
code
U.S. viewers
(in millions)
1 1 "Teleport-A-Potty" Audie Harrison Dave Tennant, Fred Belford,
Pete Browngardt, and David P. Smith
August 1, 2011 (2011-08-01) 102 1.815[1]
When Gweelok builds a teleport-a-potty, Festro and the monsters search for a place where pizza grows on trees. But when Festro went to go "boom boom" and flushed the teleport-a-potty, the monsters get stuck in another universe where they have to defeat an evil villain named Helmethead in order to reclaim the toilet of the land.
2 2 "Monster Cops" Clay Morrow, Chris Reccardi,
Noel Belknap, and Brett Varon
Dave Tennant, Fred Belford,
Pete Browngardt, and David P. Smith
September 26, 2011 (2011-09-26) 101[2] 1.343[3]
The Disgustoids disguise themselves as cops so they can walk on the surface, but whilst The Fart wants to follow the duties of a cop, all Festro, Gweelok, Dingle, and Slog want to do is pump up the jams.
3 3 "Secret Mountain Fort Love" Clay Morrow, Noel Belknap,
and Brett Varon
Dave Tennant, Fred Belford,
Pete Browngardt, and David P. Smith
October 3, 2011 (2011-10-03) 103[4] 1.580[5]
The Disgustoids are delighted when Secret Mountain Fort Awesome comes to life and starts wrecking havok on the surface world, but when Fort falls in love with another mountain, Festro tries to break up the relationship, but ends up having to repair his broken heart.
4 4 "The Bet" Mike Stern Dave Tennant, Pete Browngardt,
and David P. Smith
October 10, 2011 (2011-10-10) 202[4] 1.567[6]
The monsters bet Gweelok that if he used the Internet within 24 hours, he would have to stop using it at all times so he can hang out with them forever and ever.
5 5 "Nightmare Sauce" Audie Harrison Dave Tennant, Fred Belford,
Pete Browngardt, and David P. Smith
October 17, 2011 (2011-10-17) 203[4] 1.355[7]
Gweelok invents a special sauce to help Festro get rid of his nightmares, but after Festro overdoses on the batch, it causes his bad dreams to run amok in the real world.
6 6 "What It Do, Nephew" Brett Varon Dave Tennant, Fred Belford,
Pete Browngardt, and David P. Smith
November 4, 2011 (2011-11-04) 201[4] N/A
When Festro's nephews pay a visit to the fort, they turn out to be complete wimps, so the gang teaches them how to be "rude crude dudes with attitude", but their efforts go too far.
7 7 "The 6th Disgustoid" Audie Harrison Dave Tennant, Pete Browngardt,
and David P. Smith
November 11, 2011 (2011-11-11) 206[8] N/A
After giving all the gang's money to a deposed prince from Nawibawabi, Gweelok needs to find money to pay the fort rent. The Disgustoids try to find a new roommate, but it turns out that she is the prince from Nawibawabi.
8 8 "Secret Mountain Fart Awesome" Ian Jones-Quartey Dave Tennant, Fred Belford,
Pete Browngardt, and David P. Smith
November 18, 2011 (2011-11-18) 204[8] 0.970
The bros make 1,000 The Fart clones after looking through his diary of juicy secrets, so they try to get rid of them before the real Fart finds out.
9 9 "The Broken Chair" Mike Stern Dave Tennant, Pete Browngardt,
and David P. Smith
December 9, 2011 (2011-12-09) 207[9] N/A
When Festro's favourite chair is destroyed, he tries to find out who did it.
10 10 "7,002"
"'Secret' Mountain"
Ian Jones-Quartey Dave Tennant, Pete Browngardt,
and David P. Smith
December 16, 2011 (2011-12-16) 208[9] N/A
The Disgustoids discover that their newly repaired Megavision has the ability to see into the future.

Season 2 (2011–12)[edit]

Secret Mountain Fort Awesome season 2 episodes
No. in
series
No. in
season
Title Written and storyboarded by Story by Original air date Prod.
code
11 1 "Party Slog" Chris Reccardi, Brett Varon,
Clay Morrow, and Noel Belknap
Dave Tennant, Fred Belford,
Pete Browngardt, and David P. Smith
December 30, 2011 (2011-12-30) 104[9]
Every time the Disgustoids have a party, Slog turns into "Party Slog" which annoys the bros, but when trouble strikes they need him to do so.
12 2 "Road Trippin'" Greg Miller Dave Tennant, Pete Browngardt,
and David P. Smith
January 6, 2012 (2012-01-06) 205[9]
The Disgustoids go on a road trip.
13 3 "Dingle Come Home" Brett Varon Dave Tennant, Fred Belford,
Pete Browngardt, and David P. Smith
January 13, 2012 (2012-01-13) 105[9]
When Dingle abandons his friends they try to get him to come home.
14 4 "Colonel Monster's Monster Time Pizza
Palace"
Audie Harrison TBA January 20, 2012 (2012-01-20) 213[9]
When Festro finds out about a place called "Colonel Monster's Monster Time Pizza Palace" he goes there only to get trapped by the people who go there.
15 5 "President The Fart" Mike Stern TBA January 27, 2012 (2012-01-27) 214[9]
The Fart is elected as the Disgustoids' new leader when everyone tires of being bossed around by Festro.
16 6 "Secret Mountain Uncle Grandpa" Pete Browngardt and Audie Harrison TBA February 3, 2012 (2012-02-03) 215[9]
Uncle Grandpa shows up at a lame birthday party and tries to make it cool.
Note: This is one of the Season 2 episodes of Secret Mountain Fort Awesome, but was another pilot for a new spin-off series called Uncle Grandpa.
17 7 "Festro Gets Glasses" Stephen DeStefano TBA February 10, 2012 (2012-02-10) 209[10]
Festro gets glasses so he can look smarter, but he thinks wearing glasses means "smort".
18 8 "Funstro" Greg Miller and Chad Coyle TBA February 17, 2012 (2012-02-17) 107[10]
Festro experiences a personality change after getting an aching tooth pulled out.
Guest star: Dee Snider as The Tooth Fairy.
19 9 "Labyrinth" Ian Jones-Quartey TBA March 8, 2012 (2012-03-08) (iTunes) 216[10]
When Gweelok wishes that Jerry, the Goblin King, would come take his annoying friends away, he realizes how much he misses them and has to enter the twisted world of the Labyrinth to rescue them. This is the first time that Gweelok has legs for dancing.
20 10 "Gweelok Cracks" Brett Varon, Greg Miller,
and Chris Reccardi
TBA March 8, 2012 (2012-03-08) (iTunes) 110[10]
Gweelok is excited to meet his science idol, but grows more and more frustrated when he starts taking an interest in Festro.
21 11 "Stealing the Sun" Greg Miller and Chad Coyle TBA March 15, 2012 (2012-03-15) (iTunes) 108
When the Disgustoids steal the sun and bring it underground, all the elderly people follow.
22 12 "5 Disgustoids and a Baby" Pete Browngardt and Greg Miller Dave Tennant, Pete Browngardt,
and David P. Smith
March 15, 2012 (2012-03-15) (iTunes) 106
Festro learns the joys and horrors of parenting when Dingle steals Ham Sandwich (from Uncle Grandpa) and gives him to him for his birthday.
23 13 "Family Lies" Brett Varon TBA March 22, 2012 (2012-03-22) (iTunes) 210
While travelling to Dingle's family reunion, numerous setbacks keep Dingle and The Fart from making it, until The Fart realizes that Dingle is sabotaging their trip.
24 14 "Wrestlemaniacs" Chris Reccardi and Audie Harrison TBA March 22, 2012 (2012-03-22) (iTunes) 109
Festro and The Fart take up wrestling and become hugely popular, all in the name of a single french fry.
25 15 "Just for Kicks" Audie Harrison TBA March 29, 2012 (2012-03-29) (iTunes) 211
Festro goes on a quest to Alaska for some Velcro shoes.
26 16 "Secret Mountain Fort Werebaby" Brett Varon TBA March 29, 2012 (2012-03-29) (iTunes) 212
When a werebaby bites all of the Disgustoids but Slog, they start turning cute, so Slog must find a way to cure their affliction and make them disgusting again.

Production[edit]

At their 2011 upfront, Cartoon Network announced Secret Mountain Fort Awesome, along with various other series.[11] Billed as a comedy,[12] the show was created by Browngardt and based on his animated short Uncle Grandpa,[13] which garnered praise, a cult following and an Emmy Award nomination.[14] Both were produced at Cartoon Network Studios.[15] 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 lattermost series began when its creator C.H. Greenblatt looked through one of his pitch bibles that he left at the studio.[16]

The show 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 on the title character, and felt the monster characters from the pilot had more potential. Character designer Robertryan Cory and David P. Smith (a director and storyboard artist on Dexter's Laboratory and The Powerpuff Girls) were brought on board to help shape the project's development.

In an interview with Cartoon Brew, Browngardt called the process of pitching his pilot an "amazing learning experience" because it allowed him to propose an idea to the network and see "how it can manipulate and change while you're working on it".[13] On the show, animation veteran Chris Reccardi served as creative director, whilst Sue Mondt (who had previously art directed Cartoon Network's Camp Lazlo) handled art direction and Robert Alvarez with Larry Leichliter directed the animation.[17] Browngardt depicted the production schedule as "really tight", which called for them to manage their time and to pick their battles with the network.[16]

In the United States, the show is rated TV-PG.[12] Referring to his encounters with the network regarding content, Browngardt learned to let go and find the "right balance", as well as to ask himself, "Is my grandma going to notice this?"[16] 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",[18] was originally added to the animatics as a rough draft. Browngardt found that it harmonized with the imagery and what he envisioned for the design.[13] Conte noted Browngardt's inspirations from Garbage Pail Kids and Don Martin of Mad magazine, but called the result "definitely its own thing".[18]

Broadcast and reception[edit]

Secret Mountain premiered on August 1, 2011 on Cartoon Network as part of a sneak preview;[19] this broadcast was seen by 1.8 million viewers.[20] It premiered formally on September 26 as part of their Monday night programming block,[15] where it was seen by 1.3 million viewers, marking a slight decrease from the previous broadcast.[21] The show was moved to Fridays upon its second season premiere on December 30, 2011.[22] Following the premiere of the eighth episode of the season on February 17, 2012, the show was pulled from broadcast. The network published the remaining eight episodes through iTunes a month later, from March 8 to March 29, thus concluding the show.[23]

Many critics were complimentary in regards to the series' art style. In his website Lineboil, Aaron Simpson compared it to Garbage Pail Kids and the works of Don Martin, two elements of his childhood.[24] Amid Amidi of Cartoon Brew called Robertryan Cory's character designs "impressive" and "distinctively styled", though he felt the art style's complexity made the limited animation quality suffer as a result.[25] Abby Koenig of Houston Press compared its "ridiculous" nature to the film Little Monsters, and proposed that Howie Mandel (featured in the latter work) guest voice a monster on the show.[26] Shannon O'Leary of Publishers Weekly wrote that the show, along with others on the network such as Adventure Time and Superjail!, bore resemblance to the aesthetics of established independent comics artists.[27] Meanwhile, Jason Krell of io9 considered it a failure despite its influences from Adventure Time, which made way for many successful original series on the network.[28]

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[29]), and at the 64th Primetime Emmy Awards, where Cory and Chris Tsirgiotis were awarded "Outstanding Individual in Animation".[30] 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".[31] 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".[32]

Spin-off[edit]

After Secret Mountain Fort Awesome got axed, the Cartoonstitute's original Uncle Grandpa short that Browngardt produced was adapted as a full series of the same name.[13] A its preview was shown as part of Cartoon Network's shorts development initiative.[33] The series revolves around the title character, who is simultaneously the grandfather and uncle of everyone in the world.[34] 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 [sic] sort of a happier place, though it does go dark and heavy at times".[13]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Futon Critic Staff, The (August 4, 2011). "Monday's Cable Ratings: "Pawn Stars" Takes Demos, "The Closer" Wins Total Viewers". TheFutonCritic.com. Retrieved July 18, 2012. 
  2. ^ {Shadow} (August 27, 2011). "Cartoon Network September 2011 Premiere Info". ToonZone. Retrieved July 18, 2012. 
  3. ^ Futon Critic Staff, The (September 27, 2011). "Monday's Cable Ratings: "MNF" Keeps ESPN Unstoppable". TheFutonCritic.com. Retrieved July 18, 2012. 
  4. ^ a b c d {Shadow} (September 27, 2011). "Cartoon Network October 2011 Premiere Info". ToonZone. Retrieved July 18, 2012. 
  5. ^ "Monday's Cable Ratings: "MNF" Gets It Done for ESPN". The Futon Critic. October 4, 2011. Retrieved October 4, 2011. 
  6. ^ "Monday's Cable Ratings: "MNF" Posts Second Largest Audience of Season". The Futon Critic. October 12, 2011. Retrieved October 13, 2011. 
  7. ^ Futon Critic Staff, The (October 18, 2011). "Monday's Cable Ratings: "MNF" Goes Untouched for ESPN". TheFutonCritic.com. Retrieved July 18, 2012. 
  8. ^ a b {Shadow} (October 29, 2011). "Cartoon Network November 2011 Premiere Info". ToonZone. Retrieved July 18, 2012. 
  9. ^ a b c d e f g h {Shadow} (December 28, 2011). "Cartoon Network January 2012 Premiere Info". ToonZone. Retrieved July 18, 2012. 
  10. ^ a b c d {Shadow} (January 28, 2012). "Cartoon Network February 2012 Premiere Info". ToonZone. Retrieved July 18, 2012. 
  11. ^ Andreeva 2011.
  12. ^ a b TV Guide (a).
  13. ^ a b c d e Amidi 2013.
  14. ^ Zahed 2011, p. 45; Television Academy.
  15. ^ a b Milligan 2011.
  16. ^ a b c Zahed 2011, p. 45.
  17. ^ Turner Broadcasting System & 2011–12.
  18. ^ a b Neilstein 2011.
  19. ^ Constant Contact 2011.
  20. ^ The Futon Critic 2011a.
  21. ^ The Futon Critic 2011b.
  22. ^ TV Guide (b).
  23. ^ iTunes Store.
  24. ^ Simpson 2011.
  25. ^ Amidi 2011.
  26. ^ Koenig 2012.
  27. ^ O'Leary 2012.
  28. ^ Krell 2014.
  29. ^ Annecy International Animated Film Festival.
  30. ^ Television Academy 2012, p. 10.
  31. ^ Annie Awards 2011, pp. 16, 39.
  32. ^ Annie Awards 2013, p. 5.
  33. ^ Next Generation of Animation - Behind The Scenes | Geek Week | Cartoon Network - YouTube
  34. ^ McLean 2012.

Works cited[edit]

External links[edit]