The first installment of the animated web series based on YouTube star Lucas Cruikshank’s high-pitched, hyperactive, and lovelorn Fred Figglehorn went live on the internet today. It’s Fred’s premiere episode – ‘Fred Gets Adopted’ – features our protagonists’s familiar face in cartooned form scheming for the affection of his classmate Judy.
That premise is nothing new. Fred fans have seen it dozens of times before. Cartooned Fred breaking the fourth wall and talking directly into the camera at the viewers is nothing new either. That’s a staple of online video programming that’s been the basis of Cruickshank’s character since his first video. But what is different about the cartoon version of Fred is that those individuals that find the Chipmunk-frequency of the main character’s voice annoying, the Micro Machine Guy pace of his speech aggravating, and the show’s level of success uncanny may actually like this series.
As a cartoon, Fred works.
That may have something to do with the aniamted Fred’s pedigree.
It’s Fred was developed and written by Kate Boutilier and Eryk Casemiro. They were the showrunners on the classic cartoon programs The Rugrats and The Wild Thornberries and have a keen sense of how to tell stories with wacky human forms that embark on fanciful and realistic adventures in unrealistic and creative ways. Those who are turned off by how weird it may be for a live-action teenager to pretend to be a six-year-old will have trouble feeling weirded out by the animated iteration. In fact, as abnormal as the original Fred series may appear, It’s Fred isn’t even remotely weird by cartoon standards (Read: This isn’t Sponge Bob Squarepants or Powerpuff Girls).
The Collective Digital Studio produced nine episodes of It’s Fred, all of which will follow “the trials and tribulations of the classic Fred characters: Fred, Judy, Fred’s Mom, Kevin and many new characters.” The program stars the voices of Cruikshank as Fred, Jake Weary, Taryn Southern, and Loraine Newman.
New episodes debut each Thursday on Fred’s YouTube channel. You should watch them.