Q&A with Harvey Beaks’ C.H. Greenblatt

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Remember the days of classic Nickelodeon Gold? Where a kid could be strange, crazy, and just be a child? Those days are back in this all around audience pleaser, Harvey Beaks.

With multi-age jokes, it’s a show that any age can watch with glee. And trust me you will be quoting it. (I already am.) We got to chat with the creator of Harvey Beaks, and get his thoughts on the show and his refreshing casting choices.

A mild-mannered bird and his two wild best friends embark on a series of hilarious adventures in Nickelodeon’s brand-new animated series Harvey Beaks, debuting Sunday, March 29, at 7:00p.m. (ET/PT)

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Nerd Reactor: What inspired you to create Harvey Beaks?

C.H. Greenblatt: Harvey is very much based on me as a kid. I was a polite, nearly OCD child who never wanted to break the rules or do things anyway except how they were supposed to be done. I guess that’s a parent’s dream, but it means you create your own excitement since you’re not out getting into trouble. So, I thought it would be fun to pair a character like that with two kids who have never had any rules or guidance. He gets to have someone help him push his boundaries and they get someone that accepts them like a family they never had.

I also wanted to do a show that was a little more emotional and sweet that wasn’t afraid of quiet moments and imperfect endings. This is something I haven’t been able to do on a lot of shows in the past.

NR: You used artists from a quite unusual source. Why take a chance on newcomers, and how did you like this method?

C.H.: It’s similar to how I got my start in the industry. My comics were what got me my job on SpongeBob. So I feel a connection with other comic artists. Tumblr has been a really great way to find new voices. I keep encouraging artists to post as much of their work as they can and slowly build an audience.

I’ve been doing this for a long time, so it’s really invigorating to have new artists to work with. It keeps me excited. Learning from and mentoring the next generation of storytellers is a good reason to come into work everyday.

NR: Kids playing kids is quite unusual on a show nowadays. Why did you feel it was important to go this route?

There’s honesty with kids’ voices that you just can’t replicate. And I wanted this show to capture a feeling of sincerity and innocence of childhood. It was never an option for me not to use kids.

NR: You’re going back to the traditional method of 15-minute blocks; it feels quite nostalgic and awesome. Are there other nostalgic elements to the production?

This is a format I’ve been working in since I started. All the animation is still hand-drawn traditional 2-D animation. We use the computer to color and composite, but it all starts with pencils.

NR: What can new fans look forward to seeing this season on Harvey Beaks?

 Hopefully a show that makes them remembers what it feels like to be a kid. There are lots of silliness and weird things, but there are lots of sweet moments too.

A special first-look of Harvey Beaks “Pe-Choo!” will air next Sunday, March 29th, at 9:30 p.m. ET/PT immediately following the 2015 Kids’ Choice Awards. Tune in for a giggle.

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