As if My Name Is Earl isn’t cartoony enough, the hit comedy will literally become animated for November sweeps.
For the very special episode airing on November 16th, all the main characters– Earl, Randy, Joy, Darnell and Catalina– were created as 12-inch puppets by the people who brought The Nightmare Before Christmas and The PJs to life.
The resulting two-minute stop-motion segment will look like claymation, but the puppets are actually made of silicone (the only clay parts are the eyelids; the lips are made of wax to allow more play with the dialogue). The silicone, believe it or not, led to a problem in animating one specific set of body parts: Joy’s breasts.
The animators couldn’t get them to jiggle.
“I couldn’t get them to move very well because they were covered in hard silicone,” animator Joe Mello says, describing a condition that sounds surprisingly similar to the type of cheap bob job that Jaime Pressly’s character might sport. “I had to slice all around them and dig some out.”
The animators say their real mission was to push the cartoonish performances even further– like giving Jason Lee’s mustache a life of its own.
So why stop-mo? We don’t want to give too much away, but one of the characters in the episode has an accident and starts seeing everything in stop-motion. Christian Slater guest stars.
There’s more technical detail to the animation process than we need to know. Read all about it in Animation Magazine.
And if you’re planning to set your recorder, know that this episode will be two minutes longer than the average Earl.