Bert and Jennifer Klein have released a brand new episode of Pups of Liberty entitled, “The Dog-claration of Independence”. Pups of Liberty is animated beautifully, with great backgrounds and historical stories from American History. They cover the American Founders, the Revolution, Colonial America, Congress and the Declaration of Independence. A must watch! I recently asked if they would do an interview for our site and they agreed. Enjoy!

Do you have plans on making more Pups of Liberty episodes?
We have always envisioned Pups of Liberty as an open ended series where we follow our main character Anne through the American Revolution. The first episode is called “The Boston Tea-Bone Party”. The latest episode we have just completed is called “The Dog-claration of Independence”. The next episode would cover George Washington (“Woofington”) and the war.

Pups of Liberty Poster
Pups of Liberty Poster

What was the inspiration for the series?
One inspiration was the great educational films Disney used to make, like “Donald in Mathmagic Land”. We always liked the idea of using animation to teach students in an engaging way, so that they will remember what they watched and want to learn more about it. Jennifer has a love for history, and wanted to tell a great story from a child’s point of view. We also knew that we wanted to do it all with hand drawn animation as it matched the historical tone of the film, and would give us a chance to work with these great artists again.

Bonejamin Franklin Turn Around
Bonejamin Franklin Turn Around Model Sheet

Jennifer did an initial sketch for fun of cats dressed as pilgrims, and that evolved into the Pups as they are now. At first it was going to be a storybook but she got so excited about the characters and ideas that it quickly became a short film.

Jefferhound Film Still
Jefferhound Film Still

What is your process for creating the episodes? Do you use Cintiqs or animate traditionally on paper? Or a combination of the two?
We start with a script, which includes a lot of historical research and input from our consultant historian and educators. Then we move on to storyboards (which are either Cintiq or paper depending on the artist), and then to voice recording. All animation is done traditionally on paper, as is the cleanup. Backgrounds and Ink & Paint are all digital.

Spaniel Adams Facial Model Sheet
Spaniel Adams Facial Model Sheet

How many artists and animators have been involved?
We have been fortunate to have some of the best in the business provide animation for the Pups of Liberty films. Mark Henn, Dale Baer, Ruben Aquino, Tony Derosa, Eric Goldberg, and Frans Vischer are just a few of the great animators we’ve had the joy to work with. Using the art form of Disney quality storytelling with full hand drawn animation is an essential part of what makes Pups of Liberty special.

Woofington Film Still
Woofington Film Still

Is it hard producing independent animation? What are some of the challenges you faced?
Yes, it is very hard but also very rewarding. Typical challenges of production are unavoidable, such as deadlines. Finding the right balance of drama, education, and entertainment in a short subject is challenging. Seeing beautiful hand drawn animation being produced by legends like Mark Henn and Dale Baer were absolute high points in making this film, and we’ve been privileged to see these artists practice their craft.

Franklin Film Still
Franklin Film Still

Pups of Liberty has a great educational premise, are they being used in schools to teach students American History?
The Pups of Liberty films are used as “teaching units” in well over 10,000 schools across the country. They are distributed free to schools by education resource provider izzit.org on DVD and are now also available for free streaming on youtube, Vimeo, and an Izzit Roku channel. The teaching unit DVD’s include an education curriculum which includes tests and even homework. It is humbling to us that kids across America are taught history with our films and are doing classwork and homework based on Pups of Liberty. The coloring and activity book is great for both the home and the classroom, and is designed to be a teaching companion but also a fun activity book.

Bonejamin Franklin Facial Model Sheet
Bonejamin Franklin Facial Model Sheet

How can your fans and educators get involved?
Several ways:
1. “Like” our Pups of Liberty Facebook Page for updates that include animation tests, artwork, and more.

2. Watch the Pups of Liberty episodes for free on Youtube and leave comments.

Episode 1:

Behind the Scenes: “The Dog-claration of Independence”

3. Purchase our new 48 page Pups of Liberty coloring and activity book. It is a great gift for any time of the year! Pups of Liberty Activity Book on Amazon

4. Tell any teachers and Homeschooling parents you know about Pups. They can view it on YouTube or get free Pups DVDS and teaching guides from our distributor at Izzit.org

Thanks again for the interview Bert and Jennifer!
 

“Call to Order” Pencil Test:


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The Author

Lavalle Lee

Lavalle Lee

Lavalle has been making animated online cartoons since 2001 for his website flashcartoons.org. In 2009 Lavalle started learning from Don Bluth in his hand-drawn animation classes, as well as attending his Masterclasses in Arizona. In 2011 he started this website after seeing most animation sites were about all types of animation, not any specific to classical hand drawn animation. Lavalle also is the host of the popular online series. "The Traditional Animation Show". Lavalle is currently working for Don Bluth Films as a Production Manager and helped champion Dragon's Lair: The Movie Indiegogo crowd-funding campaign.

3 Comments

  1. Matthew Koh
    November 29, 2015 at 7:10 pm — Reply

    I wonder if there’s a crowdfunding campaign for the third episode.

    Now that’s something I would like to back!

  2. November 30, 2015 at 3:17 am — Reply

    That Ben Franklin reminds me of Deputy Dawg 🙂

  3. November 30, 2015 at 7:19 pm — Reply

    …nice….

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