Saturday, December 8, 2007
In 2002, Knock Knock produced two shorts for the Cartoon Network, Longhair and Doubledome's "Where There is Smoke...There's Bob" and the fatally flawed Maktar. Maktar got hammered in the online forums as a bad "rip-off" of Invader Zim and rightfully so. Maktar ended up being very close to "Zim" but it was never meant to be that way. The original concept was entitled "Maktar and the Hickuloids" and included a group of alien "hicks" that accompanied Maktar on his quest to prove himself. During production it became clear that there was no way to create a pilot that would provide adequate exposition of the story and the characters in 7 minutes. We requested to do an 11 minute short. When we were told by the Network that we must keep to the 7 minute format, the Hickuloids had to be cut from the cartoon. It was a miraculous bit of editing, but completely changed the concept of the show. Unfortunately, the "rip-off" was born. Ironically, the next year the Network allowed 11 minute shorts and that would have saved the "Hickuloids". Oh well. I do not blame the Cartoon Network or anyone else for any of this, it was just not meant to be. As many an animator knows, this business is predicated on being at the "right place at the right time" and Maktar is a stellar example of the opposite. Overall, I am glad that Maktar did not succeed, I am better for it.