The Shapes is an animated kid’s comedy series following the misadventures of a raucous cartoon band.

Produced by Mad Kids, the series pokes fun at the restrictive expectations of the music industries upon musicians.

Your series is primarily a children’s series but it also seems to be a critique on the oppressive nature of the music industry towards musicians? Why did you choose to include this theme?
The series does lampoon the music industry, however we are generally poking fun at the superficial, ridiculous or silly aspects. Bombastic self-promotion, materialism, lazy clichés and transparent production tricks all get a nod. #COOLROCKVIDEO does highlight the ludicrous things musicians are expected to do in order to conform to industry expectations of what ‘cool’ is, which we felt was relevant because many of those things are pretty funny when examined on their own or out of context.

Are there any particular rock bands you drew on for inspiration when creating The Shapes?
The Shapes is an amalgam of so many different bands. Influences include The White Stripes, The Bee Gees, The Hilltop Hoods and even some good old Kenny Loggins. We took elements of Axl Rose and Freddie Mercury for Red, Sharon Jones and Janelle Monae for Yellow, Meg White for Blue and a big, drooling ball of bubble-gum for Pink!

How long have you been making web series for?
The series has existed in various incarnations since 2009 when it was conceived as a pre-school show. It was re-developed in 2012 and we pursued various funding options at that time, however finally we managed to get funding in late 2014. We then set about re-developing the series again to fit an older demographic (8-12’s) and finished the development, writing and production in late 2015.

What do you want audiences to take away from your series?
Other than the laughs and the songs being stuck in their heads, the things we’d most like audiences to take away from this series are albums, 10 shirts and a set of DVD’s.

Describe the ultimate fan of your series?
The ultimate fan of our series loves animation, comedy and all manners of ridiculous behaviour. We suspect they would also enjoy Adventure Time, Regular Show, Spinal Tap, A Mighty Wind, The Blues Brothers and making fun of Justin Bieber.

What’s special or different about your series?
What’s different about our series is that it subverts children’s musical comedy in various ways. It believes children are smart enough to recognise irony and so the series makes fun of convention by providing anti-messages instead of the saccharine messages of most children’s shows. For example, instead of an inspirational song motivating children to reach for the top, The Shapes sing a song called ‘Give Up’ which encourages them to just stop trying. Of course the message is still the same, that ‘striving is worth it’, but The Shapes puts its positive messages across in a different way. Also the music production in The Shapes is a major focus, and aimed at sounding like current rock/pop music.

Have you achieved the goals you set for this series?
We set out to make six funny songs and music videos, and showcase the potential of the show as a series, we believe we managed to do that (hopefully others agree!) The Shapes was subsequently given a release on ABC iview which exceeded our expectations for the series.

Please tell us a quirky and/or interesting fact about yourself or team that’s unrelated to your web series?
Our team is unique in that none of us speak a foreign language, are able to solve a Rubik’s cube, have double-jointed fingers, own firearms or have ever broken any world records.

The Shapes on web:
Mad Kids Website
Mad Kids on Facebook
Mad Kids on Twitter