Speaking with Radford Sechrist (creator) and Bill Wolkoff (developed for television) was a bit different from other interviews we have done as Kipo and the Age of Wonderbeasts just amazed us and we were fanboying a bit. We also did have a few questions that we just had to ask, but unfortunately they were not able to answer at this time and we may do a bit more summarizing in this interview. That all being said we had a great time and got some interesting answers to some of our questions so, if you have not watched Kipo and the Age of Wonderbeasts go and do it…we will wait…then come back and read this interview (it is a spoiler free interview though). This review was on Pacific Time so my daughter, also a HUGE fan of the show was able to attend as well.
Once Rad and Bill get on the phone we let them know that my daughter was going to be joining me for the interview as she is a huge fan of the show. They both say hi to my daughter, and we then congratulate them on such a wonderful show. We may have gushed a bit too long here, but we do LOVE the show and let them know it currently sits in our top 2 shows of all time. Big praise from both of us. We also let them know that we do have a lot of questions that we have talked about as a family and hope to get some of them answered in this interview. We joke we will try to ask some original questions as they have probably answered the same questions over and over, but we do tell them that is “the price of fame” with interviews.
BSCKids: We have questions around the web comic and how it transformed into a show and when you stopped doing the web comic. Also why we can’t find the web comic on the web anymore?
Radford: Someone posted it on Reddit. Basically as soon as Dreamworks was like do you want to make this a show, I put all that effort I was putting into a web comic into the show. So I just stopped.
Do you feel like at any point you would ever revisit the web comic?
Radford: If I ever did it, I would do stories that took place after the Kipo one and within the show’s universe. I would do a spin-off of something if I ever did a comic.
Here is where I ask a question that Radford and Bill just can’t answer yet. So I change the question a bit and ask them the following.
If you were to have your favorite plush made of one of the mutes, which one would it be?
Radford: I might have to go with one of the Lumbercats (Timbercats), maybe Yumyan. (Rad then defers to Bill)
Bill: Yumyan is a good one, I mean maybe this is just a lot about me. I would want a Scarlemagne plush.
Did you already have in mind what you wanted to do with Benson from the show that was different from the web comic version of Benson?
Radford: We changed the age and the look, the design as well. The first note, I’m not sure if this was before you came Bill, was it’s better if it is a group of kids. If there is an adult there, they will always just turn to the adult to solve all of the problems. So we aged Benson down to be a fellow kid.
Everyone seems to love the music of Kipo and the Age of Wonderbeasts, at what point did you say, this is really cool, but now we need killer music?
Bill: I don’t think there was a specific moment when we said, we got to have music. It was just that Rad and I both have similar musical tastes and we were hoping that we could infuse that into the show. Lo and behold we were enabled to do that, once we sold the show and it was greenlit. Kier suggested maybe we want to make music a bigger part of this. Both of us were like “absolutely yes.” It was kind of more like that. We were able to make the music of our world a part of this fantastic apocalypse 200 years in the future. A lot of music is found music from the old world, borrowed music that they evolved into their own.
This is where interview takes a turn and we talk about how they got GZA? I also get to let them know that this is music of my era especially living right outside NYC.
Radford: The second I drew that wolf, we went to casting and were like can we get GZA?
Bill lets us know GZA was on Star Talk with Neil Degrasse Tyson talking about the universe. That seems to have helped push them to really pursue the casting. Rad then tells us he was a big fanboy of GZA and he just kind of through that out there, not really knowing if it would happen or no.
In your head do you have a completed story that you would like to tell?
Radford: My heroes are the Coen brothers and people like that, that tell a lot of stories. I like the idea that stories have an end and you get to tell a lot of different types of stories versus a story that goes on forever.
Radford then tells us that he is not allowed to speak on the Kipo story, so that was just his personal opinion above. We try to ask the question a different way that they may be able to answer and we do get the following gem.
Bill: The thing we can say is that there is a theme of embracing a world that is scary and unfamiliar and finding the wonder in that. That thematic is very important and is one we hope to get to follow through on.
We talk a bit about the Benson and Kipo moment and we explain to Bill and Rad that parents are very happy that this has allowed them to have a conversation with their kids (no spoilers here) and that they were happy. We ask if that is something they themselves have heard from other people.
Radford: It was interesting before the show came out, it was cool to hear from our staff members (redact the spoiler here). They just came up to say thank you, while we were working on it. Obviously we were showing it to them, like “how is this.” It was nice to get that even before we put it out.
We ask if they have had any cool fan interactions.
Bill: It has been such a delight, last night I was trying to go to bed, and I went on to Twitter, and I saw that a fan had made a Dungeons and Dragons stat sheet for Mandu. In a D&D 5th edition Monster Manual, and I’m like how can I go to sleep when somebody is out in the world doing this right now. I have to react to that. It’s been the best getting to see the fans reactions and everyone that has worked on the show is so grateful and wants to continue that relationship with the people that are watching.
If you could get somebody else for the next season, who would you want? You don’t have to pin down the character just who you would want.
There is a quick answer for this of the entire Wu-Tang Clan by Rad and then we all have a great talk about Wu-Tang Clan. We then go on to thank both Radford Sechrist and Bill Wolkoff for their time and for making such a great show as well as chat a bit about one of the shows twists!
Go watch Kipo and the Age of Wonderbeasts and thank me later!