Animation Guild

Fall 2018

Animation Guild | We are 839 Digital Magazine

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10 KEYFRAME P E R S P E C T I V E S BROTHERS IN ART THE WORKING RELATIONSHIP BEHIND THE HOUGHTON'S NEW SHOW Even as they busied themselves with other projects, brothers Shane and Chris Houghton have long felt their upbringing in rural St. Johns, Michigan could be the basis of a creative endeavor. Thus, in the new Disney Channel animated series Big City Greens, any similarities between the mischievous, fish-out-of-water Green clan and their pixie- like creators are purely intentional down to 10-year-old Cricket Green's bowl haircut and the mercurial temperament of the family's sword-wielding Gramma Alice. "We lived in a farm house that had corn fields on all sides and dirt roads and we were always surrounded with pets and farm animals," says older brother Shane, the series' co-creator and executive producer. "We both ended up going to big cities where we had culture shock. It wasn't better or worse. It was just different." "We're always kind of pulling from the same well of inspiration of our childhood, kind of feeling like a fish out of water," agrees Chris, who in addition to co-creating and executive producing Big City Greens also voices Cricket Green. With those St. Johns days long since behind them, the brothers run Big City Greens as a tag team, collaborating on and contributing to every episode. All major decisions are made in partnership with nothing moving forward until both brothers have signed off. They even share an office. "It's a little cramped, but it saves a lot of time," the Houghtons say. "We can easily turn to one another and ask a quick question that we may be too lazy to get up and walk down a hall to ask. It keeps us on the same page. Plus, when

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