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Cartoon characters set to gain depth and seriousness

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Tashel Bean (Photograph by Akil Simmons)

A Bermudian animator who won fame for his cartoon about a group of pint-sized heroes said that he hoped to return to the limelight with a more mature brand of humour.

Tashel Bean, 26, said that he wanted to take the next step in his career with the launch a project with the working title Bermuda Shorts.

The sitcom, which details the lives of millennials living in Bermuda, is a departure from his earlier child-friendly project New Raz Adventures.

Mr Bean, who also works as a freelance motion graphics artist, said that Bermuda Shorts would have a style similar to animated shows like The Simpsons that appealed to a variety of age groups.

He said the new show was in its early stages of production, but that he hoped to have a pilot episode ready by Christmas.

Mr Bean said that Bermuda Shorts would be a serialised story that followed the daily lives of young Bermudian adults.

He said that the show would touch on topics such as cultural pride, tourism and the environment.

Mr Bean added: “We’ve got a very unique perspective on a lot of these things.

“In a place like Bermuda you can’t not think about climate change.”

Mr Bean added that hoped to release more episodes and spin-off series of New Raz Adventures in the future, which could touch on deeper topics while still keeping its humour.

He said: “Raz at first was very child-friendly – I’d like to start to aim to a more mature audience so I can start really delving into deeper topics like politics and deep relationships and stuff like that.”

Mr Bean added: “Not to downplay Raz – I guess that’s my baby because it’s my first one – but I think a lot of people wave Raz instinctively away because they just assume it’s for children.

“They look at Raz and think ’well, it’s got talking lizards so it’s definitely not for me’, but if they hear that it’s talking about politics or its talking about tourism, it’s talking about the economy, it’s talking about their lives I feel like that could hit different with older Bermudians if they’ve never seen themselves portrayed in that way.”

Tashel Bean working on his animation project, The Adventures of Raz (Photograph supplied)

Mr Bean, from Pembroke, broke into the animation industry when he released his six-episode series The Adventures of Raz at last year’s Bermuda International Film Festival last year.

The series, later renamed, followed the title character and his pet lizard, Mango, as they protected the fictitious Loquat Island from evil.

Mr Bean said that he was in talks to run the series on island TV after its BIFF run, but the discussions failed to bear fruit.

He added that he took a break from the series to promote his other projects overseas, but became interested in the series again when he was stranded in Atlanta, Georgia during the Covid-19 pandemic.

Mr Bean said that he created another episode of New Raz Adventures and released the episode on his YouTube channel last month.

He added that the series became “almost kind of like therapy for me”.

Mr Bean said: “I talk about dealing with your place and finding meaning in what you do and kind of being okay with not being the most recognised person for your work.”

He added: “I want more people to watch the show, of course – every artist wants their work to be received by people – but I would like it honestly if Raz were to be shown on local TV.

“I want Raz to represent being okay with who you are, whatever that is.”

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Published October 27, 2020 at 12:00 pm (Updated October 27, 2020 at 1:10 am)

Cartoon characters set to gain depth and seriousness

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