On Friday, fans of the popular worldwide animated hit PAW Patrol can check out Rubble & Crew, a brand-new spinoff show featuring the fan-fave character Rubble. Produced by Spin Master Entertainment, the 26-episodes series follows Rubble and his pup family as they use their awesome construction vehicles to build and repair whatever the town of Builder Cove needs in high-stakes adventures.
We had a chance to chat with the show’s executive producer and story editor Bradley Zweig, whose previous animation credits include Sid the Science Kid, Dinosaur Train, Doc McStuffins and Luna Petunia. Here’s what he told us about the new show:
Animation Magazine: Congrats on your fantastic new show. Can you tell us how you got involved with Rubble & Crew?
Bradley Zweig: I was on an overall deal with Spin Master creating original show ideas, and the development team asked if I could develop a show about Rubble. They suggested he have a family of construction pups, then they set me loose to figure out the family, the kinds of stories we’ll tell, and the world the show would be set in.
What do you love about the premise of the new spinoff?
I responded right away to the idea of family. There are lots of heart=warming, comedic, high stakes, and fun story ideas that can evolve from a family working together to do something big.
Why do you think Rubble is the character that deserved his own show?
Rubble is a huge fan favorite. He’s also funny, silly, and really likable which makes it easy to center stories around him.
Where is the animation produced and which animation tools are used to produce it?
Rubble & Crew is a CG animated show, produced in Canada by Spin Master (although I’m back in sunny and sometimes rainy L.A.) The animation studio is Jam Filled (they’re awesome), based in Toronto.
How is this show different from previous toons you have worked on?
It’s very different and similar at the same time. Rubble is a CG show. I’ve show-run live-action shows and motion-capture shows, and while they’re all different, it all comes down to endearing, fun characters and compelling stories.
What was the biggest challenge on this project?
Since this is a show about a family that does big construction projects, I wanted those projects, the vehicles, and all the tools to feel authentic to real construction. The challenge here is that I know absolutely nothing about construction. I can identify a hammer and a drill, but that’s about it. We hired an amazing construction consultant, which helped a lot. I also work really closely with our awesome supervising director Joey So to make sure we feature the right amount of construction in each episode. And with all the construction in our show, the other challenge is making sure we keep the focus on our characters, the family, and fun stories.
What is your take on the crazy, fast-changing world of kids animation in 2023?
My take is that kids (and grown-ups) will always respond to unique characters and compelling stories. The animation tools will keep evolving, the budgets will keep changing, and the broadcasters and streamers will change what they’re looking for … but it will always come back to the characters.
What is the best advice you can give someone who wants to have career in children’s animation?
I can only offer advice as a writer and producer. And that advice is to watch a lot of television. Read a lot of scripts. Read a lot of books. If you can, join a sketch comedy troupe or take classes (like UCB or the Groundlings in L.A.) Then write, write, write and write some more. Expect to fail, but keep writing. Find writers and producers you admire and reach out to them for advice. And keep writing. By now you can sense the theme here … keep writing. The more you write, the better you’ll get. Then show your scripts to everyone.
What do you hope audiences will take away from your new show?
I hope that audiences tune in because they love PAW Patrol and Rubble, and then they stay because the stories and characters are super fun. Rubble & Crew has an element of comedy and silliness that I hope resonates with the audience. The pups are endearing and funny, and so are the secondary characters that populate this world. And I really hope kids love our villain Speed Meister and his slow moving sidekick Mr. McTurtle. They are total slapstick silliness.
New episodes of Rubble & Crew premiere on Nickelodeon on Fridays at 11:30 a.m.