Meet The Meeps, an Animated Animal Band from the Creator of ‘American Idol’

A perfectly plush new supergroup of CG-animated animal musicians has hit the stage with the release of its first music video: The Meeps – “Love Louder.” The band is the brainchild of British producer Simon Fuller (creator of American IdolPop Idol), who has managed some of the most successful artists of the age, including the Spice Girls, Annie Lennox, S Club 7, Kelly Clarkson and Amy Winehouse.

The Meeps are described as a band of five energetic musicians from England — Axel, Mackenzie, Jazz, Brendan and Raphael (a tiger, sheep, arctic fox, giraffe and moose) — whose quest for stardom has brought them from London to L.A. The group is backed by Martin, a porcupine DJ.

The music video journey began when Fuller met animator Olivier Staphylas (Penguins of Madagascar, Puss in Boots, How to Train Your Dragon, Kung Fu Panda; director, Le Building), and the DreamWorks Animation veteran’s studio 2 OAKS Productions became the project’s creative hub. Staphylas, director of the music video, and producer Michelle Jurado Staphylas set out to recruit the right talent for the job.

“I reached out to one of my favorite illustrators, Wiebke Rauers, to design our characters. I wanted characters that were both adorable and quirky, and Wiebke totally nailed it. We then brought in Avner Geller as our production designer who was tremendous in helping me put out my vision for the project,” Staphylas tells Animation Magazine. “We were really lucky to get some incredible artists to join us in the pre-prod and create a vision for this band.”

courtesy of 2 OAKS Productions

The team collaborated with Oscar-winning animator and the director’s longtime fiend, Leo Sanchez (producer, The Windshield Wiper). Leo Sanchez Studio handled the modelling, rigging and look development for the characters, while the animation team at 2 OAKS provided animation development, rigging feedback and deformation draw-overs.

“We approached the anim dev and the rigs of each characters in the same way I approached the character creation of any feature film I’ve worked on in the past,” Staphylas notes. “I wanted to create rigs that were very appealing and could do anything (dancing is hard!), and to make sure that we are not doing the characters that work just for the first music video, but creating high end characters that are feature-ready.”

Staphylas gained a new experience by collaborating with Fuller to create the original song, “Love Louder,” and worked  with choreographer Nicky Andersen to translate the vision for the piece and create slick pop star moves that can be swung by anthropomorphic animal bodies.

courtesy of 2 OAKS Productions

To finish up The Meeps’ big debut, 2 OAKS tapped Brazen Animation in Dallas for production services (everything except animation) and global artist network Agora Studio for animation services, with the artists working off of the animation development and tests created by 2 OAKS. Titrafilm provided post-production services.

The Meeps “Love Louder” was produced by 2 OAKS’ Jurado Staphylas, Varunee Santa, Kim Fuller and Krit Ngaosri. Exec producers are Fuller, Jwanwat Ahriyavraromp, Splash Entertainment LLC, Liz Young, Mike Young, Steven Rosen, Bhakbhume Tanta-Nanta and Ekkasitha Chalermrattawongz.

Connect with The Meeps via their social feeds, which are linked at



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