Cartoon Network Africa’s Creative Lab winning short Garbage Boy and Trash Can will be made into a 10-episode series for Cartoon Network, marking an exciting new step in homegrown African animation! The original short — created by Ridwan Moshood, a self-taught 2D animator from Nigeria — won the inaugural Creative Lab competition in 2018.
“When I was a kid growing up in Nigeria, I used to be bullied by the other kids, so I created a superhero cartoon to help other kids deal with this problem,” Moshood shared. “I then taught myself to animate watching Cartoon Network classics on TV and doing tutorials on YouTube. I never imagined in my wildest dreams that my show would eventually be produced. Take that, bullies!”
Moshood started his professional career as a 2D animator six years ago and currently works as a freelancer.
The project won over the Creative Lab selection panel with its distinct, graphic style, absurdity and extremely funny, unique characters. The story follows Garbage Boy, a self-proclaimed superhero who believes he has real superpowers, and his sidekick, Trash Can, on their mission to fight for justice.
Garbage Boy and Trash Can is the first Cartoon Network superhero animated comedy series to be produced in Africa. It will be made in collaboration with the newly-formed animation production company, Pure Garbage, specially formed in South Africa to produce the new series. The studio is a partnership between Moshood, Mike de Seve (Madagascar, Shrek 2), head of award-winning U.S.studio Baboon Animation; and Nick Wilson, founder of African Animation Network (AAN), a for-profit social enterprise that’s instigating and coordinating the development of animation capacity across the continent.
This global collaboration marks the first innovative model in animation between talents from Nigeria, South Africa, Europe and the U.S. under the umbrella of Cartoon Network’s creative production process.
Supervising director John Fountain, who has previously worked on animated hits like The Fairly OddParents, Invader Zim and Rick and Morty, is also on board for Garbage Boy and Trash Can.
“Garbage Boy really popped for us as a character. He comes from the heart of a brilliant young African – the amazingly talented Ridwan Moshood. But any kid, anywhere in the world, will connect with this hilarious, endearing character and laugh at his antics,” said de Seve, President of Baboon Animation and Executive Producer at Pure Garbage.
Wilson, founder and head of projects and content for AAN, played a key role from conception of the Cartoon Network Africa Creative Lab venture, to co-creating the production company, Pure Garbage. Garbage Boy and Trash Can is also the first local series to be used as a training program for new African cartoon writers and animators. “This international collaboration aims to contribute to skills sharing and production upliftment in the animation industry across Africa,” added Wilson.
“Ridwan has so much talent, and his series is a perfect fit for Cartoon Network’s diverse and original content,” commented Ariane Suveg, Kids Content Director for WarnerMedia Africa, France and Israel. “We are proud to build an innovative collaboration process empowering local animators and we are excited to produce and bring on air a pure African story featuring a fantastic Nigerian comedy hero in Garbage Boy and Trash Can! This global partnership is a response to our audience expectations, wanting local and inclusive content.”
Cartoon Network Africa Creative Lab began its journey in June 2018 as an initiative designed to bring innovative, local short-form content to the channel, and its digital platforms, while reinforcing the local relevance of the brand.
Garbage Boy and Trash Can will premiere on Cartoon Network Africa in 2022.