500 Pound Planet: Twin Peaks meets the Muppet Show

Jesse Brown, a BoingBoing guest blogger, is the host of TVO's Search Engine podcast.

When we got out of college, my buddy Josh Dolgin and I set out to make an eight-minute cartoon. We figured it would take us three months. The plan was to use the cartoon to get a TV show and become rich and famous. None of this came to pass.

Instead, we spent three years making a 45-minute weirdo sci-fi hiphop buddy film. We nearly lost our minds and our friendship in the process. The resulting cartoon (we were told) was too strange for TV and too long for film festivals. The whole thing amounted to nothing: a fiasco, a waste of time. Had we spent three years playing with Lego and poking each other in the gums, it would have been just as productive. We ended up selling a 25-minute cut of the thing to the CBC, who never aired it, and then we got as far away from each other as possible. Josh went on to international success as the Hiphop-Klezmer weirdo Socalled, and I became a public radio host.

The other week I watched 500 Pound Planet for the first time in five years. I was afraid it would make me cringe, but it didn't. I like our cartoon! It's messy and ambling, but I think it's got soul and does a pretty good job of capturing what our lives in Montreal were like at the time. Instead of feeling guilty about wasting three years making it, I now feel guilty at having abandoned it. Parents should treat their kids better than that, even if they're deformed. Especially if they're deformed.

So enough preamble. Here is part one of our bastard cartoon, 500 Pound Planet. I'll post the rest, a chapter a day over the week. Hope you like it, feedback welcome!


  1. I found this pretty enjoyable. Wierd but nice. My mouth was open most of the time because it pulled me in, i didn’t know what to expect next. Excellent work in my opinion, not a waste of 3 years at all.

  2. This video freaked me out. Now I want to see the rest of it.

    Any chance it will show up as an extra in the Search Engine podcast feed?

  3. I like your cartoon too. It’s David Lynchian, in the fun way and not the tedious way. When I was a kid in the late ’80s watching Nickelodeon at odd hours of the day, snatches of weird Canadian animation were what I lived for, and this clip would have given me some inspiring nightmares. It still might. Looking forward to the rest!

  4. wow. what a delightfully deformed animation! Definitely pulls you in. Crazy! I’m so excited to see the rest of this!

  5. Liked it a lot! I’m really curious right now, what happens next? I felt a bit sorry when the wolf/goofy/monster died …

  6. Very weird, very cool animation. I can’t imagine how you thought this would be salable, though, without being named David Lynch.

  7. There was actually a parody of Twin Peaks on Sesame Street. It was called “Twin Beaks”. Very funny. I have a copy on tape somewhere.

  8. I’ve always loved this, and think its genius will yet be rewarded.
    If nothing happens in the next 5 years and you do not become Britney Spears over this film then cut off your ear and die. You guys made an incredibly rich and wonderful thing. The world should holla.

  9. pretty damned good. I’m a fan. I can relate. I’ve made a bunch of weird fucked up films like that too that nobody cared much for. I’m glad we got to see this one though.

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