Created by Mo Davoudian, founder of Brain Zoo Studios, an Emmy® Award winning character animation studio based in Los Angeles, “Pepe & Lucas” is a new enhanced children’s book.
Just released on the Apple iBookstore for iPad, Pepe and Lucas will soon be available in Persian as well.
“The message of the Pepe & Lucas story is something I believe is important to share: that even if people seem different, love and friendship make life easier and more fulfilling, and that we can’t judge people solely by what they look like,” says the Iranian-American animator who intends to make “Pepe & Lucas” a feature length film. “It is also a visually fun story,” he continues. “Clowns are often cast aside, but we forget how influential they are in comedy, cartoons, and film.”
The story begins in Starlight City where a down and out clown Pepe engages with Lucas the mime, in a street performance that pushes their super powers to the limit. The two entertainers mischievously try to outdo each other, but the one thing they don’t plan on is the power of love.
When it is revealed that Lucas is actually a girl with pretty red hair, Pepe falls in love. They triumph by combining their talents to create a new crowd-pleasing show and learn that they can get more by working together rather than by fighting. The full movie is broken down into chapters that one can play from the related page of still shots and fun rhyming text.
Parents can either read along with their child as he or she interacts with the book, or just watch him/her enjoy the story over, and over again. The cartoon style is modeled after Charlie Chaplin movies and the silent era. The characters’ slap-stick movements and sound effects are engaging elements that ultimately deliver the theme of friendship, sharing, and collaborating. The emphasis is placed on physicality and facial expression.
Stay tuned for more from Brain Zoo and Davoudian as he tells us about a new Persian-esque project in the works: “We are currently in production with another animated film that does have Persian related themes. The art direction and design are Persian-inspired. I believe Persians will recognize that the portrayal of the friendship between the 2 main characters is true to Persian culture. However, to make it more appealing to younger generations we have gone with a sci-fi, fantasy genre that is a departure from the traditional Persian cinema.
The story is an original one I wrote with a close friend, over 15 years ago and we are excited to finally bring it to life.”
Pepe & Lucas is currently available in English and French on the iBookstore through iTunes for $1.99.