Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Gooble's Origin

As promised, the following is a little background behind Gooble, the ghostlike mysterious Yo Gabba Gabba character.

Artistically, Gooble's origin began with a song off of the Aquabats 1999 "Vs. The Floating Eye of Death" album called, "Monster's Wedding" The song itself is a ghost story; not unlike Tim Burton's 2005 film, The Corpse Bride. In the song, there is a foreboding ghost's voice saying, "you must go". That ghost's name was Obakemon (which translates to "ghost-man" in Japanese).

I did the graphic design for the "Floating Eye of Death" album and I knew that Obakemon would be a real fun character to illustrate for the inside lyric booklet. Of course, he is what he is in the song, a ghost man. I designed him to emulate the style of my brother Christian's signature red cyclopses that he used to doodle all over the place--which eventually became Muno (but that's another story). In promotion of the album, Obakemon later found himself on Aquabats t-shirts, stickers and jackets. They were mostly glow-in-the dark, cuz you know, he's a ghost!

I really dug Obakemon's sad clown look of misery with his candy red lips. I don't know why, but for some reason it visually appealed to me. When I was working at Paul Frank Industries, I had an Obakemon messenger bag custom made for me that I carried around for years and years.

So then, I believe in 2004, Christian & Scott invited me (with a few others) to the first working Yo Gabba Gabba concept meeting. It was then that they pitched the idea of developing a TV project other than The Aquabat Super Show. This was going to be a character based kids show but pulling from what we had already built in the Aquabats universe. I thought it was a great idea to put some of these characters to better use. Muno, Brobee and Gooble are all characters that have Aquabat roots.

We changed Obakemon's name to Gooble because we liked how it sounded. Besides, Obakemon? American kids don't like them Japanese names fer stuff! They like Yu-Gi-Oh! and Pokemon and Apple pie stuff like that!

My job as graphic dude was to help flesh out the early concepts for a pitch. This was Gooble #1:



OK so several years later, we end up making the show. We settle on the 5 main characters, because we just didn't have it in the first season budget to make more! Gooble did survive in a couple of scripts as a minor role, but now he had to be animated. This made me sad because I thought he would look really cool as a live action character.

But then my favorite mistake happened. In the process of making one of the Muno costumes, there was an error, and Muno just didn't turn out right. We spent big dollars on this Muno we simply couldn't use. So, I made this proposal: we take the bad Muno costume, scrape off the bumps and remake it in a Gooble fashion.


...And it worked!


Here, in the episode aptly entitled, "Love", Gooble joins the rest of the cast in a touching rendition of, "Be Nice To Everyone". I personally think this is one of the weirdest moments of Yo Gabba Gabba...and I LOVE it!

22 comments:

christal said...

THAT was amazing! I love that story, the happy mistake, the Aquabats' roots.....

THANKS for sharing that Parka! :D

BrooklynTwins said...

great post. love to hear the backstories to the show. Gooble is truly captivating. I don't know what it is, but my twin 20-month olds are obsessed with him. They ask for him every day, can do impressions of him and make me fast-forward on the dvr to get to his cameos. thanks!

Wendy said...

I love the origin, little things like this make everything extra special. Now we get to be part of that little extra special-ness. Awesome story.

travisrichardson said...

I'm glad Gooble made it. I really like learning the back story of this great show. Excited to hear about our favorite, Brobee.

kevin said...

Parker, rad story dude. I totally remember your messenger bag, that thing was sweet. Earthy tones yes (maybe mint)? uhh my memory. Anyway Gooble is the coolest.

gangreneandhoney said...

I was so excited to see Gooble on the show. I know I recognized him. :)

gangreneandhoney said...

I was so excited to see Gooble on the show. I know I recognized him. :)

Diana T. said...

Ah, that's really cool. I still would like to know though, in the Gabba universe, why he's sad all the time...

Amy_thats_me said...

Beeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee nice to Gooble :)

SquishyCuteStuff said...

I think the "Love" episode is right up there with "Eat" as my favorites. It had so many great songs in it! When we sing "Be Nice To Everyone", my 4 year old has to be the one to say "birds and bats". LOL

carriebelle99 said...

We sickly enjoy Gooble, the clinically depressed character, on Yo Gabba Gabba.

Heather said...

Finally!!!! I looked EVERYWHERE for information on this guy!! I finally found the website for the makers of the Yo Gabba Gabba show who very kindly linked me here. I first noticed Google on the episode which begins with everyone saying "hello"in different ways. I can't believe I put so much time and effort into finding out who this character was but now I feel oddly proud of myself and like I'm in on some kind of really awesome secret!

Heather said...

@_o obviously I meant to spell his name correctly.. which I did not. Sorry to Google and Gooble.

Dean said...

Gooble needs an expanded role on the show. My daughter and I are obsessed with him.

Dave said...

Gooble is awesome. I want to see more of him. I think having him sad for no reason is realistic, since many people are chronically sad for no discernible reason.

owlfood said...

only Bob Ross makes happy accidents. therefor gooble is really bob ross

Marc Forrester said...

I love Gooble. I got turned onto this show by my 3 nieces, and I can't stop watching. I'm saving up to get some of the Kidrobot toys. By the way, when will they make a limited edition Gooble doll? We need Gooble!

CHRIS NALL said...

We have an autistic kid in our family - we actually thought maybe Gooble was some sort of random special-needs person - always crying - wondered if it was a vaguew reference to depression...seriously...
anyway - like the guy - more stories might be good - might not - depending on who he ends up being on the show. Yo Gabba Gabba is THE show at our house lately. Keep up the craziness. CN

Samantha said...

I watch my friends two year old twice a week and we always watch Yo Gabba Gabba. He first saw Gooble in the Love episode and since then constantly says "I wanna see the white guy!!" He has started randomly saying "I like the white guy!" out in public...

Marceline The Vampire Queen said...

Gooble creeps me the f*ck out. I'm sorry. It's just those eyes and it makes me think.."you must go".

Marceline The Vampire Queen said...

Gooble creeps me the f*ck out. Oh and Brooklyn Twins... he's not that cool. He's just some sad little emo S.O.B. who cuts himself.

SPACEMANJOE said...

That's funny coming from Marceline the VAMPIRE queen. The depressed chic on Adventure Time