Part 1 - The World of Mixels

[2014 in Mixels font pops up, the 0 is replaced with a Mixel eye that looks around. The banner “New LEGO and Cartoon Network property” surrounds it.]

Narrator: In 2014, a new LEGO toy appeared on the block. But it wasn’t just a LEGO toy, it was the result of a partnership with Cartoon Network.

[Cut to a LEGO Creator designer walking through a corridor with Mixels on the shelf next to him.]

Narrator: It was also an animated series from Cartoon Network.

[Cut to a designer making a CGI model of Kuffs, moving his arm around. Cut to designers drawing.]

Narrator: Let me explain. After working together to create the next tribe of Mixels, builders at the LEGO group in Billund, Denmark (Mix splash to cut to a storyboard meeting of the cartoon.) and the team at Cartoon Network in Burbank, California are busy bringing these Mixels to life. (Cut to Miranda Dressler designing the static art for the Medix. Then cut to another designer designing a school hallway.) But wait, what exactly are Mixels?

[Iris out to black. The Mixels logo spirals into frame. The title “Part 1: The World of Mixels” is formed. Cut to Camilla Haahr.]

Camilla: Mixels is a very simple concept of fun, wacky, colorful characters. (Cut to sections of the original intro.) They live and breathe creativity. They want to mix things up.

Andrew Seenan: (Starts talking before cut to him.) They all have their own personality and they all have their own special ability or attributes. So some may be fire-based, some may be ice-based, or maybe a slime, and they all have these special abilities they can use with each other.

[Cut to a stop-motion of Flamzer being built.]

Jordan Reichek: (Starts talking before cut to him.) You take them and you break them apart and you mix them into other characters.

[Cut to a Glomp and Flamzer Mix built from LEGO.]

Andrew: So you can mix a slime Mixel with a fire Mixel and create a brand new type of character.

[Cut to Michael Diederich. He has a graphic design board with a concept sketch of Paladum by him.]

Michael: They’re all just crazy-looking characters and all just seem to go together.

[Cut to scene from Epic Comedy Adventure.]

Flain/Teslo Mix: Let the mixing begin!

[He throws a large handful of Cubits towards the audience. Chomly catches a Frosticon/Fang Gang one, Krader an Infernite/Cragster one, and Slumbo a Frosticon/Infernite one. Pan to Zorch catching an Infernite/Electroid one, Tentro a Frosticon/Flexer one, and Volectro a Cragster/Electroid one.]

Zorch, Krader, Volectro, Slumbo, Chomly and Tentro (variously): Mix! Mix! Mix!

[The Mixels mix while multiple Mix splashes appear. Pan up to the sky, a giant mechanical cloud floating by propellers flies in. Cut back to Andrew.]

Andrew: They all belong to tribes, so they either belong to a fire tribe, like the Infernites, for example, or a slime tribe like the Glorp Corp.

[Cut to the Meet Glomp scene from Calling All Mixels. Cut back to Camilla.]

Camilla: They have a bit of an enemy called Nixels.

[Cut to scene from Another Nixel.]

Nixel 3: Nix. (Salutes.)

Nixel 2: Nix. (Salutes.)

Nixel 1: Nix! (Hits Nixel 2 while doing salute.)

Major Nixel: (Pointing at a chalkboard with a crudely-drawn Zaptor, Seismo, and Cubit on it.) If we're gonna get serious about stopping the Mixels from mixing, we've gotta start by breaking all their Cubits!

[Cut to the scene of the Mixels being Nixed in Epic Comedy Adventure.]

Camilla: Opposed to anything creative. Though the Nixels, they are very much against the Mixels. But it’s a fun mixed-up world. You can create whatever you want.

[Cut to scene from Changing a Light Bulb.]

Volectro: When will we EVER need to know that!?

[Lightbulb breaks. Cut to another storyboard session. Cut to Skip Jones.]

Skip: And every so often they come out with another tribe of the toys. (Cut to pan of the Mixel LEGO toys.) and we build it into the cartoon.

[Cut to Miranda designing the concept art of Paladum. Cut back to Andrew.]

Andrew: It’s actually all about creativity, it’s all about these monsters that can basically explode together and recombine and remix into brand new characters. (Cut to a young boy sitting at a table building Chilbo.) LEGO’s all about being creative, but this is such a correlator experience, it’s all about rebuilding, it’s all about kids creating their own stuff whilst they’re playing.

[Iris out to black. The Mixels logo spins in again, and is topped to create the segment’s title again. The logo zooms out.]

Part 2 - The History of Mixels

[Iris into a child playing with a Snoof figure and building a Krog figure.]

Narrator: So Mixels are the wild and buildable monsters from The LEGO Group.

[Cut to the Party Time scene from Calling All Mixels.]

Narrator: But they’re also an animated series on Cartoon Network. Just when you thought it couldn’t get any better! But how did this happen? Who’s idea was it to create these wacky little characters in the first place?

[Cut to scenes of the LEGO studio.]

Narrator: As with most of the LEGO Group’s new ideas, lots of concepts were being developed within the super-secret product design team in Billund, Denmark. A lab so secret, that most LEGO employees aren’t even allowed inside.

[Iris out to black. The Mixels logo spirals into frame. The title “Part 2: The History of Mixels” is formed. The title explodes out. Cut back to the LEGO studio.]

Narrator: This team is known as Concept Lab. And that’s where an idea called “Hungry Monsters” began. Once Cartoon Network creatives saw these characters, they were hooked.

[Cut to modified scene of Hamlogna Conveyor Belt Madness. The words “Concept Lab” appears on the wall of the factory. The Hamlogna dispenser has the words “Top Secret” on them. The dispenser shoots out, and cuts to the LEGO Website CGI animation of Gox. Cut to Andrew.]

Andrew: The Concept Lab is a department of LEGO that deals with all future possible play experiences that LEGO could offer.

[Cut to a table. Various Hungry Monsters are placed on the table.]

Andrew: This was when they were actually called “Hungry Monsters”. They were a little bit smaller than they are now with very big mouths, hence the name “Hungry Monsters”.

[Cut to Jordan, then cut to various scenes of the LEGO studio.]

Jordan: I mean, it’s a true partnership. Because when they started it, I mean, I know that Rob and a few of the execs were just walking through LEGO and they were like, you know, it’s like being at Willy Wonka’s Chocolate Factory or something, where they were like, showing them the latest projects.

[Cut to Camilla.]

Camilla: People from LA don’t come to Billund that often, but when they do, we want to show them some cool stuff.

[Cut to the Mix from Coconapple flying. The words “Billund, Denmark” appears in the background. Cut to Rob Sorcher. Various scenes from the LEGO studio are dispersed throughout.]

Rob: So we got on a plane, flew to Denmark, and we proposed this idea of working on a project together. And they showed us some of their developing toylines and things that were in various stages of becoming product ideas and there was one team that came in with a collection of characters.

[Cut to Jordan. Cut to various scenes of the LEGO studio, including the MCPD being built.]

Jordan: “Well, what do you do with them?” And they said “Oh, you know, you take them and you break them apart and you mix them into other characters.” And then one of the other execs said “Well, Mixels! We should call them Mixels!” And that’s where the idea started.

[Cut to a Mix splash. Cut back to Andrew.]

Andrew: It’s really good actually working with Cartoon Network. I think because we co-created this between us, it’s quite a unique relationship. But we have actually, probably, weekly meetings, a lot of emails going back and forth. We actually go and visit them a couple of times each year as well.

[Cut to Jordan.]

Jordan: They ask us what we would like to see.

[Cut to scene of Epic Comedy Adventure.]

Kraw: What’ll we do? WHAT’LL WE DOOOO?!

[Cut to Jordan. He’s holding Kraw’s figure. Cut to various scenes of storyboard meetings throughout.]

Jordan: They’ll take a character, like this, and they’ll show us a rough form of it, and then we’ll say “Aww, that’s great!” and then think about the character, name them, come up with an idea of like “Okay, who is this guy, what could he be?” and we apply personalities to each one. We send that to LEGO, they’re like “Aww, we love that!”, so then we’ll take it the next level and start writing stories.

[Iris out to black. Cut to a scene from Changing a Light Bulb.]

Teslo: Everyone calm down and look for a lightbulb!

Part 3 - The Toy Design of Mixels

[Cut through various shots of the Cartoon Network Studio.]

Narrator: The world of Mixels is pretty amazing. Before we learn about the cartoon side of Mixels, let’s take a deeper look into the creation in Denmark. (Mix splash to shots of the LEGO Company.) How does one design a Mixel? And, do people really get paid to play with LEGO bricks everyday? Now we will go behind the scenes at the LEGO Group offices in Billund, Denmark, to learn more about the team that may have the coolest job in the world.

[Iris out to black. The Mixels logo spirals into frame. The title “Part 3: The Toy Design of Mixels” is formed. Cut back to the LEGO Company, with designers building Mixels.]

Narrator: LEGO and Cartoon Network have different phases when developing these models: a concept phase where they develop whole ranges of tribes. They create huge ranges, so they have a lot to pick from. Then, they can pick the strongest one that they think has the most potential.

[Cut to scene from Mixel Moon Madness.]

Niksput: Boring!

[Cut to Andrew.]

Andrew: Once that’s done, we then start to create some kind of models. We have a huge team of designers here who just create lots of different characters and models. We then assess the strength of these models and we test them to lots of boys and girls around the world to see if they understand what they are, and whether they actually like them and think they’re fun. And then we access to so many bricks very easily, so we can build a very quick concept model, probably within a matter of minutes.

[Cut to scene from Mixel Moon Madness.]

Burnard: Heh-heh, that’s messed up.

Meltus: Seriously.

[Cut back to the LEGO Company. Kuffs is having his model CGI-built.]

Andrew: And then we can start putting them into our computer program that we use. We do this in order to evaluate what the cost, what type of elements we use or have any color change if we use any brand new element, for example. But also as a way for us to share that particular model with the rest of the department. There’s guys that aren’t using the models physically like we are, so there’s building instructions and other departments that can have easy access to this model when it’s in the digital form. So we need to make sure that a six-year old boy or girl is able to actually put these pieces together and create a Mixel. So that’s where Building Instructions Art Department comes in.

[Cut to Kuffs’ model being built on the computer. Cut to Anne-Marie Andersen.]

Anne-Marie: I will take the model apart; try to figure out a good way to start a plate that is easy to build on. I will make a render of these steps to another program.

[Cut back to Andrew.]

Andrew: And we work closely together with them. Almost going step-by-step to work out what’s the best way for that young kid to be able to build this Mixel.

[Cut to scene from Mixel Moon Madness.]

Niksput: Impressive, good sir!

[Cut to Jordan.]

Jordan: Their development team instantly comes up with the most imaginative—it’s just really incredible. Their development team is just amazing.

[Cut back to Andrew.]

Andrew: People are in love with the products they’re developing. It’s just like being a kid yourself to a certain extent. It’s a job where I never don’t look forward to coming to work, which I actually think is something quite unique to have.

[Iris out to black.]

Part 4 - The Animation of Mixels

[Iris into scenes of the LEGO Company.]

Narrator: After the team at LEGO designs the new tribes of Mixels, they send them over to Burbank, California (Mix splash cut to scenes of Cartoon Network Studios.), where the guys and girls at Cartoon Network work their magic. From character development, to background design, to storyboarding. These are just some of the things Cartoon Network have to tackle when creating the animated world of Mixels.

[Cut to scene from Elevator. The scene runs through the next narration.]

Mixels: Happy Birthday to Balk!

Narrator: Let’s hear from some of these amazing artists on how it all works.

[Iris out to black. The Mixels logo spirals into frame. The title “Part 4: The Animation of Mixels” is formed. Cut to Rob.]

Rob: We’re the only television studio that is driven by artists versus writers in the first stages.

[Cut to Mixel Moon Madness intro, Rob still narrates.]

Rob: We have approximately twelve different productions taking place here at Cartoon Network Studios. None of them start with a script. The artists are actually coming up with visual stories, their storyboards, they are drawing out the action and telling the stories in a completely visual way and the writers come in after that.

[Cut to Jordan.]

Jordan: Each special we write a story that incorporates all nine characters.

[Cut to Skip.]

Skip: We take our four or five page outline, write in jokes, we fill it out, like in this case, its kids in a Mixel classroom. So we create the principal and the teachers and the kind of things, the business that would go on that we hope is kid-relatable.

[Cut to a Mixel Moon Madness scene, dialogue goes on in the background during narration. Cut to Michael.]

Michael: Certain sequences you wanna expand. Like if there’s a fight it’s a lot more than just a punch to the face, you know, you have to work it on out, you know, make it all work together. On this one I have monsters chasing all over the place.

[Cut to Jordan.]

Jordan: Miranda Dressler is our character designer and she’s fantastic. She really has a good eye for sort of making (Holds up Kraw’s figure.) this very weird-looking block, angular thing, into an appealing character that still doesn’t look too much like it’s just replicating the toy.

[Cut to Miranda.]

Miranda: The storyboard start, you know, showing the story visually, with little pieces of dialogue and drawings that they pin up. And then if something comes up where they’re like “Hey, we really wanna know what this certain character would look like” or “We need a take on what this environment would look like”. Then Tim and I get involved and we start to collaborate with the storyboard guys on what would, like, be the best design for a character in a certain scene.

[Cut to Tim Barnes.]

Tim: So I work with the character designer, prop designer, other background designers, layout people, to make sure we have one uniform look for the show.

[Iris out to black, various rainbow Cubits pop on the screen and then pop out.]

Part 5 - The Voice of Mixels

[Playthrough scene of Epic Comedy Adventure while the narrator speaks.]

Narrator: Music and sound effects are really important, too. Take a listen to all the zips and zaps that help make each episode so exciting.

[Flain and Teslo jump up and grab the Cubit. Balloons come out of the Cubit and explode into the Mix splash. The narrator continues.]

Narrator: Creating the Mixels’ world isn’t only about the animation. So much goes into creating a Mixels episode. Each Mixel is given a name, a personality, and a unique voice.

[Cut to Daran Norris working in the recording studio. A clip from A Quest for the Lost Mixamajig is on the wall.]

Narrator: This is the recording studio where all the wacky Mixels voices are created. Let’s take a closer look.

[Iris out to black. The Mixels logo spirals into frame. The title “Part 5: The Voice of Mixels” is formed. Cut back to the recording studio.]

Jordan: (Offscreen, then cut to him in the booth.) Uh, could you try a little more surprised in “the key”? “The key!” Like, what’s happening here is, it’s a chase for it. Everyone’s been like, going for the baton. This is take five.

[Cut back to Daran.]

Gurggle: (Voice recording archive.) –Blue bambino with the key?

Daran: (In Snoof’s voice.) Ya-hoodly-doo! Hi-diddle-lee-doo!

[Cut back to Jordan taking notes on the script.]

Jordan: That was good. Let’s just do one more. Let’s watch it back with that last take.

[Cut to Rob.]

Rob: We knew we wanted to get involved with LEGO in a comedy. We had been in business with LEGO on their minifig shows, and exhibiting those on Cartoon Network, and we wanted to create something that would be more of a new world, with new characters, something comedic.

[Cut to Jordan.]

Jordan: I just think there’s so much potential and life in it. I’ve never seen a LEGO toy more creative-looking than these.

[Cut to Andrew.]

Andrew: Well, the big thing for third year of course is we’re going into a city.

[Cut to Camilla.]

Camilla: It’s gonna be something really cool, it’s a new place. It’s something called “Mixopolis”, so the Mixels are entering a city environment, and anything can happen, basically.

[Cut to Andrew.]

Andrew: Loads of brand new tribes, really really fun tribes, actually. And lots of brand new fun, interesting stories.

[Cut to scene from Electrorock.]

Shuff: Me greatest.

[Cut back to Andrew.]

Andrew: Going into a city environment has actually allowed us to explore the world of Mixels wide open. So the amount of tribes and the variety and differentiation is huge now. I think the potential for this city to really come alive is massive.

[Cut to the Mixels Intro playing. Skip talks during it, and then cut to him.]

Skip: So, a twenty-two minute long piece requires some kind of change in the characters, so the people can relate. There has to be a problem, an issue, a growth, and a resolution in the main characters. So we take pains to make sure those are in there. The audience gets more invested in the character I think that way.

[Mix splash cut to Jordan.]

Jordan: We like the randomness of what they come up with.

[Cut to Tim.]

Tim: We happen to be a pretty good team together!

[Cut through various scenes of the LEGO Group and Cartoon Network headquarters. The screen goes to black and the “The End” title from Nixels appears. A Nixel runs in and destroys the title, then pops out of his shell and runs around, finally landing back in his shell, and falling flat.]

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