When an otherworldly experiment breaches containment at an evil laboratory facility, it’s up to Xaggar, a rogue thief, to escape the establishment alive.
Viral Genesis is a 2D animated mini pilot showcasing the first 3-4 minutes of my larger series premiere. It is a science fiction tv show that deals with an alien cast, revolving around unethical experimentation and small goals of its contained characters. Overall, with this project I hope to bring up questions of how cartoons and fiction can make just as important of an impact on us as real life, and influence our ideas or even decisions.
How many times have people doubted themselves and others due to their appearances? How many times have we set aside our own problems to help others? Been faced with a challenging task and been caught in the middle of our morals? For the overall show and bigger story at hand, we explore these themes through Xaggar and Virus, an unlikely pair who find themselves caught in between their differences and morals when there always seems to be a bigger conflict at hand. They represent the ideal society through putting differences aside for one another and growing and learning together, but they also represent real society for its problems of acceptance. One feels like they can solve problems nobody else can, while the other struggles to accept themself alone. All in all, The story finds itself at a means to challenge and reinforce acceptance by others.
I have developed this project in an animated show format, adapting a full episode script that I authored. Additionally, I have written episodic breakdowns for an entire 22 episode season of the show, character bios, and a series bible. This thesis defense film is the opening segment of the pilot episode as proof of concept for Viral Genesis.
Jodi Kuchenbecker is a Portland based animator. With a focus on character design and narrative work she is passionate about capturing, and building upon, the cartoons and media that inspired her as a child. Jodi’s work reproduces those familiar visuals in a stylized and colorful manner, providing new takes on different types of character designs while working in the digital medium.
Her current project, Viral Genesis, subtly hints at the response of feeling outcast, misunderstood, and outrightly judged for miniscule reasons. It’s important to her to create fantastical science fiction worlds for viewers to escape to, but to also keep those themes ever present in the work.