12-year-old designs character for Cartoon Network US’ 'Miguzi' block

MUMBAI: Not many American kids can boast that they created an animated character that will appear every day on Cartoon Network US.

12-year-old Kyler Spears of Sacramento, California, however, can make such a claim



From 9 May 2005 his character Yoke will appear on the broadcaster's afternoon adventure franchise Miguzi. Spears conceived, drew and entered Yoke into the network’s Miguzi Make a Monsterpiece” contest. This was a seven-week on-air, online and print campaign that ran from 22 November, 2004 to 15 January, 2005.

It challenged viewers to create and submit a Miguzi-style monster of their own. More than 100,000 entries were received on official print entry forms placed in popular youth magazines. Kids then voted at for the winner from the top 10 finalist entries as determined by Cartoon Network’s expert team of animators. Following more than 570,000 online votes, Spears’ entry emerged as the winner, securing its permanent addition to the Miguzi cast of characters.

In addition to Yoke soon appearing as a character in Miguzi, Spears and his family were flown from Sacramento to Atlanta in order to personally meet with Miguzi's creative team and to observe the animation process that will bring Yoke”to life.

Computer animation will be used to create a full three-dimensional look to the character, as well as realistic movement for the character and interaction with the other cast members: Erin, Big Stalks, Flip, Curly, Tre, Remo, Woofer and Tweet. Spears said, “It was so cool to come to Atlanta and meet everyone involved with bringing Yoke to life. I wasn’t exactly sure how he would look but the Miguzi team made him look just like I thought he would. This experience has been so much more than I ever thought it would be.”

Launched in April 2004, Mihuzi is Cartoon Network’s daily afternoon destination for the best action-adventure entertainment for kids 6-11. The block is built around a fantastic undersea environment, where kids find compelling animated action-adventure programming along with comedic elements.

Miguzi is set on an abandoned spaceship buried in the ocean. Each day, The Leviathan, a giant sea monster, transports Erin, the franchise’s CG host, to the submersed ship. Once inside the spaceship, Erin and the sea creatures all settle in to watch the shows, when the fun begins. Miguzi also features live-action segments profiling entertainers, athletes and everyday heroes ranging from comic book artists to the country’s top street basketball players. These lifestyle pieces further bridge the gap between real life action-adventure and animation.


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