Canadian cartoon factory AKA Cartoon Inc has announced they’ve landed a deal with Netflix to produce an animated series based on Danny Antonucci’s 1987 short, “Lupo the Butcher.” “Animation won’t ever be the same again,” AKA boasted in their Facebook post revealing the project.
The concept behind “Lupo the Butcher” is pretty simple, as you’d expect from the same company that brought us “Bambi Vs. Godzilla.” A butcher of some vague foreign ethnicity is toiling away in his kitchen, chopping a slab of ribs while swearing and rambling incoherently. Eventually the inevitable happens and he slices his finger clean off, causing him to swear even more. He jumps around the room spraying viscera everywhere until he falls apart entirely. Then his decapitated head yells some more vulgarities.
You might be thinking it didn’t take much to entertain people back in 1987. But you have to remember this was still the Smurfs era, when cartoons were considered a “kiddie” thing by the masses, so whenever something like “Lupo” managed to get made, it got shock value and instant attention.
The blood and guts coming out of Lupo was the geyser that launched Antonucci’s career. He was hired in the 90s to develop The Brothers Grunt for MTV, and while that didn’t work out too well, his follow-up effort was the single product he’s most known for: Ed, Edd and Eddy. All his toons are rendered in his signature “shaky lines” style.
As for Lupo, he got to do a few more things…he starred in his own MTV bumper, and he weirdly appeared in a pair of Converse ads where he chopped a giant sneaker while growling “CONVERSE, YOU PIECE ‘A SHOE!!” You can see both of those things in the Facebook video attached in the link, along with the original short.
We haven’t heard much from Lupo since then. The real question here is how, exactly, Netflix plans to expand this two-minute short with a one-note gimmick into an entire season of at least ten episodes. Good luck with that one.