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The Incredible Origin Of Kid Cosmic

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In February of 2021, Netflix will release the newest ‘toon from one of the most talented animation directors alive, Craig McCracken. As one of the initial hires from Hanna-Barbera’s 1990s re-renassance, he was the one responsible for The Powerpuff Girls and Foster’s Home For Imaginary Friends, as well as Wander Over Yonder at Disney. Now he roosts at Netflix with this new show. Animation Magazine recently published an interview with him where he revealed where the show came from and how long it’s taken to develop.

McCracken says he had the idea for the show all the way back in 2009, but he didn’t pitch it to cable networks because he figured the serialized format couldn’t be done there. It wasn’t the kind of random series the schedules were filled with in the late 2000s; the characters in this one grow and change throughout the series. Netflix, by contrast, specializes in this kind of show and so McCracken dusted the idea off when he went to pitch to them. He’s been working on the show since early 2018.

So what’s Kid Cosmic about? The titular kid dreams of becoming a superhero, and is then suddenly given the chance. But he’s too darn young to know what he’s doing; cue comedy scenes. The series uses a scratchy hand-drawn look meant to imitate a retro comic book, and is being animated in that style by Mercury Filmworks in Ottawa, the same team that animated Hilda.

According to McCracken, the basic spirit behind Kid Cosmic is that special age when you’re twelve and you feel like you can do anything. “I remember when I was a kid, I used to draw comic strips and comic books and didn’t understand why I wasn’t ready to be published at 12. There was another period when I decided to start a t-shirt drawing business and I started drawing cartoon characters and band logos, so I put the word out in school. I thought I was going to have this business where I was going to make tons of money!” He implies he didn’t. Did anyone out there buy one of those Craig McCracken band logo T-shirts, by any chance? They could make you rich now.

Ten episodes of Kid Cosmic will premiere on Netflix February 2. The only thing McCracken wouldn’t reveal is if a second season is secretly under production.