Pen15 is getting (even) weirder.
The darling of the critics Hulu, which has just been nominated for an Emmy for comedy series – excelled in the first half of the second season, is finally gearing up for the next episode. But before season two returns in earnest with seven new seasons, the show is written and choreographed by stars Maya Erskine and Anna Konkle and director Sam Zvibleman, will release an animated special — and Vanity Fair have an exclusive first look.
“Jacuzzi” takes place right after Pen15the mid-season finale in which Maya (Erskine) and Anna (Konkle)—animately drawn ten-year-old girls portrayed by adult actors—leave a party after a school play in the new Solara of Anna’s father. Action sequences range from live-action to hand-drawn, with “Jacuzzi” following Anna and Maya on a dreary family vacation in Florida. Naturally, the thrilling possibility of a getaway will become a breeding ground for unresolved insecurities and emotions.
“The basic premise is going on vacation to Florida, and it never really turns out the way you think it does,” says Konkle Vanity Fair. “For me, it was staying in budget hotels – whatever my parents would call them – and waiting for the fun to begin and like… it never will.”
Originally, “Jacuzzi” was slated to be a 40-minute, live-action standalone episode, with camera tricks and prostheses planned to visualize Maya’s surreal Sunshine State experience and Anna. “We are really excited about prosthetics. Before COVID, we were on the right track. We have been fitted for prosthetics; We’ve got all these amazing digital photos made up of what we’ll look like. It killed me, I was so excited,” Konkle said. “We had a choice when COVID hit: Should we try to wait and do this as things unfold, or should we get rid of this sooner and just make it animated? We need to be passionate about it being animated to do that; it can’t be like a second-to-ideal find. So we started researching creatively. “
They love new ideas, using hand-drawn animation by an artist in Ireland, and playing with the kinds of hype and surrealism that are already at the core of Pen15—Only in a completely new format.
Konkle recalls her family’s vacations as trips to “deny Florida,” as she said with a laugh. “I grew up in Fort Lauderdale, where my grandparents lived in a retirement facility. I’m so excited to go, but then I’ll get there and remember, Okay, Anna, you’re sleeping on a mattress in the solarium. So you will wake up in a puddle of sweat on the rubber. And you won’t see someone your age for a week, and if someone agrees to play cards with you, you’re in luck.”
https://www.vanityfair.com/hollywood/2021/07/pen15-animated-special-first-look-anna-konkle | Exclusive: Anna Konkle on Pen15’s Brilliant Animated Special