The Weird History of Angela Anaconda: Oh, Canada…
“My name is Angela hey hello, welcome to my very own,” – WAIT HOLD UP WHY DO YOU LOOK LIKE THAT?
Considering Angela Anaconda never shoved its Canadian-ness in your face the same way toons like Yvonne of the Yukon and Being Ian would, you’d be forgiven for thinking it was an American production. But the animated brainchild of Sue Rose and Joanna Ferrone had one trait unique to Canadian media: a bizarrely unique art style that was equal parts stunning and horrifying.
In our ongoing attempt to compile a database of Canada’s most “WTF” exports, we’ve penned a FAAAQ (Frequently Asked Angela Anaconda Questions) for your enjoyment.
And now for today’s article, starring Angela! And not starring Nanette Manoire…
Should I know Angela Anaconda?
If you watched Saturday morning cartoons in the late ’90s early ‘2000s you should. This Toronto produced series was actually quite popular around the turn of the century, with 65 episodes made and broadcasted in 35 countries across the world! It even had a super weird short before Digimon: The Movie where all of the kids from Angela’s town lined up to watch the Fox Kids flick.
What was the show about?
Angela Anaconda chronicles the life and times of an imaginative eight-year-old girl and her adventures in and outside of elementary school. It was a show about friendship, creativity, and finding the bright side of life whenever Angela’s rival Nanette Manoire would rain on her parade in broken French. Angela is most often joined by her best friends Gina “Loyal as a hungry dog” Lash, Johnny Stereotype, and Rivers Cuomo of alt-rock band Weezer.
Why does it look like a middle schooler’s art project?
I’m so glad you asked. Decode Entertainment used black and white photos of actual real life kids’ faces and blended them with cartoon bodies. It was almost like those paper dolls where you cut-and-paste outfits onto a cartoon’s body…only creepier, because their faces were real.
Much like recent seasons of South Park and games like The Stick of Truth, the 2D arts & craft style was actually achieved through a state of the art 3D computer program. As for why everyone’s skin was grey when the rest of the world was coloured, I’m afraid I’ll never have an answer for you.
…Weird. So who made this show?
So what’s interesting is the show’s co-creator, Sue Rose, had worked as an art director for an ad agency in New York before getting into animation. During that time she’d been messing around with collages and building images out of various assets, which inspired what would become the cut-and-paste look of Angela Anaconda. Aside from creating the show, Rose also developed Pepper Ann as well as Fido Dido, and also provided the voice of Angela all throughout the series.
Another notable figure who worked on the show was humble Sheridan graduate and music lover, Ian D’Sa. In between shifts as an animator on Angela, D’Sa was busy recording music and playing shows in a little up and coming band called Billy Talent. That’s right – the awesome hair guy from Billy Talent is responsible for this nightmare show.
No wonder Billy Talent’s music is so emotionally distraught. Creating something as eerie as Angela Anaconda must do that to a person.
The way you talk about this show it must have been really bad, right?
Well actually, no, I kind of loved it as a kid! I’ve met folks in university who were seriously so creeped out by the art style that they couldn’t watch it growing up, but I never saw it as weird until I was much older. There was just something I could relate to about it. I loved the odd vernacular of everyone in Tapwater Springs; everyone called each other by their first and last name at all times and so I’d talk to my friends that way too. Angela Anaconda used to say “on account of,” to justify whatever she just said, so I picked up on that, on account of it sounded funny.
And as a kid with a ton of freckles, it was cool for me to see another freckled-face on TV. We both had older brothers who picked on us, and we loved Florida, and…hmm…
We were both Digimon fans and envied the rich French kid at school…
People made fun of my last name when I was young…just like they did to Angela…
Isn’t this the part where you make we watch an episode of the cartoon?
Oh my God…
I’M ANGELA ANACONDA, AREN’T I?
Oh, Canada… is GEEKPR0N’s biweekly trip down memory lane, exploring the best and worst retro television (sometimes they’re interchangeable) of the past. Follow GEEKPR0N on Facebook and Twitter to stay up to date with our ongoing quest for nostalgia.
Hey, I loved your writing style. I’m Brazilian and I found your work by chance, years after you published it. Internet is a crazy thing. Thank you very much, I really enjoyed learning more about Angela.