'Bojack Horseman' creators hope 'Undone' inspires more adult animation

Rosa Salazar plays Alma in "Undone." Photo courtesy of Amazon Studios
1 of 5 | Rosa Salazar plays Alma in "Undone." Photo courtesy of Amazon Studios

LOS ANGELES, April 28 (UPI) -- Executive producers Raphael Bob-Waksberg and Kate Purdy said they hope their Prime Video series Undone, Season 2, which premieres Friday, shows different ways animation can tell grown-up stories.

"I would love to have a broader understanding of what animation can be," Bob-Waksberg told UPI in a recent Zoom interview. "What that requires is a broader understanding from networks and studios to make that kind of animation."


Bob-Waksberg created Bojack Horseman for Netflix, for which Undone creator Purdy was a writer. Bojack was an animated comedy with dramatic undertones.

Undone uses a different style of animation, and is a science fiction drama. Undone's cast members perform the scenes for animators, who create backgrounds and character animation over their performance.

In Undone, Alma Winograd-Diaz (Rosa Salazar) learns she possesses the ability to travel through time. Alma attempts to save her father, Jacob Winograd (Bob Odenkirk), who died in the past, and resolve issues within her immediate family.


"I think there's a large audience for shows such as Undone who are not being served," Bob-Waksberg said. "There hasn't been, certainly in America, shows that are directed toward that audience or toward that kind of storytelling."

When Alma travels back in time, animators can make the background transition around her. Purdy said the animators embrace the surreality animation can achieve.

"They're also playing into the dreamscape oftentimes -- the imagined realities or exploration of time and space that our characters go on," Purdy said.

Alma is estranged from her sister, Becca Winograd-Diaz (Angelique Cabral), and mother, Camila Diaz (Constance Marie). In Season 2, Becca learns she also can bend time and experience other people's memories.

"It was a huge shock," Cabral said. "I didn't have any idea in Season 1."

Season 1 ended with Alma visiting a cave in Mexico. Without spoiling what happens, Marie said Season 2 explores the family's biracial heritage.

"The Diazes are from indigenous Mexican ancestry," Marie said. "In Season 2, we deal with the other side of the biracial family. which is the Jewish side of that family."

Cabral and Marie said filming their roles in Season 2 was different from Season 1 under COVID-19 safety protocols. Undone employs 200 animators, but has a much smaller crew for the live-action reference material.


COVID-19 protocols mandated an even smaller crew. Marie said she acted with only two other performers at the maximum. Some scenes required her to pretend she was in large crowds.

"We had to use more of our imagination," Marie said. "You have to imagine where everybody is and make sure your eyeline is proper for all the different people."

In another new development in Season 2, Alma and Becca find themselves stuck in a fog. The fog has them falling through an airy void, unable to land in another time or place.

Cabral said she and Salazar filmed the fog standing on the ground. They would move slowly and wave their arms around to simulate falling.

"There were a couple of times we would run and jump onto pillows," Cabral said. "They would just get all different angles of us."

Season 1 director Hisko Hulsing returned to direct Season 2, but did so remotely from his home in Amsterdam. Camera feeds and previsualization (previs) reference materials were fed to his monitors.

"For 2 1/2 months, I was sitting at five screens watching camera A, camera B, previs streams, storyboards, etc." Hulsing said. "The whole team of about 200 animators and painters had to work remotely."


Bob-Waksberg said work still has to be done to inform potential audiences about shows like Undone. While animated comedies like The Simpsons, South Park and Family Guy are successful, Bob-Waksberg said they are not for everybody.

"I can't just blame the audience and go, 'You're not paying attention,'" Bob-Waksberg said. "It is about making more things for them and letting them know that there's stuff for them."

All eight episodes of Undone Season 2 are available Friday on Prime Video.

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