Mixtape Club Animates Baseball’s Bizarre “Wild Bunch” for ESPN
Integrated creative studio Mixtape Club has teamed up with ESPN to produce a hilarious animated documentary short entitled “The Wild Bunch,” narrated by former MLB All-Star and current ESPN baseball analyst John Kruk. The pilot episode of ESPN’s #Not-Pictured series, “The Wild Bunch,” debuted on October 4th during ESPN’s broadcast of “Baseball Tonight.”
The nearly 2 ½-minute film recounts the assemblage of the ’93 Philadelphia Phillies’ motley roster in Kruk’s own words. Mixtape Club animated a series of stylized vignettes to accompany his candid VO, which is highlighted by locker room anecdotes implicating Big League names like Roger McDowell, Darren Daulton, Lenny Dykstra, and Pete Incaviglia.
“ESPN approached us looking for a unique, entertaining twist on documentary storytelling; something that went beyond see-say,” remarks Mixtape Club Partner/Executive Creative Director Chris Lenox Smith. “They brought some great illustration references to the table, which served as inspiration for the look.”
Animation-wise, Mixtape Club found inspiration in some of their favorite old animated shows, namely Dr. Katz and Home Movies, which have an incredible economy of animation in order to tell a comedic story. “Our Illustrator/Art Director, Lindsey Mayer-Beug, was the perfect fit to help realize this project because she’s not only an exceptionally talented illustrator with a fine art background, but also she knows the animation process well,” concludes Smith.