It’s a wonder more people haven’t embraced the exploit-a-kid’s-imagination model of creating entertainment, where adults solicit a story from a child (since children’s stories tend to be wildly imaginative and often entertainingly non-linear), then illustrate it in exaggeratedly grand style. It worked for Dexter’s Laboratory (which took the plot and narration for the episode “Dexter And Computress Get Mandark!” from a 6-year-old), it works for various theater groups, like Child’s Play, and it works amazingly well for the comics series (and soon-to-be animated series) Axe Cop, written by a young boy and illustrated by his artist brother. So it’s no surprise that it pays further dividends with “Scary Smash,” the first episode of the new web series Written By A Kid.
The series, co-produced by geeky-web-series guru Felicia Day, Sheri Bryant, and Kim Evey, and created by Will Bowles and Josh Flaum, launched this week with an initial episode directed by Daniel Strange (Between Two Ferns) and starring Kids In The Hall’s Dave Foley as a doomed milkman, Garfunkel And Oates’ Kate Micucci as a newly recruited monster-fighter, and Buffy The Vampire Slayer creator Joss Whedon as the leader of the S.Q.U.A.T. Team, which apparently battles threats to humanity while constantly squatting for some reason. Mostly, the video is worth a watch just to see Whedon grimace, guffaw, pout, sob, and flail his way through a battle with a giant monster conceived by a 5-year-old. Whedon has made a point of telling fans that directing a billion-dollar movie won’t give him a big head, and here’s the proof: this ridiculous live-action-ish cartoon suggests his head still fits inside a silly drawn-on hat.
This being a modern web series, there’s currently just one Written By A Kid video and five different behind-the-scenes videos explaining what the series is and how this episode came about, but presumably that ratio will change, given all the upcoming episodes teased in the ancillary material. Here’s the first installment: