Movie Executive #1: Okay, what’ve we got?
Movie Executive #2: Picture this. Takes place at a zoo, or maybe just a tropical island, doesn’t really matter. Buuuut there is an uptight gazelle that has to be taught to loosen up by a sassy walrus!
Movie Executive #1: Hmmmm…
Movie Executive #3: Did we mention the walrus is played by Kevin Hart?
#1: Now there’s a movie! Are we done here?
#3: No sir, there are still some details we need to go over.
#1: Oh okay.
#3: So the Kevin Hart walrus—
#1: Wait, none of the main characters will actually be black, right?
#2: Ha ha no, of course not! That’s the beauty of the animal kingdom. We can have diversity in the cast without representing it on the screen!
#1: Beautiful. Okay Ed, proceed.
#3: As I was saying, the Kevin Hart walrus is a real playboy. Party all night, chasing tail all day, you know the guy.
#1: Do I ever.
#3: At one point, he even ropes the uptight gazelle into entering a karaoke contest. Which, you guessed it—
#2: Leads to an interminably long, obnoxiously cute rendition of animals singing censored versions of hit songs from the ‘90s!
#1: Oh that is good! Will there be a rhino singing R. Kelly?
#2: You bet your ass there will be a rhino singing R. Kelly.
#1: How about two squirrels doing the dialogue intro to “Baby Got Back”?
#2: Of course! And you better believe they shake their big bushy asses when it comes to the chorus.
#1: I love it. There’s nothing kids love more than when their parents recognize songs.
#3: Our thoughts exactly. Now, for the marketing campaign, we’re thinking garishly colored character posters with vaguely inappropriate taglines. Like a picture of a snail character above the phrase, “This summer, get ready for a shell of a good time!”
#2: Or a turtle poster that says, “Watch out, this guy comes from behind!”
#1: Ooh, how about a beaver and it says, “This summer, get ready for some wood in your mouth”?
#3. Jesus, Frank.
#2: Anyway, that’s the marketing campaign. For the trailers, we’ve stumbled upon this really neat trick. Turns out, if you have the music cut out at the exact right moment, you don’t need to include any jokes!
#2: Really! Children have been so trained on the rhythm of movie trailers, they just instinctively laugh whenever there’s a sudden silence!
#1: Will there be actual jokes in the movie, though?
#2: Oh, sure. We’ll have the comic-relief monkey say some trendy phrases here and there. “AWK-WARD!” or “Ooh, that’s GOTTA hurt!” Something along those lines.
#1: Will he use the word “selfie” as a punchline at some point?
#3: Are you sure you haven’t read our script?!
#1: (bashful) Ha ha, oh, stop.
#2: Anyway, that’s pretty much it for marketing. Just make sure and check the iTunes top 10 and pick a random hip hop song to put over the end credits. Something by Macklemore usually does the trick.
#1: Sounds good. Can we work the Minions into this in some way?
#3: Um, we don’t own that property.
#1: Yeah, but kids fucking love the Minions.
#3: All right, we’ll see what we can do.
#1: Great! Are we good to go here?
#2: Hold on just a minute. I’ll be honest, guys. Something has been troubling me lately.
#3: What’s up, Tom?
#2: Are… are we doing a bad thing? I mean, why are we so careless about the quality of media the children of America are consuming? Why are we cramming the theaters full of absolute dreck, just to rake in the cash of desperate parents looking for a few hours of blissful peace? Can’t we do better? Can’t we provide something that actually challenges and stimulates our young audiences, instead of actively insulting them? Can’t we present an animated film that both children and their parents can enjoy and be enriched by?
#3: … AWK-WARD!
All three executives burst into uproarious laughter. The meeting is adjourned. The following summer, Animalberg rakes in $110 million in its opening weekend. Animalberg 2: Insane in the Fur Brain is rushed into production.
Illustration by Allison Ross