Joburg animator fuses cartoon with reality in first of its kind show in SA

08 September 2021 - 11:39 By Sisipho Skweyiya and Shafiek Tassiem
Lwazi Msipha, an animation artist, works on his cartoon show 'My Cartoon Friend' at his home in Johannesburg.
Lwazi Msipha, an animation artist, works on his cartoon show 'My Cartoon Friend' at his home in Johannesburg.
Image: Sumaya Hisham/Reuters

Self-taught South African 3D animator Lwazi Msipha wanted to create something for grown-ups and children, along the lines of The Simpsons, when he dreamed up the character that won him a coveted slot on satellite TV.

He hit on an idea: what if his children's cartoon character were to accidentally get stuck in the adult real world?

That notion forms the premise of My Cartoon Friend, which debuted on Cartoon Network in SA last month. Msipha is the first of his compatriots to get a full 13-episode series.

In the new show, Msipha plays himself as a young animator experimenting with new software when he accidentally exports his creation into the real world.

He is then stuck with Themba, his feisty, sharp-tongued animation, who he must accommodate into his life, and this proves challenging.

“Our relationship is like a Tom and Jerry type of relationship. He’s a cartoon in the real world and he doesn’t understand that in the real world the dynamics are different,” Msipha said.

“Adults can watch it, children can watch it. It’s basically for the whole family.”

He hopes to help grow SA’s nascent animation industry and attract talented upstarts to join in. 

Reuters


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