An Afternoon at the Zoo is a short animation created for Intro to Animation class at College of the Canyons and in collaboration with CarTOON Shack. It features rude zoo guests taunting chimps, who get their revenge.
"Stop it! Stop it! You're ruining everything!"
The film starts with a view of the entrance to the World-Famous Budget Zoo, where some giraffes peer over the entrance. Going inside, a family of three chimpanzees mind their own business when three obese zoo guests walk up to their cage. Making monkey noises, the family taunts the chimps with hoots and hollers. The dad grabs a cookie, attracting the youngest chimp's attention, and throws it, hitting the infant chimp square in the forehead. The rude family laughs as the chimpanzees weep.
Through the power of magic and imagination, the chimpanzees wake up outside their cage. The rude family, now inside the cage, is startled to find themselves trapped inside this literal animal prison. Begging to be let out, the chimps simply smile, pick up some cookies, and walk away, enjoying the rest of the zoo.
In the middle of spring 2011, the final assignment for Intro to Animation was handed out: create a full, team-created, short animation. Every student pitched an idea, the likes of which included Freddy and Joey in the Duck and the Strawberries. While that film was ultimately cancelled, another production pitched by Raul Flores, then titled A Day at the Zoo, quickly gained popularity and support.
The film, with its current name, was announced on May 13, 2011, the exact same day that Freddy and Joey in the Duck and the Strawberries was cancelled. From there, work was focused on getting the film completed, with director Raul Flores animating the rude family, Megumi Tenaka animating the chimpanzees, and Andrew Bermudez animating the extra animals and zoo guests. Assistants Tyler Shaffer and Weird Mike Karle assisted with editing.
The film premiered in class on June 2, 2011 and was well received for its humorous take on the realm of man vs. animal. The film was then officially released to the world on June 3, 2011.
It is not marked as being one of Mustache Maniacs Film Co.'s most popular films, but audiences that have seen it love this film. This popularity sparked the development of the flash game Zoo Flight, but this game has since been cancelled.
- Continuity Error: At the beginning of the film, the chimps' cage is surrounded by other zoo exhibits. However, at the end of the film, the same cage is surrounded by trees and bushes, with no other exhibits in sight.
- Chimp Dad (n/a)
- Chimp Mom (n/a)
- Chimp Infant (n/a)
- Rude Dad (Raul Flores)
- Rude Mom (Raul Flores)
- Rude Boy (Andrew Bermudez)
- Raul Flores - Director; Writer; Animator; Layout Artist; Voice Actor
- Pavel Vogler - Producer; Instructor
- Andrew Bermudez - Animator; Editor; Voice Actor
- Megumi Tenaka - Animator; Compositor
- Tyler Shaffer - Editor; Animator
- Weird Mike Karle - Editor
"Stop it! Stop it! You're ruining everything!"
An Afternoon at the Zoo contains examples of the following tropes.
- All There in the Manual: According to the companion prequel story Susan's Sticky Situation, The World-Famous Budget Zoo is an establishment that is despised by the National Association of Zoos and Aquariums, steals animals from reputable zoos, and lacks any functioning utilities. It's also stated that the zoo's general manager has a brother on the local city council, making that the only reason that the zoo has stayed open.
- Animal Superheroes: Sort of. The chimp family possesses the ability to use the power of imagination to switch places with the Rude Family. Canonically, this is the extent of their powers.
- Animals Lack Attributes: The Chimp Dad and Chimp Mom lack the primary and secondary sex characteristics of chimpanzees, making them look identical, outside of their different fur colors.
- Beware the Nice Ones: For tormenting them, the Chimpanzees use their powers to switch places with the Rude Family, locking them into the cage.
- Disproportionate Retribution: The chimpanzees punish the cookie-throwing by using their imagination powers to free themselves and lock the Rude Family in the cage.
- Everything's Better with Monkeys: Actually, chimpanzees in this case, which aren't actually monkeys, but the principle remains the same.
- Food Slap: The Rude Dad (Tom Hilgome) throws a cookie at the baby chimpanzee.
- Hilarity in Zoos: The Rude Family sets themselves up for some real shenanigans when they mock the chimpanzees.
- Humans Are the Real Monsters: Parodied with the Rude Family, which are a group of slobbery, cruel, and disrespectful humans made into over-the-top caricatures.
- Imagination-Based Superpower: The chimpanzees use their imaginations to swap places with the Rude Family.
- Kick the Dog: The Rude Family taunts and mocks the Chimp Family for the simple reason that they are just bad people.
- Retcon: When this film was originally released, there was heated discussion on whether the chimpanzees actually escape from their cage or if they are imagining it. At the time, the film's production documents stated that the escape existed in the minds of the chimpanzees only (which was still not even set in stone). However, when the official cinematic universe was created in 2013, it was confirmed that the chimpanzees did indeed magically swap places with the Rude Family, retconning any information that stated otherwise.
- Right Makes Might: Through their powers, the chimpanzees come out victorious.
- Stylistic Suck: The World-Famous Budget Zoo is made to look as cheap, ramshackle, unhealthy, and tacky as possible. It's not, however, a critique of zoos as a concept. Rather, it was designed to simply be funny.
- What Measure Is a Non-Cute?: The chimpanzees were designed by Megumi Tenaka to be as cute and sympathetic as possible.
- This animation is loosely (VERY loosely) based on a true event that Raul Flores witnessed at the San Diego Zoo.
- While Raul Flores had some designs for the chimpanzees, Megumi's design was selected because of the sympathy it evoked.
- In TLFScarheart's entry for the Crazy Birthday E-Card Contest, she references this film.
- In the original storyboards, the chimpanzees were going to throw cookies at the rude family. It is unknown why this scene was cut out.