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Weird Kidz is centered around three pre-teen boys who tag along for a camping trip with an older brother and his new girlfriend. While telling tales, and drinking beers around a campfire, they awaken a local monster legend known as the “Night Child”… and the fun begins!
This animation horror/comedy made me super nostalgic for the 80s/90s when I, myself was a pre-teen latchkey kid trying to figure out the world and discovering that boys were super annoying. It was a time without cell phones and simplicity like goofing off with your buds – whether that be in the deep woods or on a Queens, NY building stoop like I did. It just brought me back! The hand-drawn animation took Zach Passero 8 years to create and it was worth every minute of his time. I found it pretty fascinating to imagine how it was pieced together and would love to see a behind-the-drawings edition. It’s not your over-the-top Disney animation, but more like an indie feature. Weird Kidz also brings a load of belly laughs. It will have you laughing and completely engaged with its ode to ’80s coming-of-age films. The sound effects of the “night child” demon thingie are really great, pretty much had my skin crawling.
While this movie would be great for teens into their 20s, I can’t see this being for everyone. Its humor is reminiscent of King of Hill and also gives me a Clerks vibe. (Also not saying this is bad but there’s a specific audience for that!) I think this movie would be better if it was a tv series with more background on the characters and the town with it’s mysterious monsters/ghosts. As for the music, I can’t get the song out of my head… not good, but certainly catchy which is the whole point but damn, get it outta my head!!! Also, I don’t like when animals get hurt, even animated ones — just saying. Poor Grumbles!!
Weird Kidz is a fun animated horror-comedy. It’s a reminder of how awful adolescence is and also how quirky and fun it could be. It’s imaginative and peculiar, honestly the things that I personally love. I was lucky enough to catch this on the Brooklyn Horror Film Festival page. Best to catch this on streaming if available.
Voice over cast credit: Dug (Tess Passero), Mel (Glenn Bolton) and Fatt (Brian Ceely), Wyatt (Ellar Coltrane), Mary (Sydney Wharton), Duana (Angela Bettis).
Bonus: Interview with voice-over actress Angela Bettis (AKA: Duana, Weird Kidz):
Angela K: You’ve been in so many great films, including “Girl Interrupted”, “May” and “Carrie” (2002) What was your experience like going from on-screen acting to voice work/acting in this animation of Weird Kidz? What surprised you most and were there any particular challenges in voice/over work?
Angela Bettis: Voice acting is fun! It doesn’t matter what you look like, only how you sound! Putting all of your intentions and motives into your voice is the challenge. If you’re me, you don’t get to use your overly expressive face to get your point across. Heh!
Angela K: Weird Kidz has centered around… well, “Weird kidz”, pre-teen/teens doing some questionable things as young ones do, what did you think was the funniest moment in the plot?
Angela Bettis: Hah! I laughed out loud lots. At several Wyatt moments, and many Duana/Sheriff moments. I don’t want to get more specific than that as part of why the moments are funny is because they are unexpected surprises. The timing of the film is so great! If I talk too much you’ll have to put a spoiler alert on this interview! Don’t wanna spoil anyone’s experience who’s not yet seen the film!
Angela K: What characteristics in Duana’s personality do you admire or relate to the most?
Angela Bettis: It was fun for me to do the cartoonish Texas accent. Texas is my home. I was making some good fun of some of my Texas people with that accent.
Angela K: Were there any fun moments working with your “Weird kidz” cast? Did you do voice/over work together in the studio or did that happen separately?
Angela Bettis: I did my voice work separately. They edited us all together so well! It sounds seamless!
Angela K: What’s your favorite horror movie of all time?
Angela Bettis: Oh gosh! Ask me yesterday or tomorrow and my choice would be different, but today I’m going to say…Let the Right One In – Tomas Alfredson