Last January, Netflix premiered Kipo and the Age of Wonderbeasts, an animated adventure set in a fantastical post-apocalyptic future where nature has taken over and humans have been forced underground. Kipo follows the titular heroine, who’s been separated from her burrow community and must trek across the surface, trying to get home. Along the way, she meets stoic fighter Wolf, funky wannabe-DJ Benson, and his smart-talking bug pal Dave, and they navigate the dangerous, beautiful world together.
Now, Kipo’s writing team is launching a series of informal watch parties for the series, starting April 25th at 1 pm ET. Writers Ben Mekler, Chris Amick, Joanna Lewis, Kristine Songco, Taylor Orci, and Leore Baris, along with showrunners Bill Wolkoff and Rad Sechrist, will host the series via Netflix Party. Links will be posted on Mekler, Wolkoff, and Sechrist’s Twitter accounts. Every Saturday, the crew will watch two episodes and chat with fans, offering insights on the show’s creation and answering questions.
Mekler told Polygon via a Twitter DM that while the team doesn’t have planned commentary, he expects they’ll be discussing how the show developed and changed from the planning stages.
“I have a feeling we’ll at least wind up talking about alternate versions of episodes that existed,” Mekler says. “Obviously the creators, Bill [Wolkoff] and Rad [Sechrist], had a general arc for the season figured out before the writers started, but a lot changed organically as we went. Sometimes that meant moving major story beats around, and sometimes that just meant fun alternate takes on episodes. For example, the fitness raccoons episode had like 10 different iterations, with different animal packs. At one point, I believe some line-dancing possums were on the table.”
Starting next weekend, you can watch KIPO AND THE AGE OF WONDERBEASTS with the show’s creators and writers every Saturday morning. We’ll watch two episodes at a time while answering your questions, telling stories from the making of the show, and trying not to break our NDAs! pic.twitter.com/1znefsilTH— ben mekler (@benmekler) April 19, 2020
Mekler hopes the experience will be fun for people intending to rewatch the show, but also invite new viewers into the world. Ultimately, though, they decided to host the watch parties because the writers enjoy spending time together.
“A big part of us wanting to do this is that the writers love each other and this show a lot. It’s partially just an excuse for us to hang out,” Mekler says. “If you’ve never seen Kipo, hopefully this will be a fun excuse to watch it. If you’ve seen it before, we hope this will be an interesting watch. And a funny one. We will absolutely be doing bits. If you couldn’t tell from the picture, we are dorks.”
He also added that parents who’ve sent in their kids’ questions may finally get an answer to pressing inquiries like, “How much does a Mega Bunny weigh?” and “Are there lizards in the city, too?”
“Hopefully they can log on and we can answer some of those really terrific questions without violating our NDAs,” Mekler says.