The (Not So) Wonder Years

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The road from childhood to adulthood is littered with potholes and roadblocks of all sordid sorts. For BBH/New York writer and Biscuit Filmworks director Clay Weiner (above), it's also the inspiration for his new smaller-screen animated comedy venture for MTV, called, appropriately, "Puberty." Weiner created 11 characters to star in 10 MTV promotional spots—the network's foray into original content for the mobile community. There's also a dedicated website,, featuring the spots and a selection of viral games. The 3D-animated characters, created at Hornet from Weiner's designs, have names like Fart, Doo-Doo, Zit, Boner, Whiz, Pubes and Lil' Nips, each with distinct prepubescent personalities. Weiner says the names come from aspects of life that are especially uncomfortable and represent the awkwardness of those middle school years. "I think people thought it would be a gross-out show, and there are a few fart and poop jokes—but that's a big part of life back then," he says. "But I think the hearts of the characters are deeper than that."

He's gotten some flak for some of the racial associations in certain characters' voices and clothing, but Weiner says they're meant to show a certain reality. Middle school "is the stereotyping moment in a lot of people's eyes. Suddenly your black friends from elementary school are hanging out on the other side of the room, no one is eating together anymore. Everyone starts to fall into these weird cliques, and I wanted to reflect that." Weiner hopes to develop "Puberty" as an episodic production, and he's also written a children's book, Maturity is Overrated, starring the same characters.
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