Choo-Choo-Cheer-i-O is an idea from 2005. Working in Texas, my son was almost 2. He never cried for anything. He was watching “Thomas the Train” and when it was over he cried to watch it again. I watched it with him. This particular episode had trains playing tricks on other trains and all it said at the end was “That was cheeky.” WHAT?!?! Not educational, not morally up-building(I’m sure many other episodes fulfill that criteria), I don’t find the characters appealing, there’s no competition, and THIS is what my son is crying to watch more of?
That was it. I had to make something better. My goal was to get a Proof of Concept and Pitch Bible done before “Cars” is released. I had 6 months. (I should have only done a pitch bible) Working crazy hours, moving back to California, having my second son, and doing it on my own… I was going too slow. In hindsight. I WISH I PUT EVERYTHING INTO IT and MADE IT HAPPEN. ie: quit my job, use our savings, and hired others but we can’t go back. We can only learn for future opportunities where everything is lining up and you’re seeing it before others. When you’re that sure and it’s that clear, you have to trust yourself and go all in.
Others jumped on board; a modeler, a rigger, etc. Naysayers: ‘but there’s Thomas?’ and that’s where their vision stopped. They couldn’t see past that. Is there only room for one burger franchise, one soda brand? Someone can’t come out with a better product? I continued slowly pushing forward. The world was developed, model variations made, characters rigged, innovative plan to create the show efficiently, revisions of the script, a pitch bible, an intro song, and a proof of concept. THEN… I got an email from a friend. ‘Congratulations I saw your show on TV!’ “Chuggington” had come out 3 YEARS LATER from my original conception. They filled the need that I saw. Now, I felt there wasn’t a reason to attempt to go against them. So big and already has the market, etc. There were things I like more about mine nevertheless, they did what was needed and did it well. (More details in the comments)
I didn’t want CCC to die, so I decided to make a mobile game out of it. I hired someone to do that. It’s mostly done, the same mostly done it’s been for years. It was going to be one of many mini-games to teach young children basic educational elements; ie: colors, shapes, numbers, spelling their names, etc.
I thank all the amazing artists that have helped me over the years.