Canadian Animation Artist Interview with M.R. Horhager
Brief Animation Bio
M.R. Horhager is a filmmaker/studio director based out of
Toronto, Canada. His films include Extreme Nuts (2010),
Ball’oons (2011), Ringo (2012) and I Hate You Red Light (2012).
He is currently working as a director at Smiley Guy Studios on the
animated series Chirp for CBC.
SPACE-MISSIONARIES – Created by M.R. Horhager
What part of Canada are you from M.R.?
I was born and raised in Toronto.
What inspired you to create animation?
I grew up on a healthy serving of Looney Tunes, Merry Melodies,
He-man, G.I. Joe, Transformers and the Disney features. For as
long as I can remember I wanted to make cartoons.
How would you describe your artistic style?
For my films, I generally work with a different designer or
art-director, so visually each film has its own look. I do
worry that it may work against me that my films aren’t as
easy identifiable, but I’d like to think that my
sensibilities do shine through. In my case it’s more about
the way I tell stories than how it looks.
|BEEFCAKE & CARL|
What role do you play in the creation of
I’ve worked for several years as a storyboard artist, but
recently I’ve been working as a studio director for Smiley Guy
Studios on a new show called Chirp, which airs on CBC.
What is one project that you are proud to have been
I was on a show called Peg+Cat, which won an Emmy this past
year. The show was produced at 9Story and it gave me the
opportunity to work with an amazing director named Cory Bobiak.
I learned so much from him and really grew as a storyteller.
What projects are you working on
Well, I’ve already mentioned Chirp… other than that I’m working
on a few short films. One is called Kafka’s Little Fable. It’s
the first time I’m adapting someone else’s story for one of my
films and I’m really excited to see how people react to it.
|KAFKAs LITTLE FABLE|
I also recently found out that the amazingly talented
Billy West will be narrating an episode of Bot Bot &
Spectacles that I wrote and directed. The show is a new series
out of Colombia.
|BOT BOT & SPECTACLES|
Aside from this, I’m working with the amazing people at
Radical Sheep on an
original show idea called The Nighty Nocts, which is about
three nocturnal animals that glow in the dark. I also have an
idea that I co-created with my colleague Aaron Hong that’s in
development at Portfolio
STARBOARD & STERN – Created by M.R.
Who is one of your favourite Canadian
I’ve worked with so many talented artists that it’s difficult
to narrow it down. I really like what Sam Chou is doing these
days – the stuff that’s coming out of Style5.tv is so fresh and exciting.
Brett Jubinville over at Tinman seems to have some really fun
ideas coming out of his shop. And I can’t forget about the
who always seem to be working on the coolest projects.
What is one of your favourite animation books?
It’s not an animation book per se, but last year I read Disney
War by James B. Stewart. It chronicled Michael Eisner’s tenure
running Disney from 1984 to 2005. I’ve seen a few documentaries
about that period (Waking Sleeping Beauty, The Sweatbox), but
it was interesting learning about the conditions that triggered
the films of that period.
Who is an up-and-coming or relatively unknown Canadian
animator that everyone should check out?
I’ve been lucky enough to work with Mel Maduro a few
Check out her work: http://babia-majora.tumblr.com.
Also, everyone needs to check out Omar Al-Hafidh. His
drawings are really great but when he animates… it’s magic!
Check out his blog:
Are you involved with any animation organizations in
I’ve contributed several interviews to the TAAFI website and
have a few more lined up in the coming months. http://taafi.com/blog/author/mathiashorhager
Have your films won any animation
Our film I Hate You Red Light won a TAAFI 2013 Audience
Choice award as well as “Best Animation” at the 2013 Canadian International