Created by Crystal Skillman & Bobby Cronin
“The Secret Life of Pets” meets “Star Trek”.
A geeky, adventurous young tortoise and her all animal crew blast off from NASA to save the galaxy in this animated musical television series. A YA anime series (12+)
Check out our pilot, characters designs, and full treatment on Film Freeway.
Through the wide eyes of Tina, a twelve year old tortoise and animal astronaut, we are brought on a journey that is from the point of view of the critters themselves exploring the universe.
After being captured by NASA to be used to test their new space program, Tina discovers that the animal kingdom is already at work on trying to reach extraterrestrial critters who they believe have the keys to finding a new, habitable planet.
Each episode finds Tina torn between her mission to find a new home for animalkind, and the missions in space she and the Critters pursue trying to make peace between all the different animal aliens … and one particular one bent on vengeance ... who happens to be another twelve year old!
Tina’s best friend is Alan. He is the voice of logic who challenges her command, but is also her greatest confident.
On their intergalactic adventures, Tina and her friends are tasked with missions that mirror the question of family, home, competition, and pursuit of power that she faced on earth, but now she is a captain, and she must get her friends to work together as a crew.
The extraterrestrials Tina meets both guide her yet pose as obstacles to the crew and their mission. All the while, human kind is racing forward to colonize new planets as quickly as possible. And, true to today, we’re in a whole new kind of space race… only this one finds extraterrestrials are a huge part of the puzzle of our earth animals finding a new home… if our critters can ever get there!
As a writing team (Mary and Max the musical Rain and Zoe Save the World), we are both animal lovers and activists. Composer Bobby Cronin has worked as a veterinarian assistant, and writer Crystal Skillman has helped assist animal rescue groups. With Cosmic Critters we began to explore writing a musical animated show that asks what kind of animal aliens might be out there waiting for us? Can humans appreciate animalkind in a new way? How can we explore this new frontier but also find a solution for saving our own planet? And what can happen when our earth critters meet up with some extraordinary extraterrestrials?
The Critters Crew
(Female, twelve, tortoise) is an eternal optimist driven by a sense of adventure. A whiz at creating clever inventions, Tina becomes Captain of the Cosmic Critters rocket. But can she be a hero and save the galaxy and be there for her friends? Tina can be “hard-shelled” and plow ahead as a captain without checking in with her crew. Her arc is to be able to not just lead in a team, but be a part of a team.
(Male, teens, monkey) is an eternal skeptic driven by pure logic. He is Tina’s best friend. Alan is a cautious planner, but super clumsy. From growing up on his island, Alan has a good sense of herbs and plants which he uses to help the crew. “Bones” from Star Trek meets Max (Secret Lives of Pets). He becomes Chef Medical Officer.
(Male, Middle-Aged Chimp, Queer) Ham has seen it all! He is Tina’s mentor, but also finds himself being taught as Tina teaches him to trust himself and engage with his forgotten animal instincts. The true philosopher of the group, he literally cannot function without the liquid courage all intellectuals - espresso. “Spock” meet John Waters.
The Fruit Loops
(Gender Fluid, twenty nine days old [and never a day older since they went into space!], fruit flies) Giggly flighty fruit flies, they operate as the entertainment of the ship as a pop singing group, and also have a keen ear for communicating sonically (like dolphins) on the same frequency of the new lifeforms they encounter.
(Female, one year old, spider) The ballsy, fast-paced spider who operates as the newsroom of the lab. She loves a good gossip “Cheers and Jeers” column, and loves her name in all the papers!
Ginny the Guinea
Ginny the Guinea (Female, late twenties in human years) The Mid-Western mom of a ton of Guiana baby pigs. She becomes the school teacher on the ship, head of the Critters Junior Explorers troupe, and LOVES putting on intergalactic space musicals. Who doesn’t love “Cats” in space?!
(Male, ten in pig years), a vegan who becomes Chef of the ship. Refined with an expertise in Pig-Latin, Peppy is able to speak and pick up on other Critters’ languages very easily. Unfortunately in terms of translating them correctly, Peppy’s “golden tongue” gets tongue-tied in ways that end up creating more confusion. Oopsyay!
(Male, teens) can take anything apart and loves to boost that he can fix stuff, but gets distracted easily. Half Scotty from Star Trek of the group and half frat boy, he keeps adding onto the ship useless, “fun” items like a ping pong room or space hammocks.
(Female, one year, Guinea Pig) our Junior Explorer and an overzealous Gen-Z-er, Jewel stows away on secret missions! As bold as she is, she’s also shy, and rarely speaks. She’s a real introvert/extrovert.
“Coach” Commander Bullfrog
(Male, elder) A stern “Patton” type, but has a big heart. Always trying so hard to get his crew to “leap” into shape but they are after all … rats. He becomes Chief of Operations, but unfortunately he has a froggy way of jumping to conclusions.
(Gender Fluid, all ages) who only speak in short one word sentences and race in their wheels. The rats loyally follow Coach Commander Bullfrog as the repair crew of the ship, using their long tails as wrenches and screwdrivers for repairs.
Mack the Mouse
Mack the Mouse (Male, middle aged in mice years) Total hutzpah, old school Italian, born in Brooklyn. Leader of the animal’s version of Mission Control in Houston.
Extraterrestrial Animal Aliens
(Age unknown) a gray Kola-like creature, has the power of mixing science with the mystical power of what he’s learned from studying intergalactic critters across galaxies making him a renowned warrior. He can see into the future, and shares that Tina’s journey to meet the ancients can only happen if she chooses the correct space path. Xui is also a trickster. Is he helping Tina, or hindering her? One of the three leaders of the International League of Cosmic Critters.
(Age unknown) is a white, small, ephemeral floating arctic fox-like creature. She can see into the past, and shares that Tina’s mother and father, who Tina never knew, have visited the Ancients in the past. Warm and motherly, Dot teaches Tina how to use the resources of the planets. One of the three leaders of the International League of Cosmic Critters.
(Age unknown) is a dark blue huge sloth-like entity. He is mighty but silent, and only speaks when he has something to say. He can unearth the power of the present. In charge of the hall of records. Stern and serious, he helps Tina and her crew know intimate details of the species they will meet. One of the three leaders of the International League of Cosmic Critters.
little bird like creatures that seem to populate most planets. They pop up everywhere! They are forever on the hunt for space worms.
a rumored group of space tortoises who began communicating with earth. Tina believes this is the larger family she is meant to make contact with.
(Female, twelve - the same age as Tina) is the leader of the Purlons. Whatever planet she has visited, the inhabitants seem to have disappeared. A violent force, a Purlon’s appearance is strikingly beautiful and elegant. They have a purple tiger-like quality to them with a back of sharp, throwable quills (that can be quite deadly!). Cercia feels pressured to live up to her family’s name, and her mother’s villainous plans.
Humans: Eternally Annoying and Clueless!