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Survival Town is an American animated comedy web series created by Joel Burmer. The series is about two anthropomorphic young adult cats named Maximilian "Max" Goodcat and Jennifer "Jenny" Goodcat who get dropped off in Victory, a city where all of its citizens, including Max and Jenny, are secretly being filmed for a web series called Survival Town by a man named Ben Strongpaws.

Synopsis

In a world populated by anthropomorphic cats, young adult siblings named Maximilian "Max" Goodcat and Jennifer "Jenny" Goodcat who get dropped off by their parents in Victory, a city where all of its citizens, including Max and Jenny, are secretly being filmed for a web series called Survival Town by a man named Ben Strongpaws.

The teens make two new friends named including Kenny Graycat and Itsuki Neko. Kenny and Itsuki join the siblings frequently on adventures. However, the group must dodge various obstacles around Victory, which are placed by Strongpaws to make his web series more "exciting".

Conception

Development

Joel Burmer began working on the development of the series shortly after starting his YouTube channel, Burning Halo. At the time, Burmer was working on another animated web series called Barely by the Book. During the production of the Barely by the Book's second season, subtitled Book 2, Burmer began working on a new series, which he wanted to be about anthropomorphic animals.

After doing research on several different animals, Joel Burmer decided he wanted his show to be about cats. Burmer told the writing staff, who agreed to the idea. Together, they work on several script drafts for a pilot episode. He also added that he wanted it to be a musical.

Design

Joel Burmer drew a picture of an anthropomorphic male cat in 2014. Burmer posted it on his Drawspot account. He named the cat Max the Cat, and drew a similar looking female cat he called Jenny the Feline. He decided these should be the protagonists' designs.

Later, he designed Ben Strongpaws, Kenny Greycat, and Itsuki Neko, giving them their names and changing "Max the Cat" to "Maximilian Goodcat" and "Jenny the Feline" to "Jennifer Goodcat".

Burmer got his friend, Mark Clarence, to design the series' background pencil art, which Chris Tanoles, Burmer's other friend, colored digitally using Artmaster Sketch.

Characters

Main article: List of Survival Town characters

After making the first five characters, Joel Burmer decided that he wanted to add more essential characters. He discussed adding five more characters online during an online meeting—only three of which were used in the series.

Burmer stated that he wanted Max and Jenny to be "responsible yet fun at the same time". He wanted Ben Strongpaws to be a very humorous character who makes frequent, fast-paced jokes. Burmer also wanted to apply similar personalities to the other characters.

Production

Storyboard and writing

The storyboard artists of Survival Town were also the writers for the purpose if simplicity. The storyboards are made online using Artmaster Sketch Online, with dialogue and animation notes placed below the frames.

Music

The show's music is composed by Vivi & Tomelga using Artmaster Listen Online.

Backgrounds

The first episode's storyboards were penciled and inked by Mark Clarence and digitally colored by Chris Tanoles using Artmaster Sketch. The two also worked on the rest of the first season's backgrounds. The backgrounds for the second and third seasons were penciled by Mark Clarence, webcomic artist Jerry Lynnstory, and animator Charlie Suffold.

For seasons 4 and 5, the series' backgrounds were colored by France "Frankie" Webster.

Animation

Joel Burmer hired five animators (Mark Clarence, Luis Apoliz, Alexander Gucher, and Alan Jimson) to animate the first episode with him, which was animated using Artmaster Move Online. The animation was intended to match the series' art style and color, and thusly the animation was directed to look much like a 1990s or early 2000s animated series while retaining a modern style.

In season 5, Alexander Gucher was replaced with Shaw Fox.

Voice cast

The series cast consists of Jim Kandel as the voice of Max Goodcat, Elizabeth Joel as Jenny Goodcat, Jackson Avery as Ben Strongpaws, Greg Warstein as Kenny Greycat, and Anna Kana as Itsuki Neko.

The cast also features Marcie Lynn Franklin (Lucy Fullpaws), Craig Hammard (Kyle Purr), and Shawn Aucheilles (Pierre le Chat).

Reception

Kris Gule of FanPizza stated during a live interview, "Survival Town is one of the best things to come from the Internet. The characters, design, animation, music, voice cast, stories, and dialogue all come together." Internet Shock's Antonio Gandelora calls the series "a creative masterpiece for teens and adults to watch."

Critical reception

The series has been rated 7.8/10 on IMDb based on 50 reviews and a score of 96% on FanPizza based on 25 reviews.

Other media

Webcomic

On July 4, 2019, Joel Burmer announced an 8-part webcomic of the series to be posted on Dialox from September 1 to October 20, 2019. Burmer stated that the webcomic would be a shorter version of the series.

Survival Town: After

Survival Town: After is a 7-episode miniseries about what Ben Strongpaws' co-workers—Hayley Wilde (Kim Souler), Pierre le Chat (Shawn Aucheilles), and Roberto "Flip" Gando (Alejandro Miva)—are doing after he was put in prison. It ran from March 1 to March 7, 2020.

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