We collaborated with Nickelodeon to make an animated short linking favorite characters as they travel through the universes of classic video games. With 14 million YouTube views, and rabid fans studying each frame for easter eggs, Nick made the inevitable decision to produce a sequel. Then a threequel!

Here’s how this epic trilogy came to be.


" />
Primal Screen Logo

design for

every screen

Portal Chasers

Nickelodeon

We col­lab­o­rat­ed with Nick­elodeon to make an ani­mat­ed short link­ing favorite char­ac­ters as they trav­el through the uni­vers­es of clas­sic video games. With 14 mil­lion YouTube views, and rabid fans study­ing each frame for east­er eggs, Nick made the inevitable deci­sion to pro­duce a sequel. Then a threequel!

Here’s how this epic tril­o­gy came to be.


Full Row Media

Save the Baby

Media and Text Image

Nick came to us with the loose idea of creating a piece featuring Nick stars crossing over into video-game parodies. We collaborated with their writing team to flesh out a structure and choose which games to reference. Meanwhile we worked on character design, as well as the games’ look. Together we decided that none of the games depicted should be totally faithful to the original. Some are even combinations of several similar games.

Full Row Media
Full Row Media
Full Row Media
Full Row Media
Full Row Media
Full Row Media

Media and Text Image

This first spot draws together characters from two shows, The Loud House and SpongeBob SquarePants. We redesigned them in a squat, caricature style with bold outlines to unite their looks and to separate their game selves from their broadcast versions.

After passing through parodies of popular games like Super Mario Broth­ers, Minecraft and Angry Birds, the team shows up for the final boss battle. We redesigned the characters again in their own boss style, along with introducing a new, four-headed dragon for them to fight.

Full Row Media

Pizza Pandemonium

Fol­low­ing the suc­cess of Save the Baby” (and a spin­off game Nick built), the net­work invit­ed us back to game­land. This time the Teenage Mutant Nin­ja Tur­tles had to tra­verse six games to retrieve some­thing very dear to them, pizza!

Full Row Media
Full Row Media
Full Row Media
Full Row Media
Full Row Media

Media and Text Image

As viewers follow the characters through Nick versions of games like Fortnite, Splatoon and Super Smash Bros, they find plenty of easter eggs from the previous Portal Chase game. Once again, the characters sport a new stubby design for all their gamehopping. 

This short comes full circle, ending where the previous one began. At least that was the plan until Nick decided they had one more story to tell. 

Full Row Media

Secret Formula Frenzy

The third install­ment in the series assem­bles the heroes of the first short with those of the sec­ond, as they chase after SpongeBob’s neme­sis, Plank­ton. In the final show­down, they almost lose to the giant, exo-suit­ed Plank­ton, ani­mat­ed in the 1930’s Cup­head style. Then the entire cast of The Casagrandes arrives in a bat­tle-ready vari­ant of their entire apart­ment building.


Full Row Media
Full Row Media
Full Row Media

The epi­logue leads to the oth­er Por­tal Chase sto­ries, because all three can be viewed in any order. It even hints at new games the Chasers might face, but of course, that was just a tease. In total we cre­at­ed near­ly 50 new ver­sions of Nick­elodeon char­ac­ters and sent them through some 20 video games.

Full Row Media
Full Row Media
Full Row Media

Extra Points

Media and Text Image

For these projects we built the character rigs in Adobe Animate and animated them in ToonBoom. In addition, for games with a strong 3D feel, we animated backgrounds in Cinema 4D. We called on After Effects for all compositing chores.

Full Row Media