Emmy Award-winning director and producer Ryan Quincy is creator and executive producer of Disney XD’s animated comedy adventure series Future-Worm! Quincy is best known for his work on the long-running animated series South Park for which he won two Emmy Awards in 2008 and 2009 and was nominated in 2010 and 2011, all for Outstanding Animated Program. He also created IFC animated series Out There for which he also voiced the lead role of Chad.
Quincy began his career as an animator on the full-length feature film South Park: Bigger, Longer & Uncut and spent twelve years working on the series in various roles including animation producer, animation director and lead animator.
A native of Holdrege, Nebraska, Quincy received his Bachelor of Arts in English and a graphic design minor at the University of Nebraska Kearney. He aspired to be a pro-surfer, but a career-ending injury landed him in the hospital where he spent a lot of time watching cartoons, which sparked his love
for animation, leading him to pursue it as a career.
Quincy currently resides in Los Angeles, California, with his wife and young son and daughter. His hobbies include playing basketball and fishing.
Art Eddy: You created and are executive-producing a new show on Disney XD called Future-Worm. I saw the first episode and liked it. Do you remember when and where you were when you created this show in your mind?
Ryan Quincy: I came to Disney TV Animation in September of 2013. I had been working for South Park for a really long time. I have two kids. My son is eleven and my daughter is nine. I couldn’t share my work with them. They are like what does daddy do? (Both laugh.) He works with cartoons, but not cartoons for kids.
When I came to Disney it was liberating and refreshing. I wanted to make a show that I can watch with my kids and not have to hit mute. That was the driving force of coming over to Disney and making a show that I could watch with my kids. I also had to tap into my nine and ten year old brain and think of the show that I wanted to watch and it happened to be Future-Worm. (Both laugh.)
AE: How long was the process for getting the show from concept to the pilot episode?
RQ: Well with the development of Future-Worm, we did it a bit differently. We did five shorts instead of just one pilot. We did five 90 second shorts. With each one of those shorts I wanted to just showcase Danny and Future-Worm’s friendship. Kind of get the taste of what the story would be like. That happened pretty fast. It was sort of under the radar. Let’s just make them and show them and see what they say.
Luckily that worked out for us. It was sort of like do it yourself. Even though we are here at Disney TV Animation we were still in the corner making these weird shorts about this worm with a bulletproof beard, titanium abs, and travel in a time machine lunchbox. The culture here with shows like Gravity Falls and Wander Over Yonder and Pickle and Peanut there is a little more freedom and you have more ways to get a little more weirder.
We did them pretty fast and we were green lit for the series. We got an order of 21 episodes. We started in earnest last January. I remember writing that first episode that you watched. Now it is finally getting to see the light of day. Animation takes time. (Both laugh.) You got to love these characters and love the world because they are like family. You will be spending a lot time with these characters.
AE: You are known for the great work with South Park. What did you learn from that series that helped you with Future-Worm?
RQ: I learned so much about story telling from Trey Parker and Matt Stone. They never settled. They were always working and working on a story until the bitter end. As you have probably heard of the infamous stories of turning around a 22 minute South Park episode is done in five to six days. So there is never one completed script. There are a couple pages here and there. You are just constantly working and working. So I learned storytelling from them and never settling. Always trying to beat that last joke or beat that storyline.
AE: There is humor for kids and adults. Since you are a father was it something you intentionally did so that parents would want to watch it with their kids?
RQ: Absolutely. The whole driving force was that I wanted to make a show that I can watch with my kids or parents can watch with their kids or people who don’t have kids. They can tune in and enjoy the show too. There are references we make in the writer’s room. All those touchstones and movies that made such an impression on us. We want to put some little nods in there.
AE: The main cast is headed up by Andy Milonakis and James Adomian. What was the casting process like and did you have them in mind when you were creating the show?
RQ: Yes. I definitely wanted Andy from the beginning as Danny. As far as the character for Future-Worm and looking for that particular voice, the casting department here at Disney Animation is amazing. The brought James Adomian to me. He just nailed it. He is Future-Worm. We try to have both these guys together when they do voice records. They play off each other so well. They ad-lib and bring so much more. There will be times where we labor over a script for months. Then they come in and do one little ad-lib and beat our joke. We are like oh man. (Both laugh.) They are fantastic. We have a fun and eclectic group.
AE: Switching to fatherhood, what were some of the first few thoughts that popped into your mind when you found out that you were going to be a dad?
RQ: Oh man. It was just life changing. Until you experience it you can’t prep anyone for it. I will never forget when my son was first born. Everything changed. Boom. It was amazing. I have to watch out for this guy. It is not just all about me anymore. Having a son and a daughter has been amazing.
AE: What are some of the core values you look to instill in your kids as they grow up?
RQ: Just to be grateful. Gratitude. Just appreciate what you have. That is the main thing. Also a good taste in animation too. (Both laugh.) I might come home and see them watching something. I will say to them you can’t watch that. It is garbage.
AE: What advice do you have for new dads?
RQ: Just hang in there. You got it. (Laughs.) In this day and age dads are so much more involved with their kids as opposed to when I was growing up. It is so rewarding. It is the most rewarding thing ever to be a dad. It is challenging, but just hang in there. (Both laugh.)
Life of Dad Quick Five
AE: What is your favorite family movie you guys like to watch together?
RQ: We actually like Vacation. I know that it is a little risqué, but that is a fun one to watch. We like The Incredibles too. That is another favorite.
AE: Do you guys have a favorite song that you all like to sing and dance to as a family?
RQ: It is the Flaming Lips, Do You Realize. That is our family song.
AE: Describe the perfect family vacation.
RQ: One without cell phones. (Laughs.) Just unplug. Escape to the woods and unplug.
AE: What was your favorite cartoon series when you were a kid?
RQ: I liked the old Space Ghost and Herculoids cartoons. I know that they were done in the sixties and early seventies. You have to see reruns. I loved all those superhero action cartoons.
AE: Will your kids ever do voices for the Future-Worm?
RQ: They might. They both did voices on South Park so we will see. We have talked about it. Bug was actually loosely based on my daughter. She is high spirited with a big voice and big curly hair. They are always asking about doing voices. We will find something for them.