By Mercedes Milligan
May 23, 2022
Calling all rock stars, fashion icons and naked mole rat lovers! Mo Willems’ fan-favorite Naked Mole Rat, Wilbur J. Mole Rat, Jr., will emerge from his underground tunnel for a stunning CGI-animated hour of “underground” music and comedy Thursday, June 30, on Cartoonito on HBO MAX for Naked Mole Rat Gets Dressed: The Underground Rock Experience!
The special will also debut later on Cartoonito on Cartoon Network to knock your socks on as it reminds us that authenticity is the best accessory.
Based on Willems’ New York Times best-selling picture book, Naked Mole Rat Gets Dressed (Hyperion) and sold-out theatrical rock experience (Seattle Children’s Theater, The Alliance Theater, venues nationwide), this animated rock opera strikes a power chord about accepting others. The musical event is accessorized by a fun and funny tale about a sensitive, curious and rockin’ Naked Mole Rat named Wilbur (voiced by Jordan Fisher) who “scandalously” decides to (gasp!) get dressed!
The message of authenticity and accepting others are in perfect harmony with Cartoonito’s Humancentric Learning Framework. Find out what happens when Wilbur’s newfound love of rocking outfits rocks Naked Mole Rat society to its core…
Additional voice cast members include Yvette Nicole Brown as Grande, a member of Mole Rat society’s popular crowd and front mole of the Tunnel’s Rock Band “The Mole-ing Stones”; Kate Micucci as Tall, a rule-follower with a heart of gold; Kevin Michael Richardson as Venti, a big lug that needs just two things in life: rocking out with his bandmates and being stark raving naked!; Carol Kane as Grand-Mah, the larger-than-life-but-smaller-
Willems and Mr. Warburton co-wrote the script with original tunes by Willems (lyrics) and Deborah Wicks La Puma (music). Willems and Mr. Warburton executive produce alongside Stampede Ventures’ Greg Silverman and Jay Judah, with OddBot Animation Studios serving as animation house. Megan Alrutz is producer on behalf of the Mo Willems Workshop. Songs are produced by Dan Petty, Doug Petty and Michelle Lewis.
You can read all about the new special in the well-dressed 35th Anniversary issue of Animation Magazine (June/July ’22, No. 321), available soon!