Animated comedy short ‘Sea Dogs’ sets sail for The Mill

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Sea Dogs World Premiere!

The Mill — Saturday, Dec. 29 at 10:30 p.m.

‘Sea Dogs’ premieres Dec. 29 at The Mill. — courtesy of Spencer Loucks

If you’re part of the expansive Venn diagram of folks who enjoy comedy, cartoons, pirates and pups, then you won’t want to miss the world premiere of Sea Dogs this weekend. A joint venture between Spencer Loucks, voted Best Stand-up Comic in the CRANDIC by Little Village readers, and frequent Little Village illustration contributor Lev Cantoral, Sea Dogs revolves around “a crew of pirate canines, running around, doing adventures, being chased by Monarchy type cats,” as Loucks describes it.

“The short film we made is more just an introduction to the world of Sea Dogs,” Loucks said in an email. “The short is basically a few vignettes revolving around a treasure hunt … It’s all very silly and hopefully fun.”

That short is being screened on Saturday, Dec. 29 at The Mill. The show starts at 10:30 p.m.; cover is $6. In addition to the screening, there will be performances from Loucks, Cantoral and several of the voice actors from the show, including Nick Butler, Jessica Misra, Q and Gerald Bronson.

‘Sea Dogs’ features the voice talents of a bevy of eastern Iowa comedians. — courtesy of Spencer Loucks

Loucks, who wrote and directed Sea Dogs, said that creatively, it was “definitely a collaborative process” with animator Cantoral. And other comedians and friends contributed gags along the way. Although the actors mostly stuck to the script for this short, Loucks said that he’s “definitely a fan of improvisation” and expects that “there’ll be more of that now that we have one episode under our belt.”

The short was Loucks’ first foray into directing for animation. “I am used to live action comedy,” he said, but noted, “It was definitely a fun project and I hope we get to make more episodes!”

That will depend on the short’s reception as they send it around to film festivals and studios. Even if it’s not picked up that way, though, Loucks said, “if the cartoon is well liked enough and acquires investors, we would maybe make a few more episodes independently.”

For the moment, Saturday night is your only chance to see what promises to be a perfect storm of furry fun. “Eventually I’m guessing we’ll post the short online,” Loucks said. But there’s no plan in place for that right now. So fend off those mid-winter blahs with some adventures on the high seas at The Mill.

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