Few YouTube movies have the endurance that Don’t Hug Me I’m Scared does. From the primary video’s launch on YouTube in 2011, Don’t Hug Me I’m Scared (referred to colloquially as DHMIS) made a status for itself by showing – on the floor – to be a spoof of youngsters’s tv reveals just like the American Sesame Street or British Fingerbobs. Its vibrant colours and cheerful track about ”being artistic” shortly descended into gory carnage for seemingly no purpose in any respect, however this juxtaposition of the harmless and the horrific is what gave DHMIS its on-line cult standing. Subsequent episodes had the identical method, and bore hours upon hours of analyses on YouTube and Reddit.

DHMIS creators Becky Sloan and Joseph Pelling have lengthy wished their collection to make the soar into tv. The six current episodes, launched from 2011 to 2016, have been totally crowd-funded which is why they took so lengthy to supply. But in 2018, Sloan and Pelling introduced by way of the teaser ”Wakey Wakey” that DHMIS was making the soar to tv, with funding from heavy-hitters Blink Industries, Conaco and Super Deluxe. The new collection confirmed its pilot at Sundance Film Festival in 2019 earlier than getting picked up by Channel 4 for six episodes in 2020. After six years of ready, longtime followers of DHMIS will lastly get to see these six episodes on Sept. 23.

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The History of Don’t Hug Me I’m Scared

DHMIS started life as a standalone video, however its runaway success and induction into the metaphoric Internet corridor of fame for its surprising, surreal visuals shortly spawned 5 sequels. The essential medium of the collection was, and nonetheless is, puppetry with some animated and live-action components – owing to Sloan’s background in superb arts and Pelling’s in animation. In truth, they met throughout artwork college and joined the This Is It Collective, who helped produce the preliminary viral video. The wild success of the primary video, uploaded to YouTube and Vimeo ”on a whim,” led to an invite from Sundance and monetary backing from British-based Channel 4’s Random Acts to make extra. The collection has a status for being remarkably well-produced and high-quality regardless of its lack of company backing or sponsorships.

Subsequent episodes took on the identical storyline as the unique: the three essential puppets, recognized within the fandom as Red Guy, Duck and Yellow Guy, all sit round of their residence and a query in regards to the time or researching led to a go to from a ”instructor” character, who delivered a lesson in track format. Children’s reveals typically comply with this format, with the protagonists and academics becoming a member of in a track collectively to find out about completely different features of the world and relationships. The six current episodes embrace songs about creativity, time, love, computer systems, wholesome consuming and goals earlier than they flip right into a bloody, terrifying nightmare with the protagonists getting dissected (or in a single case, consuming one another). The reasoning for puppets and the spoof on kids’s tv programming is sort of easy: the creators have a background and curiosity in each topics, and wished to include it into their artwork.

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But any dialogue about DHMIS‘ influence on on-line areas and legacy could be remiss if it excluded what made it such a fixation within the years between releases. The seemingly meaningless spiral into carnage and gore each episode regardless of its candy-colored, childish aesthetic gave delivery to countless theorizing and dialogue about what DHMIS is about. The hottest and well-known principle by far is dubbed ”the media principle” in on-line areas, cropping up in 2013 and popularized by FilmTheory on YouTube. The media principle argues that Sloan and Pelling try to inform a narrative about how the media brainwashes viewers – particularly kids – into sure political or social beliefs and being hostile in direction of critiques or questioning.

Inside A Mind posits another theory that is gaining traction in DHMIS fan areas: that the collection is a metaphor for rising up and studying to let go of childhood. The hypothesis about DHMIS‘ ”deeper that means” – if artwork can have a deeper or goal that means in any respect – along side Sloan and Pelling’s reluctance to provide a solution to that query is little doubt a part of why the collection has such a maintain on the Internet. DHMIS‘ transition to tv may mark the top of the ever-popular media principle, given {that a} huge a part of the media principle facilities round creators “selling out” to media firms and shedding authenticity.

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Where to Watch Don’t Hug Me I’m Scared

DHMIS‘ six new episodes will stream solely by way of Channel 4’s on-demand service All 4 beginning Sept. 23. However, followers dwelling exterior the United Kingdom and Republic of Ireland aren’t so fortunate – viewers want an deal with in one of many two nations to enroll in All 4. There’s no phrase but if the collection will ever get launched on YouTube or Vimeo like previous episodes of DHMIS, which is without doubt one of the extra tragic penalties of the collection getting extra funding.

As for what the collection can be about, particulars are scant however its Sundance description from 2019 provides a clue for what the pilot, at the least, entails: ”In the small city neighborhood of Clayhill, roommates Red Guy, Yellow Guy and Duck stay easy, uneventful lives – till Mayor Pigface disappears.” It’s unsure if the brand new collection will tangibly join again to the YouTube episodes, however it’s secure to imagine that it’ll happen in the identical universe, maybe in between the opposite episodes or as a prequel. The new episodes will, certainly, spark curiosity within the cult basic once more and reinvigorate an already energetic, devoted fanbase as soon as extra – and hopefully result in extra Don’t Hug Me I’m Scared sooner or later.

You can catch Don’t Hug Me I’m Scared solely on Sept. 23 by way of All 4.

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