It’s Happy Fat Guy, the toast of the town, Fat City’s most beloved entertainer! Happy performs nightly at the Happy Fat Guy Club, and people turn out in droves to watch this ever-smiling butterball dance around to swinging jazz tunes.
It’s a bit of a film noir convention where a voluptuous siren croons at a popular night club. She’s the femme fatale, and usually figures heavily into the plot of the film. A good example is Rita Hayworth’s character “Gilda” in the excellent noir of the same name.
Happy’s character was a case where we felt like turning a film noir convention on it’s head. What if, instead of seeing a beautiful woman vamp about and sing, everyone wanted to see this naked fat guy dance? What if that were the norm? And then, more importantly, why is he in this story? And we found a way to make Happy a crucial part of the storyline, even though he has no lines, nor any relationship with any of the main characters.
Here’s some old, somewhat outdated pitch art for Happy that gives a clue as to how he figures into things (as does the title of this post):
Happy’s one of the few characters where I really needed to have our designer Anna draw a backside view for the modelers to work from, just to make sure we got the stylization of his fattiness right.
And in case you’re wondering, we never see his tender bits. This is, after all, a family show. (It’s like Porky Pig. That guy never wore pants.)