This is my pet project, and one of my oldest worlds. Think what would happen if Fleischer met the old MTV bumpers, and you'd get what the Toon Project is. Mostly.
The Toon Project, aka Project ¡!, is set in a chaotic, zany cartoony world inhabited by talking animals and living objects, that gets even more unstable whenever music is involved. It follows the domestic (yet strange) adventures of Rufo, a cartoony dog DJ, and his two best (and weirdest) friends: Medley, a sentient radio; and Flux, a mysterious creature made of ink. Together, the three form the Interrogang, and try to make a living and eventually become famous looking for all sorts of music gigs.
This is a brief run-down of what this world is about, and how it is organized. This is also meant to tell you the "philosophy" behind its creation.
This is a world based on rubberhose and golden era cartoons.
This means there are talking animals and living objects and slapstick violence runs rampant, but nobody seems to die or get hurt for too long. Also, a lot of silly nonsensical stuff happens. The kind you shouldn't think too hard about.
There's a strong music video aspect.
There are fun music video elements, just because I love them and they tie well with the music aspect of the story. Abstract, flashy backgrounds, synchronized music and animation, trippy visuals... Who knows, maybe as my animation skills get better, I might make an actual music video in the future!
The overall tone is silly, lighthearted and zany.
Here we believe that nowadays, media takes itself too seriously, and tries to make telenovelas out of cartoons. That's not the case with Project ¡!. The stakes are usually not high, and there are no character deaths or a strong focus on heavy topics.
We don't take ourselves seriously, and we are proud of being fiction.
Here, we don't mind being a bit loose in the narrative, or not making sense all the time, or not being "realistic". Here, we don't make self-deprecating gags about this being "a cartoon" or "fiction", or we try to pull your leg with a big plot twist that comes from nowhere and frankly, it's only there to make headlines. Here, we don't sacrifice who we are for the sake of shocking the audience, and we revel in the fact that we are fiction meant to delight and entertain. We're genuine in here.
Tooneiros is the home of all ¡! characters. It's a summery island set on an unstable reality where the laws of the natural, logical world barely apply, making of Tooneiros a wacky, chaotic, zany place where animals talk, objects are alive, gravity just does whatever, and everything can go souther with a strong musical presence.
The map above is just for the sake of visualization and reference, and it is not meant to be a 100% accurate representation. However, there are a few constant landmarks: a volcano, a canyon, and significant foresty & countryside areas. Most cities are coastal cities, although the capital of the island, Swancastle, is placed in the interior of the island.
Paths, roads, train tracks, subway tunnels and even sidewalks are more like rollercoasters: even rivers can be raised so boats can go over cars!
Technological development has been stuck in the 90s, and even then it's still largely anachronistical: computers and mobile phones aren't as common as they are nowadays, and they still use an analogue to AOL there.
In addition to this, there's been a fairly recent state of suspicion and paranoia regarding the strange apparition of "short colorful beings coming from the sky in flashing clouds" (more on that later).
"Toon" is the name any inhabitant of Tooneiros receives. These take the form of animals and objects, and there are no humans here. They come in all kinds of shapes, sizes and styles. However, there are traits shared among all Toons:
A general tendency towards anthropomorphism: straight back, fairly long legs, head on top, and usually 2 arms and 2 legs.
Pie eyes/Pacman pupils: Eyes can come in many different shapes, but all pupils have a little triangle shape missing, like in old cartoons.
Punny names: Almost all names are goofy, tongue-in-cheek and related to their species and/or character. When in doubt, alliterate it!
Talking animals are the "organic" inhabitants of Tooneiros.
They can be any kind of animal, from a more generic & abstract species ("bird", "dog", "lizard") from a more specific one ("eurasian coot", "saluki", "blue tailed skink").
Animals tend to follow stereotypes and conceptions about them in real life. This means things like: cats and dogs dislike eachother, pigs are dirty and messy, rabbits and foxes are cunning and clever...
They often have the natural colours of their real life counterparts. Thus, mammals are often brown, black, white or grey, while birds, fish & amphibians tend to be more colorful. Reptiles are often green.
They may look cartoony, but their limbs ALWAYS draw from their real life counterparts. White gloves are common because they act as universal adaptators to all sorts of limbs!
In a similar fashion to white gloves, it is not uncommon to see animals who naturally lack certain limbs (like snakes and birds) with prosthetic limbs.
Non-anthropomorphic animals exist in Tooneiros, often fulfilling the role of "normal" animals in real life (sparrows and pigeons on the streets, chickens on a farm, wild deer and boars in a forest...). They look closer to real animals in terms of body plan, and are way less talkative. Unlike real animals, they all wear shoes, and they can do the same things as anthro animals do: sing, dance, emote like people, buy tickets to the cinema...
However, animals do not need to kill other animals for food (it's not like they can, either): while meat products exist in Tooneiros, these come from "meat plants", whose fruit bear a striking resemblance to the meat products used in real life. There are kinds of meat plants that grow on land, and others that grow on the seafloor, like algae. Some animals get upset at the idea of "fruit" looking like them, though.
Living objects are the "artificial" inhabitants of Tooneiros.
Most objects want nothing but to serve the purpose they were made for, and will only "spring to life" in certain situations, mostly to quip, comment or complain.
However, some objects crave a greater sense of individuality, and thus they will make an agreement with some empty, unused clothes to form an anthropomorphic body to stand on. This is what we usually call an "object head". Yes, this means object heads have hollow "bodies" and that the "true" part of their beings is just their heads.
Objects tend to come alive and leave when they feel they are not needed anymore or forgotten. Keys in particular are HUGE drama queens.
Objects do not need to eat, and since they are not created with tastebuds, they have little to no interest in food. Some of them like to consume one specific thing outside of their "norm" (batteries, electricity, fuel, water...) because that's the only thing they can taste. While this particular thing can be "edible", it is not really something meant to be eaten on its own (strong spicy sauces, bad coffee, overused cooking oil, pure sugar, raw flour...).
Objects have a different sense of birthdays and families than talking animals do. They pick their "birthdays" based on important events in their lives (first time becoming an object head seems to be a constant favourite), and they defo love the concept of "found family".