Making the pun work

180′s project: Manfred the Monkey – Animatic v04


The problem of keeping a pun secret, is that you don’t get any feedback on it. And if the pun needs some feedback, you know too late.

Live on the radioshow Torenkamer on Dutch Radio 4, we revealed the grand pun – which subsquently was understood by *nobody*. Yes, for a pun, that is a bummer.

From 00:40.

The pun is that Manfred gave us all this advice, but that without a tail, all of his advice is pretty useless. 

Yet you’re doomed to fail without a tail 

After which the colour block is so fed up with Manfred’s bullshit, that he kills him.


We could blame the setting, we could blame the fact that it’s only an animatic… but we also strongly felt a pun should be clear in any version of the animatic, moving or not.

So we sat down and came to the following conclusions.

  • We will extend the intro. Just running on the bassline loop. So we get time to introduce Manfred, introduce him playing with his tail. Then the colourblock comes up, asks for his attention by coming closer to Manfred, even poking him. Only when the block finally has Manfred’s attention, the full band and song kicks in. We do this so that the characters Manfred-tail-colourblock are more properly introduced.
  • After Manfred falls off the cliff, we take more time for the tail to save Manfred. So that it makes sense that Manfred says you fail without a tail.
  • When Manfred is saved by his tail, he takes some time to ground, and then gets into his cocky mode – telling us his advice is only useful when you have a tail. Then the colourblock comes in and gives him a big bashing on his head. We feel this gives more identity to the colourblock and more interaction between colourblock and Manfred.
  • Finally, the final words of Manfred Yet you’re doomed to fail without a tail will be sung half-beat. So one can actually understand the clue.


In all honesty, taking a “step back” like this is obviously not the preferred way to go. But we guess it’s the realistic one.

Back to work!


Visual Design. Colours. …and on we go!
Visual Design. Colours.
…and on we go!