Cult fave Don't Hug Me I'm Scared to debut new episode at Sundance

Fans of the animated web series starring Red Guy, Yellow Guy and Duck, it's time to book a trip to Utah.

Gael Cooper
CNET editor Gael Fashingbauer Cooper, a journalist and pop-culture junkie, is co-author of "Whatever Happened to Pudding Pops? The Lost Toys, Tastes and Trends of the '70s and '80s," as well as "The Totally Sweet '90s." She's been a journalist since 1989, working at Mpls.St.Paul Magazine, Twin Cities Sidewalk, the Minneapolis Star Tribune, and NBC News Digital. She's Gen X in birthdate, word and deed. If Marathon candy bars ever come back, she'll be first in line.
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Gael Cooper
3 min read

Don't hug me, I'm going to Sundance. Fans of the acclaimed animated web series Don't Hug Me I'm Scared, it's time to get creative about booking a winter trip to Utah. A new episode will air at the Sundance Film Festival in Park City, Utah, in early 2019, the creators confirmed Wednesday 

"The episode of DHMIS screening at Sundance is an entirely new episode," Tom Stuart, executive producer for Blink Industries, said via email. "We're very excited to be part of Sundance and hope to all be there for the screenings." 

But don't expect the show to immediately be uploaded to YouTube afterward for endlessly decryption by fans and followers.

"At present, (the Sundance showing) is the only screening of the episode," Stuart said.   

The exact date for the showing would be released later in December, a Sundance representative said. The festival runs from Jan. 24 to Feb. 3.

The episode will be a half-hour long TV pilot based on the cult web series. 

"We rejoin our heroes Red Guy, Yellow Guy and Duck as they reluctantly continue their learning journey in the town of Clayhill, a strange, insular community fending off the advances of the modern world with every ounce of its strength" a summary of the episode reports. "It's a town filled with friendly faces, happy songs and dark secrets."

The show will play as part of Sundance's Indie Episodic category. The description from the festival itself offers a little more plot detail.

"Red Guy, Yellow Guy and Duck are roommates in the small town of Clayhill, and things are simple until Mayor Pigface disappears," the description reads. "This live-action/animated horror-comedy spoof of children's television is created by, written by and stars Becky Sloan, Joseph Pelling and Baker Terry."

The acclaimed animated web series thrilled fans back in September with a 29-second teaser posted to YouTube. Despite its short length, that video quickly shot to the top of YouTube's trending videos, and has since earned more than 7 million views. Before that, the last new episode came out in 2016.

When the September teaser came out, a spokeswoman for the show confirmed there were hopes the new pilot would lead to a regular DHMIS series.

"So far, we've shot a spec pilot and are pitching it to streaming and cable networks," the spokeswoman told me at the time. "It has not sold to a network yet."

The Sundance announcement is good news for fans, who may have worried about the show's future after the October news that SuperDeluxe, the unit of Turner Broadcasting that worked on DHMIS, was being shut down.

Like all DHMIS episodes, even the short teaser earned a second life thanks to fan discussion. YouTube channel The Film Theorists is known for carefully and intelligently dissecting each frame of DHMIS episodes, among other entertainment videos. That site's take on the 29-second teaser has earned more than 2.8 million views.

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