|The following project has been shelved. It may or may not get a future release. Stay tuned.|
The Trapezoid Kids Movie is a shelved animated motion picture pitch by Dozerfleet Studios. It was first proposed in October of 2003, following the exploits of the Trapezoid Kids in their early attempts to learn self-control, the right reasons for actions, and to find a family. Originally going to be part of a TV series, their continuity was truncated to make them part of the Dromedeverse, along with Camelorum Adventures and Grillitan Diner.
A long time ago, Rivalto Mulquippy's wife Skirisia Mulquippy gives birth to her son Schwarggen Mulquippy (Cornert) and adopts the orphaned Dentalata Kippilnii (Polly) from her deceased parents Chubiko and Sarkakkaa Kipplinii. When things look faint for them, they ship their children al-la-Superman from Xiphoniki and towards Earth, along with means to pick up signals from Earth.
Little do they know that this will result in their children becoming adept in their knowledge of Earth's entertainment industry. Along with the ship is also smuggled Rikoolof Gribbliff (Spike) and Sterrkna Malakov (Stigmie) in another ship, also orphans. The green-born Thridigi Grapellio (Enclo) and the black-and-flat Kiffobon Chankell (Humdrum) are boarded with Schwarggen and Dentalata.
The parents of all these orphans fear what would happen if the kids ever learned the truth of what their world was coming to, so they tried to make sure that the kids never learned too much about their origins too soon. Instead, they discovered how to lock on to Earth signals, and then placed the kids into the "Earth Indoctrination" chambers of their ships so that the children would crash on Earth under the assumption that they always were from Earth. The kids don't know it yet, but they soon find out: they're jinxed! They are immortal! They also have some other side effects to the jinx, but they find that out only as they go along. The kids make a successful voyage, but don't realize just what all is at stake on their new home.
Meanwhile, things aren't going so well for Karen Mindoche, a resident of a house in a mediocre subdivision in Giddewaltz, Delaware. The subdivision owner is remodeling much of the subdivision, and he wants all the college students OUT! The only way Karen can keep him from evicting her is if she has children, but how?
She works part time, goes to school, and has a boyfriend named Keith Witterman who is preparing for a long internship in Oregon. She begins to ponder having Keith's children, but then doesn't want to strain him too much. One night, as she goes to bed nearly resigned to the idea that her and Keith will have to get married sooner than planned, she makes a wish that she never expects to come true.
She prays that if the heavens were willing to cut her any slack, since she couldn't adopt from the local agency but didn't want to strain her relationships more than they already were strained, then she'd even be willing to adopt a geometric shape if it were sent her way.
That same evening, two "meteors" hit outside her house, and one of them smashes into the neighbor's house. The neighbor, a cranky old Trista Ybarra, quickly rushes over to Karen's house, blaming her for the incident. Karen dismisses Trista and goes back towards her bedroom--but something strange is coming from the living room!
She soon discovers that there are four anthropomorphic trapezoids with barely-visible faces, singing, dancing, and watching TV in her living room! One of them, the de-facto leader, has confiscated for himself a red bow tie that Karen is sure used to belong to Keith back when he was very young.
Karen and the four freak out at first when they see each other, but quickly start warming up and Karen wastes little time befriending them. She discovers what little they know of their own history, and decides to give each of the four names.
Schwarggen, who like the others, has no idea of his real name, is named Cornert Abel. His sister is named Polly Gohn. The other two, whom Cornert and Polly just assume to be their brothers, are named Enclo Shur and Humdrum Blah. The kids, honored to be named with puns, proceed to exhibit their hyper-energetic antics; and Karen struggles to get them to go to sleep so she can start teaching them how to "fit in" with a human-run world.
When Karen wakes the Trapezoids up two few weeks later, after they've all gotten a little more accustomed to each other, they discover that Humdrum is missing - and that he has stolen Cornert's tie! Karen urges them to stay put like they had been for two weeks, and continue to play "civil." When she leaves with Keith for a date, Cornert decides that they cannot trust Karen's advice. The crew sets out to retrieve Humdrum, who is discovered to be flying all over the city uncontrollably and exhibiting other strange behaviors. They reason that he drank the forbidden cola when nobody was looking. He was high on caffeine!
They chase him around in one exploit after another, and after Cornert gets his tie back, scolds Humdrum for running off. The four of them soon find that they're not alone.
With their jobs at risk for slipping performance, FBI Agents Spitz and Mutters are sent off to play Men in Black as the government wants to capture the Trapezoids. Cornert sticks around with the other four, inadvertently getting Spitz and Mutters to divulge sensitive information to them! They learn about Spike and Stigmie Sletterman; two other Trapezoids just like them who are in the area causing mischief.
Sensing a trap, the quartet resort to numerous cartoon antics in an effort to get away from Spitz and Mutters. The two agents try everything they can think of to capture the Trapezoids, but all their efforts fail. The Trapezoids manage to escape inside a museum, but they discover Spike and Stigmie just outside, digging a Bugs Bunny-style hole! The two become offended when the four won't stick around to socialize.
The quartet notice Spitz and Mutters in hot pursuit of them again, and try to escape by pasting themselves to the side of a truck. When the two of them figure out why the truck looks funny, they try to chase it. However, they trip over a large, purple tentacle and glowing blue eyes come out of hiding briefly--the little-known legendary creature Octolipi is watching them!
The Trapezoids further their escape by using allowance money they've saved up to try to get a ride on a train. However, when the ticket dispenser man on duty, who also happens to be the railroad manager, feels that the Trapezoids short-changed him by 14 cents, he begins chasing them across the various cars of the train. The Trapezoids seize the opportunity to coin the "Ridin' Train" song, and continue their song-and-dance mayhem.
They eventually escape the train, deciding the ride wasn't very fun. They toss a quarter at their pursuer, who has been knocked nearly unconscious amidst his bumbling tirade. Spitz and Mutters completely get lost. Mutters begs that they retrace their steps, and Spitz has to deal with an angry commander on the other end of the cellphone.
The Trapezoids make it home, and decide that they need to get Karen's understanding better. They try to bake a cake; but Humdrum accidentally catches it on fire and nearly burns down the kitchen! Karen arrives home to hear the Trapezoids' confessions. She feels embarrassed and doesn't wish to tell them where she'd been with Keith. She forgives them for the cake and tells them to go to bed, with the promise that things will be better in the morning. That night, she begins having feelings of guilt over the fact that she is just using the Trapezoids, and begins dreaming about them as a true family.
Little does she know that Polly is spying on her, and is becoming well aware of what she and Keith are doing when the Trapezoids aren't around to see it! Polly tries to share her insights with her brothers; but they either don't understand her innuendos or don't care.
Karen wakes up the next morning, determined to show the Trapezoids a new appreciation as their adoptive mother. She wonders why Polly is particularly upset, but why the others just look bored. They reveal that they're only children; and need something to do besides nothing. She decides to enroll them in school: a quick-fix for everyone (or so she thinks.)
She introduces them to the principal; who is terrified at the sight of them. Since he doesn't teach high school, he deduces that the kids should be placed in seventh grade; so he'll only have them around for two years. Keith joins in with Karen and the Trapezoids to bring Karen some encouragement; and the six of them have a wonderful afternoon shopping for school supplies. Elsewhere, Spitz and Mutters come up with another plan to capture the Trapezoids.
Principals of dining
Octolipi, after a lengthy monologue, sneaks into the principal's house at night and makes an attempt to eat the principal. He fails miserably, and leaves in a hurry. He runs into Spitz and Mutters, and thoroughly scares them away.
The two of them catch Humdrum and Keith checking out skateboards, and make an attempt. Their device fails though, when Polly sneaks up behind them and clogs their device's necessary airflow with nothing more than a bathroom sponge! The device explodes, and sends several shelves of merchandise collapsing like dominoes. The fleeing Spitz and Mutters end up being buried under the merchandise, and Karen decides to take the Trapezoids home.
Module 4 Mayhem
The Trapezoids try to blend in at school, with mediocre success. Their science teacher inadvertently initiates a side-effect of the jinx, and the kids start performing the song-and-dance "The Module 4 Data Song" in class. The science room barely survives the mayhem!
Stopping the Shooter
During recess, the school bully tries his hardest to leave an impression on the kids. The Trapezoids frustrate him, so he decides to execute a school shooting. The Trapezoids, being immortal, frustrate him and soon neutralize him and his gun as a threat. He is hauled away screaming that he can't understand what "re-matting" is, or how it is that the Trapezoids can't stay dead.
Rise of Octolipi
Spitz and Mutters get word of this; but are fired before they can do anything! Just as they're complaining, several large tentacles grab them from the gutter and drag them under. The school is soon under surveillance, and the Trapezoids go into the nearest nightclub to hide, convinced they caused some sort of trouble at school.
Octolipi then partially fries the memories of Spitz and Mutters, increasing each agents' stupidity level. He tries to brainwash them into being his henchman at first; but then discovers that they are willing to work for him willingly. They want to help him catch the Trapezoids, purely out of revenge for losing their jobs. Spitz can't remember for certain, but he feels he may have had a wife at one time as well. Either way, the agents are convinced their lives are ruined because of the Trapezoids.
Octolipi gives Spitz and Mutters a brief introduction to his sinister plan to make himself a giant and terrorize the city; and confuses them with his proclaimed desire to devour the faculty of Kappin Elementary. He states that he fears the Trapezoids may be the key to his device; and wants to use them as transistors. He also states that he believes the Trapezoids are the only ones who can stop him. When Spitz and Mutters cannot determine how to find the Trapezoids, Octolipi deduces that they must have been adopted by a human family. They do a quick search and discover that Karen Mindoche is somehow claiming dependents that she couldn't possibly have had. They discover on her Facebook profile that she is in a relationship with Keith, whom the two remember from the shopping incident.
The Trapezoids all head outside to watch the fireflies and enjoy the last of the summer. A street musician begins playing a pleasant folk rock song. For once, the Trapezoids are able to be reflective, deep, and relaxed rather than zany. The temporary exception is Humdrum, slurping annoyingly on his last drops of Sprite before Polly beats him into the mood of the others. They begin following him around in the darkness; like children being lured by the Pied Piper.
While they're out, Karen and Keith enjoy some quality time together without the Trapezoids. However, just as Keith is getting ready to leave, Spitz and Mutters break into the house. They try to tell Karen she's under arrest; but when she proves that they're no longer real agents, they simply kidnap her instead. Octolipi shows up, much to the surprise of the henchmen, and tells them that he tagged along to make sure they didn't screw up.
They leave a note for the Trapezoids, and drive off into the night. The Trapezoids eventually snap out of their trance, and are embarrassed to have walked all the way to the park. They head back, and immediately decide to rescue Karen somehow. Spike and Stigmie show up, and Spike begins lecturing the other four about all the trouble they've caused in town. Stigmie inadvertently lets everyone know that Spike himself was the one behind a lot of the worst of it; and in effect vindicates the quartet!
Spike initially refuses to help the quartet, as he is still bitter with them in spite their defense that they were being chased. Stigmie wishes them good luck, and stays by her brother's side. The two of them decide to go back to their adopted family; the Slettermans, and see what's going on. However, when they read the note; Spike thinks there might be treasure. The two Sletterman Trapezoids decide to tag along and hide just to find out.
The Failed Rescue
Octolipi is waiting for the Trapezoids when they show up, and their efforts to rescue Karen, while zany, ultimately fail. He uses them in his device and keeps them and Karen trapped under surveillance. He grows himself giant-size, and after spending some time in the Atlantic coastal water, decides to begin his raid on the city. Spitz and Mutters, realizing that their new boss means business, decide to warn as many as they can of what is happening; so that the townsmen can get their children out of the way.
Octolipi specifically informs them, however not to give the heads-up to anybody connected to the school; so he can eat the principal.
A Family at Last
While trapped, Karen confesses everything to the Trapezoids; and they forgive her. They decide that they're all a family in the end. Just then, Keith shows up with Spike and Stigmie. Spike grudgingly helps free them all, before disappearing off with Stigmie into the night.
Keith informs them that Stigmie and he got Spike convinced that it was worthwhile to simply do what was right for once, and that Spike for once gave in. The others prove grateful, but then set out to defeat Octolipi. Just as Octolipi is about to have the principal for lunch, he is interrupted by an out-of-control flying Humdrum!
Cornert, Polly, and Enclo each try their own gigs, and a comical battle ensues as they find a way to shrink Octolipi back to normal size. Upon being shrunk and forced to give up his pursuit of the principal, Octolipi disappears with Spitz and Mutters. The FBI and CIA show up; and Karen pleads her case on the spot. The principal confirms that the Trapezoids are indeed the local town heroes; as much as he despises them otherwise. The Trapezoids explain that they don't mean any harm, but can't always help themselves. They pull off several silly gags; and the agencies decide to drop everything: if Karen adopts them legally. Keith then shows up with Karen's parents; who decide to support her decision in a fit of irony.
The Trapezoids then have names; a home, a school, and can start developing a niche for themselves in their new environment. Their playful rivalry with Spike and Stigmie continues; and their enemies continue to hide; plotting their revenge on the world.
Character model evolution
The second assignment of ARTS 102: Design and Communication Class at Lansing Community College for the Spring Semester 2003 Computer Animation program consisted of taking four black squares and arranging them on a canvas in such as way as to convey some abstract concept or another.
Tweaking the Trapezoids to life
The next step, upon gaining permission, was to distort just enough but not too much. After that assignment, the idea of the Trapezoids was so appealing, that they found their way into almost every single assignment. The few that didn't featured Grillitan Diner paraphernalia instead. Some time after the Dozerfleet founder transferred to Ferris from LCC, the third floor of LCC's Academic Offices (AOF) Building was converted to a large storage facility. The class in which the Trapezoids were born was eventually moved to room 108 of the Gannon Building.
What's in a Trapezoid?
Textures were defined for them, as there was some interest in them being 3-D cartoons. For many years after 2003, the Trapezoid Kids concept would lay buried, and would not be reused greatly again until 2007. By that time, it was decided that they'd be better as 2-D cartoons.
In that time, the Trapezoids gained their current appearances. Originally, Enclo and Humdrum were indistinguishable from each other. By 2004, the decision was made that if ever the Trapezoids were to be picked up again, Enclo would become green to set him apart from Humdrum.
Karen was decided early on in the development process as being an essential character for the Trapezoids in their lives for the backstory. But her exact role was rarely fleshed out very far. Keith was created merely to provide moral conflict and love interest in Karen's life; and to give her a motivation to adopt the Trapezoids in the first place.
Since then, defining the Trapezoids' world has been a much-stalled process. In 2004, Cursed is the Ground took precedence over developing the Trapezoids. By 2005, Ciem and related Gerosha material took precedence.
By the time the series found its way into the Summer 2007 Compositing for Video class (TVPR 210) at Ferris State University, the Trapezoids' appearances were further refined. Also, they were given voices. Cornert's voice was modeled after Yakko Warner, with Polly's modeled after Dot Warner and Enclo modeled after Wakko. Humdrum's voice was modeled after that of Butters from South Park, with his bad luck being a watered-down version of Kenny's.
TVPR 420 at Ferris
The summer class of 2007 at Ferris State University for DVD production was split into two teams, each team trying to best the other at designing a promotional DVD for the TV production department's promotional purposes. The Trapezoid Kids featured several times in the preliminaries for ideas. Agent Mutters was originally going to be depicted as being crushed under a TDMP logo, but he was replaced with a ninja trying to steal an HDTV that was seated on top of the text.
The Trapezoids did, however, almost make it into the DVD label art. They were hidden in the form of an advertisement on the disc's label side. The Stationery Voyager Pinkella Goldsen and some Xyliens feature inside the large old-style TV.
In barely-legible text, the Dozerfleet Studios pop-up stated: "You're watching: Stationery Voyagers," followed by: "Next: The Trapezoid Kids," with miniature Trapezoids featuring in the lower right of the screen above the text. This was done as a parody of the notices on several networks of shows upcoming after shows, mainly copying the styles of NBC and Jetix.
Ultimately, however, the marketing department at Ferris rejected this design and replaced it with a generic design. They didn't believe that the "cute" version of the DVD cover would convince new students of the credibility of the program.