Winston, Mac, Emerson and Moonie — “The Grimps” — may soon be just a band of hairy, scary rock & rollers to the average cartoon-loving kid, but to Richard Sirgiovanni, they’re his two joint passions come to life.
Sirgiovanni — a Rockaway resident who was born and raised in Howard Beach — combined his love for rock & roll and cartooning to create the lovably-grisly quartet.
Cursed by the evil Spectar who was jealous of the band’s music and fame, the four friends are cool and charming musicians on the verge of stardom by night. But by day, they’re nothing but tiny, gruesome creatures.
The kids’ animation show will follow the dual life of “The Grimps” as they battle with only being human from sunset to sunrise, and with always having the evil Spectar at their furry heels.
“There’s bad entertainment out there for kids. We wanted to attract the children to get across positive messages, to give them some fun things to see,” Sirgiovanni said. “We want to reintroduce rock & roll music to young kids. Not that there is anything wrong with the current music today, but music has just changed so, so much. There’s freshness and honesty to good rock & roll music.”
Sirgiovanni plans on luring in more than one generation with his musical monsters.
“We believe that it’s really going to tie in the three generations for kids, parents and grandparents. We have a lot of interest from old pop stars and contemporary comedians that want to do the voiceovers for the characters. It’ll remind the classic rock & roll generation of when they were growing up as teenagers in the 70s.”
So far, musical pop icons and contemporary celebrities that have committed to being voiceovers of characters and making guest appearances are Peter Noone, Keith Emerson, Micky Dolenz, Todd Rundgren and Eric Burdon. Sirgiovanni said other stars like Meatloaf, Ringo Starr, Adam Sandler and Jack Black are being contacted, as well.
In addition to the show, Sirgiovanni intends on producing original rock & roll music to be presented to the public as The Grimps – a music entity itself.
Sirgiovanni recently left his Rockaway digs to fly to Los Angeles and begin meeting with major television producers, networks and writers — including Alec Sokolow, who helped write “Toy Story.”
“The ultimate goal is to now secure a development deal and find a network that is interested in putting the show out,” he said.
He hopes the show will hit airwaves in less than a year. There will also be a possibility that the show will turn into a motion picture, Sirgiovanni said.
“We’re hoping to bring back roll & roll for kids and try to get some really funny, positive entertainment for the whole family,” he said. “The project has a lot of potential. There are a lot of influential people behind the music. I’m just looking to have a lot of fun with it and hope the public enjoys it.”
A musician himself, Sirgiovanni is a graduate from the School of Visual Arts in Manhattan. Prior to “The Grimps,” he was a freelance cartoonist for magazines, books and advertising.
To listen to “The Grimps’” theme song — which was written and recorded by Ron Dante and Freddy Cannon — go to www.thegrimps.com.