And Now an Interview with the Guy Who Created Those Weird Cineplex Popcorn Animations

Seriously, what's the deal with those buttery dudes?

BY Tom WhalenPublished May 2, 2018

As many Canadians know, the Scotiabank popcorn shorts are a ubiquitous part of the moviegoing experience. Those little poppers have been popping up at Cineplex theatres across the country, airing before all feature films.

Naturally, we had to get to the bottom this new great cinematic franchise. As such, we conducted a casual interview over email with Kevin Grady. He's the creative director at againstallodds, the Swedish production company that created the shorts. Of course, to make the interview happen we had to butter him up a bit....

The popcorn shorts are ubiquitous to movie fans across Canada, screening before every feature film at Cineplex theatres. How did you come up with the concept?

I'm afraid I can't really take credit for the concept. That honour goes to the advertising agency we worked with on the films, Bensimon Byrne, in Toronto. They sent us a bunch of funny little scripts for us to develop into films and we corresponded with them throughout the process. Our job was to adapt and do justice to what was working so well on the page, during the process of bringing the films to the screen, in terms of character and set design, animation and overall style.

Do you know who Tanner Zipchen is? There's a rumour that he actually voices one of the popcorn kernels.

Well I didn't, before I just did a quick Internet search. So I suppose you learn something every day! As to him being the voice of one of the popcorn characters, I wouldn't know. All I do know is that I provided voices on a rough track, myself, to work to at the very early stages of production and I sounded pretty terrible. It made me appreciate the professional voice artists who took over for the final soundtrack. So if Tanner Zipchen was involved, as the rumour goes, he has my respect!

Who is your favourite popcorn kernel?

I quite like the big hero Captain character, who's the beefy one with the big jaw and dashing quiff. He's definitely a man's man! But the character with the best name is Colonel Kernel. He's the leader, with the beret and the walrus moustache.

Any chance we'll see more of our buttery little friends in the future?

Hope so. They are nice little films to produce and these popcorn characters would be fun to revisit. Also, we've only made a few and if they're really being screened before every feature film over there, you'd probably need to add a few more to the mix!

Would you ever be open to the idea of a feature film starring these characters?

It would be quite a feat to turn this funny little concept into a story that could sustain a feature film! But why not? As far as I'm aware, despite it's affiliation with cinema, there's never actually been a film about popcorn. It might just be the ideal opportunity for all those background popcorn characters to shine! So, yes to a popcorn feature film from me!


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