Waves of possessed toys move through the land of Udrogoth, wreaking havoc among the residents. Once again, the Dark Lord Chuckles the Silly Piggy has devised a plot – albeit adorable – to upset the kingdom. Silly Piggy’s mischief is familiar to any regular viewer of the animated Disney series, “Dave the Barbarian”.
The scene cuts away to a spectator unmoved by the stuffed masses. "They're destroying the land!" she squeals. "Isn't that cute?"
While brief, this pink-clad character’s debut marks the realization of Amy’s wish. Amy is fascinated by animation – it’s a limitless art that brings creativity to life. Cartoons offer a refuge away from the immovable reality of her cancer and chemotherapy treatments.
A Wish … and a New Character
A year earlier, Disney’s Television Animation team was still in the middle of producing “Dave the Barbarian” when they heard of Amy’s wish to be in a cartoon.
They aren’t just going to feature her in a cartoon – they want to help a young animation fan understand the true nature of their craft. This is Amy’s opportunity to be a part of the world that inspires her.
Her wish day begins early with a full tour of the Disney studios, Disney archives and the Television Animation department. Jose Zelaya, animator and character designer for “Dave the Barbarian”, introduces Amy to the character based on her: Moky. “Amy was really impressed by everything,” he recalls. “It made me appreciate and remember why I do animation.”
Amy’s Avatar Comes to Life
Moky’s cheerful energy is a perfect representation of Amy. The name, Moky Varlet, is the re-arranged letters of her name. For the voice, Amy travels to the recording studio in Los Angeles. “She was a natural, no stage fright at all. She got into her character pretty quickly and nailed the line right away,” says Howy Parkins, director.
She leaves loaded with original sketches, posters, a personalized “Dave the Barbarian” nameplate and a collection of other treasures. Of course, Amy exits with her characteristic ear-to-ear grin and eager anticipation for the day Moky Varlet will star.
“This was her once-in-a-lifetime wish, and we felt we couldn’t do enough,” Howy remembers. "But after seeing her excitement, we knew we had been successful in our hopes to make it a great experience."