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Kong Studio Tells the Gory True Tale of Mike the Headless Chicken

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The Long Story Short concept is to tell an interesting and amusing true story in under 60 seconds using the medium of animation

Kong Studio Tells the Gory True Tale of Mike the Headless Chicken

Our headless chicken’s story begins in Colorado in 1945. Mike, a male Wyandotte chicken, defied death and continued to live for a further 18 months after having his head chopped off by hungry farmer Lloyd Olsen. Mike had lost his head but, he gained fame and fortune travelling sideshows until he died in 1947. His legacy has hen-dured ever since.

Kong co-founder Tom had been aware of the true story of a chicken who lived without his head for some time. Once Kong’s first ‘Long Story Short’ instalment, ‘Two Ton Tony’ written by Bill Elliott, had been released, egg-spectations were high for Tom to come up with his one-minute animation. But he didn’t want to put all his eggs in just an animation basket. He chose to write and sing a song to tell the story too.

Tom worked around the cluck to nail down the words, melody and animatic in one evening, scared the musical recipe might not be to everyone’s taste. But Tom needn’t be concerned about his chicken coming home to roost. He had created an ear-splitting egg-stravaganza!

The idea of a circular motion was plucked from an earlier concept by designer Matt Oxborrow and reminiscent of an old record being played. Tom asked Matt to join the flock and add his flourishes to the overall style. Matt’s im-peck-able designs lift the story, and the result is poultry in motion. The next test was fine-tuning the animation to include all the visual details of Mike’s gory story.

Mike the Headless Chicken - it’s a tale that is weird, shocking, and funny all at once. 

Kong co-founder Tom Baker said: “I’ve always dreamed of writing a silly song about chickens and when we started our “Long Story Short” series it felt like time. Cartoon chickens are funny. Walking chickens are even funnier and if you take the head off, put it to music then that’s a long way to having something worth making. I’m glad Matt was involved as he’s good with circles meaning I could focus on chickens, farmers and sweet, sweet music. I’m egg-static with the results! It’s clucking great!”

‘Mike the Headless Chicken’ is available to watch now on Vimeo and YouTube. To watch the rest of the ‘Long Story Short’ series visit here.

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Production Company

Production Company: Kong Studio

Based on a True Story

Writer: Tom Baker

Design: Matt Oxborrow & Tom Baker

Animation: Tom Baker & Bill Elliott

Music: Tom Baker

Producer: Emma Burch

Genres: Animation

Categories: Short films, Short Films and Music Videos

Kong Studio, Fri, 16 Jul 2021 12:46:00 GMT