Early version of Cow-a-Dunga

Cow-a-dunga! is the result of 21 script drafts. Yep. 21 revisions for a 4 minute cartoon. For those of you who enjoy charting the evolution of screenplays, you can download a pdf of version 8, then called Gasbag.

You’ll recognize a lot of Cow-a-dunga! in Gasbag but there are plenty of changes. Carson and Hugo (then called Judge) discovers that cows fart methane during a class trip to Dummkopf Dairy. She and Hugo invent a “gasbag,” a diaper-like device that filters the methane out of the farts.

Shamus tries to “Swift Boat” Carson but fails when Carson rallies the cows to fart their way through a bovine rendition of America the Beautiful.

So, what changed and why?

The big picture is that the Gasbag version tried too hard. Too much spectacle, not enough story. Too many characters (two kid villains instead of one, a teacher, two crowds). Too many scene changes (a school auditorium?). Too much action (farts on fire is funny, but didn’t move the story forward). Cow-a-dunga is leaner and has a relentlessness to it that is fitting for a mystery.

I still miss this line from Shamus, who, dressed in cow costume, tries to discredit Bossy, the cow who sides with Carson:

I grazed with Bossy and even then, her milk wasn’t quite white. When she put on that mask, she thumbed her udder at good clean cows everywhere.

And I’m still trying to figure out how I can bring back in the Bovine Philharmonic in a later episode. The recording is done.

Let me know what you think of the comparison. I’m genuinely curious.

1 Response so far »

  1. 1

    […] I meant to post this on July 4 but the weekend got away from me. A couple of readers of Gasbag (the early version of Cow-a-dunga) expressed curiosity about the Bovine Philharmonic, the orchestra described in the climax of the […]

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