We made a book!
Ok, let's back up a little bit.
We made a video!
Ok, back up just a little bit more.
Our son just turned 2!
Perfect. Go on.
No screen time until they are two years old, right? Those are the rules. Or at least they were at the time. Maybe it's four now, or one. With our second baby, we've learned that rules are flexible. It's okay for infants to watch a little baseball (Aaron Judge just looks like a giant teddy bear) or for us parents to put them down for a nap on their tummy (Hey, our folks did it and we turned out ok).
So when our first born Luke turned 2, we booted up the YouTube machine and searched for some good, old fashioned nursery rhymes. Ok, this one has 10 gazillion views, it must be awesome. Wrong. It was awful. Alright, then this other one with 50 million views is probably good. Wrong again. And again. And again. And again. What was going on here? Most of these videos were terrible 3D animations created with some cheap computer software featuring strange characters that didn't even apply to the story. It took us a good while to find some content where we could say, Hey, these animations look great. And usually we would find them on page 10 or something like that.
Luke didn't care. He was barely a toddler. This was all new to him. He could watch Spider-Man singing "Bah, Bah, Black Sheep" and not lose any sleep over it. And yes, that video really does exist.
But we cared. And with our creative backgrounds and skill sets, we had the power to do something about it. So we did.
Moo Da Moo was born in late 2016. Our mission was (and still is) to provide fun, quality content to kids around the world. We started with videos. We utilize stop motion animation, a painstaking photographing technique that results in a unique visual experience. It's not computer generated like 99% of these 3D animated nursery rhymes you see on YouTube. It's real. It's different. And different can be good.
We feel like it adds a sense of awe that helps fuel kids imaginations (plus most adults think it's really cool too). Each of our sets are hand crafted (mostly from cut paper) and highly detailed. When we're done filming, Luke gets to use our sets as he sees fit (usually by driving monster trucks over everything). It's a win-win.
We released our very first video, The Wheels on the Bus Adventure, in November 2016. We passed it around our social media accounts and the views started racking up. It was well received and it's still our most popular video to date, with just over 800k views. Of course, that's nothing compared to the giants of YouTube, but it's a reason to be proud.
We've made 10 videos in 10 months since then. We wanted that number to be closer to 50 but we had to face some realities. First, Moo Da Moo isn't quite yet our full-time job (though we definitely want it to be and are working toward that end) and second, stop motion animation takes a looooooooong time. But, we think the payoff is worth it, we love how the videos are turning out and we're gonna keep churning until this becomes our full-time job. Then we'll give those YouTube giants a run for their money.
That brings us to the board book. Finally!
We don't want to limit our content to videos. We know a lot of parents who don't want their kids watching YouTube or even TV at all (and that's cool with us). And some parents (like us) would love some Moo Da Moo bedtime reading with the kids. Plus, all kids love books, right? And you don't have to wait until your child is 1 or 2 or 4 or whatever age. You can Moo Da Moo (yes, it's a verb too!) in the delivery room if you want. We want to give parents (and their kids) the option.
And so, we made our first book. The Wheels on the Bus Adventure board bookis based off of (you guessed it) our very first YouTube video. It's got all the detail, awe and wonder of our stop motion animation without the animation. Imaginations will run wild (that too, is our mission).
Unfortunately, nobody has offered to print these for us for free (we can't believe it either). So, we started a Kickstarter campaign to raise the funds and self-publish. We had some strong support in the first few days (just like our video), but now it looks like we're back on page 10 (figuratively speaking). There's still over 2 weeks to go (and we have raised over 40% of our goal) so we remain confident.
We hope that by sharing our story and our Moo Da Moo mission, it just might inspire a few people to help us reach our goal (by contributing, sharing on social media or just sending the good vibes our way).
In any case, the Moo Da Moo Moovement is here. Everybody is invited.
Update: Our Kickstarter campaign was a resounding success and our book has been printed and published. It's now available on Amazon!