It's difficult not to be charmed by the adorable and ever-so-endearing characters of Nature Cat, and the good news is that PBS has renewed the delightful animated series for a fifth season. Currently, the series is making its way through season 4, and the talented voice cast, which includes Taran Killam, Kate McKinnon, Bobby Moynihan, and Kate Micucci, all came back for another round of adventure and fun. ComicBook.com recently had the chance to talk to Killam and Moynihan all about the series, including what drew them to the characters in the first place, what makes the series so fun to be a part of, and more.
Killam already had a love for PBS from early on, and that increased tenfold once he got to meet the voice behind Cookie Monster. "I mean, I love PBS in general. I love PBS content. I grew up on Mr. Roger's Neighborhood and Sesame Street. So the chance to get to do something that I knew would be kind of education first felt like a no brainer, no pun intended, but also David Rudman, who has voiced several Muppets, but we met because he came and did SNL as Cookie Monster. So that was actually the first time I met David, and he did a message for my daughter who was one and a half at the time, and I think just for doing that for me, that personal favor, I literally would've done anything they asked," Killam said.
"I met David Rudman at SNL and just fell in love with those guys," Moynihan said. "And obviously we would work with them in any capacity and then met Adam, his brother, through David and I knew Taran from Scrubs."
Those introductions led to both Killam and Moynihan jumping into the animated adventures of Nature Cat, which follows a house cat with Robin Hood-style and his merry band of friends as they have adventures in the backyard. Killam and Moynihan teased some of the episodes to come in season 4, and Marvel and Star Wars fans are in for a treat.
"Gosh. I mean, they did a special where my wife voiced Nature Dog. It was a standalone special. It was for Ocean Day, I believe. It was ocean-themed and Cobie is an ambassador for Oceana, which is a environmental protection about cleaning the ocean and saving ocean life. So that one felt special. But David and Adam are such nerds as Bobby and I are, sorry to speak for you, Bobby, that frequently they'll shuffle in stuff we love," Killam said.
"I think there was a Star Wars reference one and there have absolutely been Indiana Jones references. And Matt, as you pointed out, the look of Nature Cat's outfit is Robin Hood themed I'm really looking forward to, there's a Fantastic Four episode coming up where we delve into Nature Cat and crew's version of superheroes," Killam said. "But the thing I'm most proud of really is that in every episode, you're learning something and it's full of heart. It's a very positive show. It's a very endearing show and it's something I've been able to watch with my girls and I have a 13-year-old now who's maybe slightly aged out of it, but now I've got a seven-year-old who's getting into it. So it's always great when anything that you make, you can share with the family."
"My daughter gets freaked out when she hears my voice and can't take it," Moynihan said. "I was going to say probably the Star Wars one, Hal Solo when Hal was Han Solo. I would never get cast as Han Solo. So to get to do that was fantastic. And all the ones where we help children too."
It's a bit of a golden age for comedies and the world of animation, and each series has found a way to display its unique voice despite the steady growth of the genre. In fact, it almost feels like it's the preferred outlet for the genre now, and it's hard to argue with the results, especially when a show embraces the improvisational side of comedy.
"Yeah, for sure. You certainly look at Big Mouth and Human Resources and Central Park and there's absolutely this explosion of comedy animation, because there are so many platforms, but I think the brothers Rudman, the reason that they cast this show the way they did is because they're very funny themselves and huge fans of comedy," Killam said. "And it's always been a part of the process where they'll let us riff or expand upon lines or add punch lines or go slightly off script, which is actually unusual, I've found, in animation."
"Bobby has done a lot more animation. Bobby created has created several of his own animated series, but I look forward to going into Nature Cat because the most fun sessions are when we get a little loopy and they let us go off-book. And I feel when watching the episodes back, I can always tell when Kate McKinnon is adding in her own special flavor and same with Bobby. So that is what's really special about the process of Nature Cat and what sets it apart, especially on PBS itself. I think that's our own gold star in the PBS lineup," Killam said.
"Yeah. Nature Cat is easily the most I improvise for an animated show, easily, and what is developed with Hal is easily the craziest one. I don't know if you know this, Taran, but every single episode of Nature Cat, my first line in the episode ends with the word baby, no matter what. There's just this weird thing that we started doing where every single episode, Hal's first line, I'm like, all right, baby. Just for no reason. And Hal has slowly learned that he is on a TV show now," Moynihan said.
What have you thought of Nature Cat and what would you like to see in season 5? Let us know in the comments or as always you can talk all things TV with me on Twitter @MattAguilarCB!