Almost 30 years ago, Joe Murray launched his career by creating Rocko’s Modern Life, the animated series about a snarky wallaby and his friends.
It quickly became a cult hit and helped cement Nickelodeon’s NickToons win in the ratings.
Now, Rocko and Murray are reuniting for the Netflix revival film Rocko’s Modern Life: Static Cling which follows the return of Rocko and his friends Heffer & Filburt to their native O-Town after being gone for 20 years. Rocko tries to revive his favorite animated series, The Fatheads, only to discover that the creator of the show, Ralph Bighead (voiced by Murray), has become a recluse. And is transitioning.
Murray told Queerty about how the world –and the show– has changed.
“I wrote in the story that the creator of The Fatheads went through a change in the last 20 years, and it felt like a natural progression of character for Rachel to find herself. Since the whole special is about change, it felt like the only way to go.
Rachel wanted to make her transition.
… the special was about change, so if anyone had any problem with the idea of change in all its forms, they are missing the point. Change happens. It’s the only thing that is for sure. Acceptance of impermanence is part of my Buddhist leanings. But just as Rocko gets upset that Rachel changed The Fatheads, there might be those that say I changed Rocko too much. But I doubt it. The way Rocko is structured, its designed for you to go along for the ride.
Nostalgia is a strange thing. It’s a celebration of something from the past, but if it’s presented to you in the present it is held up to very high scrutiny. People don’t like their memories fucked with. But if someone is asking for some new content, they have to expect some new takes on it. We are all older with new stories to tell. The environment is different. Look at the positive change and progress the representation of the transgender community has gone through. Thank God we can move on and grow.”