I find it a little surprising that I had never heard about this new project from Actor/Writer/Producer/Director/Awesomesauce-Dude Tom Hanks, until today. Apparently this project has been in the works, in some form or another, since 2003 when Hanks first put pen to paper. Almost ten years latter we finally have a look at this long gestating project and it looks incredible. ‘Electric City’ is an animated web-series that takes place in this dystopian future where some sort of apocalyptic event has changed the world into a dangerous place where information is power and energy is everything. Hanks not only produced the series, on his PlayTone label, but also lends his voice to the main character Cleveland Carr, an ex-cop turned enigmatic peace-keeper. The animation is beautiful and the themes are adult in a way I’m not sure I’ve seen in this particular medium.
I’m really impressed that a classic and sort of old-school guy like Hanks has embraced this online medium to tell stories through. The themes in the episodes are obviously very adult and mirror issues people are dealing with everyday. It’s a wonder to see this medium be taking seriously and at the hands of people we trust and admire. There are currently 15 episodes online right now. I am not sure exactly how many they have planned, but Yahoo! (the shows home) has announced the conclusing to this particular story kicks off tomorrow. How many episodes they have left I am not sure but I would assume another 5 episodes would make the entire run a 20-episode arc. I’ve only watched 3 episodes so far but thats because I wanted to write this piece informing you of something I think you’ll like before I continue. I’ve embedded the entire first episode below but I really recommend watching it on the Official Site. During the episode the site updates and you’re given some great character back-story and an interactive look at Electric City in the side spaces that only the Internet could provide. The background of the site also changes from day to night depending on where the show is at. A great online experience so far. Check it out and let me know what you think?