Flight of the Conchords’ Bret McKenzie gave Thelma the Unicorn its gross ‘viral hit’

Netflix’s new animated film Thelma the Unicorn is full of soulful rock music, however one quantity stands out like a neon-colored sore thumb: “Here Comes the Cud.” And that’s deliberate. Flight of the Conchords’ Bret McKenzie designed “Here Comes the Cud” to be as disgustingly catchy and artificial as potential. Making a viral sensation — or no less than, a quantity that might cross for a viral sensation inside a film’s fictional world — is a tall order. Thelma administrators Jared Hess (Napoleon Dynamite) and Lynn Wang (Cartoon Community’s UniKitty! series) talked to Polygon about how they conceived and deliberate it.

As pony-masquerading-as-a-unicorn Thelma (Brittany Howard) chases fame, her supervisor Vic Diamond (McKenzie’s Flight of the Conchords associate Jemaine Clement) units her up with super-popular social-media influencer Danny Stallion (Fred Armisen), whose entire schtick is regurgitating cud for his followers.

Wang says the filmmakers regarded to real-world on-line habits to form the character. “Danny was kind of just an amalgamation of all kinds of over-the-top influencers,” she says.

Picture: Netflix

Thelma and Danny faux to have a relationship for the PR worth, simply to whip up some intrigue and romance for his or her followers, and Vic decides they need to collaborate on a tune. At first, Thelma is raring, presenting a binder of songs near the highly effective rock ballads she sings in the starting of the film. However Vic says superstars don’t write their very own songs: “The Algorithm” does it for them.

He places a request right into a machine known as “Bridget,” and it spits out “Here Comes the Cud,” a tune with a catchy-yet-soulless beat, simplistic lyrics, and an over-the-top music video set on a yacht. It’s extremely catchy, but its lyrics are about hacking up partially digested meals, and it’s punctuated by burps and different bodily noises. It’s a far cry from the emotional, extra private songs Thelma belts out in a barn at the starting of the film. For Flight of the Conchords followers, its straight-faced humor, synthy music, and rap rhythms will even sound distinctly acquainted.

“We had to establish Thelma’s brand of music and what kind of music was true to her that came out of her naturally, and then show how it gets corrupted by fame and stardom,” Hess says. “So it was fun to be able to show that contrast. Once it gets to ‘Here Comes the Cud,’ it all goes downhill.”

The distinction between the music Thelma writes for herself and the music the high stars in the world makes was very clearly outlined. Wang and Hess collaborated with the film’s songwriters and music producers to map out how that dynamic performed into Thelma’s arc.

Taura Stinson, Bret McKenzie, and all our songwriters really understood Thelma’s journey and what really needed to go into all of the lyrics to really help boost that emotional journey of hers,” says Wang. “But also making it really fun at the same time. Bret really brought the humor. It was really great.”

Thelma the Unicorn is streaming on Netflix now.

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