I am Jeff Oppen, creator of the animated children’s cartoon TOOLS.
I'm an idea guy. I am mostly interested in the projects, designing them, writing, the "ideas" behind the cartoons, the stories & the characters. I like to make kids smile. I love to make them laugh. I got that from my Dad, Al. It was because of the wonderful, genuinely caring way he had with kids that I began this journey of producing animated cartoons. My Dad had a big heart and he was extremely comedic by nature. I guess it rubbed off. They say the apple doesn't fall far from the tree. I'd say that's, oh, about 100% correct. It's all about the fun for me. Whether it's creating animated cartoons, watching them or just enjoying life..... it's got to be fun!
In 2004 I lost my Dad to cancer. During his illness through 2003, I spent a great deal of time reflecting on the wonderful times we shared. Much of that time was spent building and fixing things. This, of course, required the use of many tools. We were both big tool buffs. Not only did we enjoy working with and collecting tools, we also enjoyed shopping for them or even just "browsing" the tools sections in various shopping centres. I had always been involved in the "arts" field, having played in a rock band for 15 years and also written children's short stories & music. The idea came to me to do an animated children's cartoon based on talking tools. It would also be something I could dedicate to the memory of my Dad. Before losing him in early 2004, he actually got to see some of the sketches and storyboards I had started. He really enjoyed the work I put into the project and he also knew I would be dedicating it him. Also, children really loved my Dad. He had a great sense of humour and they could sense that right away with him. And my dad loved to make them laugh. Really, he liked to make "everyone" laugh. Because it is dedicated to my Dad, the TOOLS project has a special place in my heart.
Although I am "not" an animator, I animated a 2D promo, introducing some of my TOOLS characters just to showcase the cartoon. Afterwards, I had 2 students from Sheridan College in Oakville, Ontario do some work on the project through a co-op program and, at this time, students from Ferris University in Michigan are working on TOOLS as I continue to shop it to the industry in hopes of it getting on television one day. Check out the work from the Ferris students by clicking on the blue "Project Updates" link above. You will also find my "original" animation there and a link to all my original TOOLS media.
My future plans are to bring the series to television for all young children to enjoy. My hopes are that the bright colors and zany antics of the TOOLS characters will capture their hearts and make them laugh. Eventually I would like to see TOOLS games, toys and silver screen movies. If you are in the industry and are interested in helping with animation, graphics or getting TOOLS on television, please click on the purple "Help Wanted" link.
In closing, I just want to say take a look around, enjoy the site, watch the video clips, show the kids and most of all, have fun!!! Here "and" after you leave the computer, hahahaaaaa. And take a look at my "Other Projects" page for more of my cartoons.If you are in the graphics, animation or voice-over field or in the television production industry, awesome, I hope to hear from you about working together. If you are just here for the entertainment value, that's great, too. Glad you stopped by. And check back as we make progress on... TOOLS. - Jeff