How 'Bojack Horseman' Writers Created Amazon's Animated/Live-Action 'Undone'

Bojack Horseman creator Raphael Bob-Waksberg and Bojack writer Kate Purdy created  Amazon’s new animated series Undone. Although Undone looks animated, it has a live-action cast. Rosa Salazar, Bob Odenkirk, Constance Marie and Angelique Cabral act out the scenes. Then animators draw the show on top of them. 

Alma (Salazar) is the black sheep of her family since her father (Odenkirk) died. When she crashes her car, her father appears to her and explains she can travel in time. Alma delves into her own past to try to fix what she perceives as her flaws. Purdy spoke with Showbiz Cheat Sheet this summer about what Undone shares with Bojack Horseman. Undone premieres Friday, September 13 on Amazon.

Kate Purdy had the idea for ‘Undone’ after 2 seasons of ‘Bojack Horseman’

While Bojack Horseman was in production, Purdy and Bob-Waksberg would talk about other ideas. They began developing Undone three seasons of Bojack Horseman ago.

“I was still working on Bojack,” Purdy said. “So we started talking about this after the second season of Bojack. Raphael approached me and said, ‘What if we made a show that was like Downer Ending,’ which was the 11th episode of the first season which I wrote in which Bojack goes on this drug trip, experiences an alternate reality and he feels what it might have been like if he had made different choices in his life.”

Alma’s power in Undone is trippy, and she has a chance to create alternate realities.

“And he said, ‘What if we did a show like that where that’s where we start?’” Purdy continued. “So then I worked on seasons 3, 4 and 5 while we were writing the scripts and developing a concept and putting the artwork together. Once the show was actually up and running, I was running the room for Undone while Raphael was running Bojack.”

They sold ‘Undone’ like ‘Bojack Horseman’ too

Undone is a difficult show to summarize, so one can imagine it’s hard for a network to classify. So was Bojack Horseman, an animated show about a celebrity horse going through an existential crisis. Fortunately, Bob-Waksberg had experience.

“We said it was a half hour dramedy. Raphael is really interested in pushing the narrative of format and medium. So with Bojack, he sold it as a comedy and it secretly was a dramedy. He really wanted to lure you in as an audience and then surprise you by showing the world is bigger than you thought it was. Similarly with this, he wanted to take a further step in animation to say yes, this is animated, but it’s going to surprise you in its depth and its drama. So it’s taking one step further into pushing those challenges.”

Undone breaks the traditional animation mold in many ways. “Having a female lead character in an animated show, having a Latinx family, having it be this painted style that’s hand made and is live-action while also being animated,” Purdy listed. “Just pushing boundaries, going through spaces.”

Raphael Bob-Waksberg is still involved in ‘Undone’

Purdy said Bob-Waksberg is working on seasons 6 and 7 of Bojack Horseman, but he’s still passionate about Undone. He’s confident leaving her in charge, but they keep in touch.

“He checks in,” Purdy said. “So I run everything by him. We communicate constantly. He reads drafts. We’re very much still partners in this but we’re able to co-run our own shows and he helps me make this happen.”

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