Share This

The Weird Kidz Is an ’80s Throwback Animated Horror/Comedy Nearly a Decade in the Making

October 04, 2023

Zach Passero started thinking about The Weird Kidz, his new animated horror-comedy coming-of-age film, when he and his wife were expecting their first child.

“My wife and I found out we were gonna be having a kid about eight or nine years ago, and it made me really nostalgic for how I grew up and what my life was like, and how I’d explain my childhood to this new little being that was coming into our lives,” he explained after a jubilant late-night screening Saturday of The Weird Kidz at the El Paso Film Festival.

“And it suddenly sparked this thing — I started to get excited again, remembering the things that made me want to become a filmmaker: the the friends, the influences, the movies. And the story just came together. And that also reminded me that since I was little, I’d always wanted to make an animated feature film.”

He had always romanticized films by solo animators who spent months or years laboring over their frames. And so he began working on The Weird Kidz, often in the small hours between 2 and 6 a.m., when he could find time away from his job as an editor. He and his wife, Hannah Passero, had worked together on animated shorts, and she hand-painted the images he created on a tablet.