The Inspirations That Went Into Making The Boys Presents: Diabolical

"The Boys Presents: Diabolical" is a lot of things. It's ridiculously funny. It's disturbing and gross. It's also an animated anthology series that reminded me of "The Animatrix," and as it turns out, it was actually inspired by that seminal anthology. At a roundtable press event to promote the series, creators Evan Goldberg and Seth Rogen spilled the beans on all of the inspirations for the series, from the Wachowski's stellar spin-off to "Who Framed Roger Rabbit?" Apparently, a cartoon that's entirely for adults can have some pretty adorable and kid-friendly inspirations, even if they're going to get twisted into something more disturbing. 

A baby, a ball, and some mayhem

When "The Boys Presents: Diabolical" was announced, Rogen shared that it was a dream come true to "rip off" the 2003 anthology "The Animatrix." Putting together so many different shorts from different creators might seem like a real challenge, but for Goldberg and Rogen, it was kind of perfect. Goldberg shared his experience assembling the crew:

"It is a literal dream come true. And the good people at Amazon Prime let us do exactly what we wanted to. And we got our friends, and told them they could do whatever they wanted to, and they got to do exactly what they wanted to. It's been a real win-win situation for everyone."

While it might seem surprising that the folks at Amazon Studios let these two chaotic creatives do whatever they wanted, it turns out that the studio had faith in them and gave them free rein. For their short, "Laser Baby's Day Out," the boys behind "The Boys" wanted to riff on "Looney Tunes," "Baby's Day Out," and the opening sequence of "Who Framed Roger Rabbit?" 

The short also bears resemblance to the "Animaniacs" recurring short featuring a baby named Mindy who escaped into dangerous situations and was rescued by her loyal dog, Buttons. In "Laser Baby's Day Out," Buttons has been replaced by a kindly doctor that looks sort of like an animated Tom Hiddleston, trying to keep his laser baby safe from the world, Vought, and herself. When asked about his inspirations for the short, Goldberg elaborated: 

"I mean, Seth and I, for last few years, have really wanted to do some dialogue-free comedy, and just tell a story without dialogue. And when we realized that we could do an 'Animatrix' TV show out of 'The Boys' universe, we just instantly came to this idea. And it really is heavily based off of the movie 'Baby's Day Out,' but also the start of 'Roger Rabbit.' And so, that animation is the direction we were going in the whole time, because it just played best to the comment and the gag in relation to the violence."

That violence had to be taken up a notch as Rogen and Goldberg realized that cartoons are already kind of violent, but the short is fun, gross, and a perfect for the world of "The Boys." You can check it out yourself, along with the rest of the fiercely funny shorts, streaming now on Prime Video.