Star Trek Almost Made a Classic Animated Series Style Short Treks Episode
Star Trek: Short Treks almost brought back the full style of Star Trek: The Animated Series for one of its episodes. Short Treks earned an Emmy Awards nomination for Outstanding Short Form Comedy Or Drama Series. Star Trek producer Alex Kurtzman is out discussing the series of shorts and spoke to Deadline about what draws him to animation to tell Star Trek stories. “I just loved the idea of getting to do a story like this in an animated format," Kurtzman says, discussing "The Girl Who Made the Stars," the first animated episode of Short Treks. "I’m constantly amazed at what Pixar is able to do in five minutes and how they can ring tears out of your eyes in such a short amount of time. It's like the shortest cry time in history."
Kurtzman then went on to discuss Star Trek's animated legacy dating back to Star Trek: The Animated Series from the 1970s. In the discussion, Kurtzman reveals that the animated short "Ephraim and Dot" came out of an attempt to create a Short Treks episode in the style of The Animated Series.
"The fun is to see how much animation has evolved since The Animated Series. There's a little bit of a touchstone in 'Ephraim and Dot,' the other animated short," he says. "We had actually considered doing an animated short exactly in the style of The Animated Series and this one evolved from it. Animation is an amazing playground and there are so many different kinds of animation, we’re in this extraordinary renaissance of animation so it felt like a really cool way to experiment with Star Trek storytelling."
Animation's place in the expanding Star Trek universe is only going to grow in the near future. Star Trek: Lower Decks, the first animated Star Trek comedy, is now streaming on CBS All Access. Star Trek: Prodigy, a new animated series aimed at children, is in the works at Nickelodeon.
In another interview, Kurtzman said that he hopes the Emmy recognition will guarantee that Star Trek: Short Treks can continue to experiment with Star Trek storytelling. "Well thanks to the Emmy nomination, I'm really hoping so," he said. "They're like little O. Henry stories. There's the story that presents itself, but then there's the little twist at the end that reframes what you've been watching the whole time. I grew up with anthology shows like The Twilight Zone and The Outer Limits and there's something about telling stories in a shorter period of time that are close-ended and frankly even shorter than The Twilight Zone, because the max length of our short is like 15 minutes, that's the longest one we ever did."
Star Trek: Short Treks and Star Trek: The Animated Series are available to stream in full on CBS All Access.
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