Eternal Sunshine of Hans Van Harken’s Mind

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It’s official: Hans Van Harken is one of our favorite guests ever, and it isn’t even because he met Pebbles via Newgrounds when they were both teenagers. When drought hit California, Hans saw a blank canvas on which he could paint a movie. That’s when Mutt and Chopps became a reality.

Oh, and it’s incredible, from the writing to the makeup to the cinematography and score. But one of the most remarkable elements is how many genres it seems to combine into one unified thing — including silent comedy from 100 years ago. 

Hans detailed his extensive pre-production, which not only helped streamline a complex shoot in difficult conditions, but also allowed for a fantastic result on a budget. And the weird thing is how flexible all that pre-planning actually allowed him to be. Most of us who make videos only really have to think about the basics on visuals, script, and sound, but Hans is on another level. 

Is Hans a writer? An animator? A comedian? An actor? YES. The more we talk, the easier it is to see why he’s made such a range of incredible content over the last 15 years. It’s also easy to see how his attitude and the social element make talented people want to be friends with him and work with him. Be like Hans.

He might even be Kevin’s dad (paternity test forthcoming). In a couple creative decades, he’s picked up perspective on everything from how wild places like Newgrounds work to streaming successfully on Twitch — but that only took a few weeks. And what’s next? Who knows… there’s a Netflix-style series in his mind, maybe some animation, maybe just making his Friends Smile. But what he *does* know is that it’s not necessary to star front and center. 

Thanks to Hans, who is definitely NOT Dutch, for spending the episode with us, and ALSO for sticking around for *TWO more hours* hanging out and talking with everyone. And thanks to all the Patrons who make this show possible each and every week. Hans is your reward.



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Hosts: Kevin Lieber and Matt Tabor 

Produced and Edited by Ben Webster → 

“Created in the Unknown” theme by Basswaite:  

Theme by Mega Drive →  

Opening Animation: Kidmograph 

City Animation: Eric Langlay 


“The Create Unknown” is produced by Unknown Media. 



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