One of Agassiz’s own has made it to the small screen. At least, her unicorn has.
Emily Mullock’s children’s book – Go Away, Unicorn! – is being turned into a kids’ series by L.A.-based Sonar Entertainment and will debut in fall 2018 on YTV and on the Disney Channel in the U.S.
Mullock, a Disney Interactive art director, grew up in Agassiz, attending Kent Elementary and Agassiz Elementary-Secondary School before going on to earn an animation diploma from Capilano University.
Mullock says she is primarily an illustrator, but in 2010 found herself drawing lots of “chubby unicorns” and inventing a story about an odd friendship between a very serious, practical girl and a silly, fun-loving unicorn.
“The unicorn shows up to her birthday party. He’s lured there by the smell of cake,” Mullock says. “And he mistakes her for a unicorn as well because she’s wearing a shiny, gold, party hat that looked like a horn.”
Inspired by children’s book author Robert Munsch, Mullock liked the idea of a repeatable hook that would be fun for kids to say. Go Away, Unicorn! was born.
The practical girl yells, “I’m not a unicorn!,” takes off her hat and says, “Go away, unicorn!”
But the unicorn follows her home anyway. “He eats all the marshmallows out of her cereal and gets glitter all over the house and just doesn’t go away,” Mullock says.
She said the idea behind their friendship is that friends can be different.
“You can find value in friendships even though you have sort of a different personality and take on life.”
Unlike many children’s books, Mullock says Go Away, Unicorn! was never meant to be moral-heavy.
“It’s more just glittery,” she says with a laugh.
In 2013, Mullock was informed that Sonar Entertainment wanted to turn the book into a television show.
The show would see Mullock’s characters take on different adventures as they forge their new and unlikely friendship.
Having worked in animation, Mullock was excited but mindful that projects can fall apart before making it to the screen.
“I was excited but [thought] well this will probably never happen,” she says.
But the project continued to move forward, and Go Away, Unicorn! is set to debut next fall in Canada, the U.S. and across the globe, including Disney UK, Italy, France, Latin America, Australia, Korea and Russia.
Despite also working for Disney, Mullock is completely hands-off for the production and animation of Go Away, Unicorn! other than, of course, creating the inspiration for the glittery, fun-loving unicorn and his sensible human friend.