[This post is a replica of the original post in the Amphibiacrew Tumblr blogm. Link to it here]
“Here’s an interesting bit of trivia: “Best Fronds” is actually an adjusted version of Amphibia’s original pilot. After establishing that Anne was stuck in this crazy new world with “Anne or Beast,” it was up to “Best Fronds” to establish the core relationship between Anne and Sprig. Not only that but it teases some pretty cool things to come at the end. I especially like how naturally Sprig and Anne grow closer in this episode, culminating in a pretty big disagreement.”
– Matt Braly
Amphibia is script driven, meaning that much of a story’s DNA and structure are figured out before the storyboard launch. Here’s an excerpt of a pivotal scene from Best Fronds:
This episode was boarded by Hannah Ayoubi and Aaron Austin. Revisions were done by Janine Chang. The script of this story has always felt a little serious so I’m so grateful that Hannah and Aaron were able to add so much comedy and charm at the storyboard stage. Director Derek Kirk Kim has always been passionate about this story and added some real magic at the end with Sprig falling into Anne’s arms as he nods off.
The first half was boarded by Hannah and really explored the chemistry between our leads. She was able to make Anne feel very sympathetic as she laments missing her home:
The second was boarded by Aaron Austin, who birthed one of the episode’s best moments – when Sprig explains why most other kids don’t get him:
It’s worth noting that the whole concept of “friend punch” was authored by Aaron. It was not in the script.
The water snake in this episode was designed by Brandon Wu. He brought a naturalistic feel to the monster that actually makes it feel scarier. Anne’s swimsuit was specifically designed to feel athletic and cool. Artwork by Joe Sparrow, Erik Elizarrez, Brandon Wu, Andy Gonsalves, Daniaelle Simonson, and Carol Wyatt:
It was important to us that the human world feel relatively drab compared to Amphibia. It helps to convey that Anne has never felt more alive in her new environment. Artwork by Ian Worrel, Daniaelle Simonson, Joey McCormick, Sun Jae Lee, Elle Michalka, and Amanda Winterstein.
That should do it for “Best Fronds!” Next up is “Cane Crazy!” Thanks and have a good one.
Storyboard panel by Derek Kirk Kim