Video Games and Animation History Come Together in Cuphead

Updated Again: Added more images released summer 2015 Update: Last year we took a look at a game under development by Studio MDHR called Cuphead. The creators of this game have somehow been able to capture the look, feel and style of 1930s animation with astonishing fidelity. It’s obvious that they draw great inspiration from the work of the Fleischers (Swing, You Sinners) and Disney (Hell’s Bells). Since we last checked in with the development of this game, there has been some updates on their production blog and press kit. I’ve added additional screenshots and images to this post. Last year, I wrote: As we start the Spring semester General Art  6th graders are working on their Video Game Concept Proposal Projects while 7th and 8th graders in Cartooning & Animation  will continue, among other things, learning about the history of animation. All of these subjects come together nicely in a video game under development by Studio MDHR called Cuphead. The independent game studio is made up of two brothers who have apparently found a way to merge their obvious love for old animation with their video game development skill. Their website describes Cuphead and their inspiration:

Cuphead is a classic run ‘n’ gun set in the style of a one-on-one fighting game universe. Inspired by cartoons of the 1930’s, the visuals and audio were painstakingly created with the same techniques of the era, i.e. traditional cel animation (hand drawn & hand inked!), watercolor backgrounds and live jazz recordings. Play as Cuphead or Mugman (single or co-op!) as you traverse the islands to find new challengers, rank up, and eventually compete in the grand tournament. You must become acquainted with the boundless variety of weapons, supers and secrets to stand a chance against all 30+ battles. Some of the games that influenced our design choices are: Gunstar Heroes (Seven Force!), Contra III, Contra Hard Corps, Super Mario World, the Thunderforce series and Street Fighter III.

Cuphead is being created for Windows PCs – although it looks like there is hope that the game, when finished, will find its way to Mac and Linux platforms, as well xboxone and ps4. Summer 2015 Update: tumblr_nq02unJIaV1qfwheqo4_250 tumblr_nq02unJIaV1qfwheqo8_250 tumblr_nq02unJIaV1qfwheqo7_250 tumblr_nq02unJIaV1qfwheqo6_250 tumblr_nq02unJIaV1qfwheqo3_250 tumblr_nq02unJIaV1qfwheqo5_250   Images from the game in development: This first image has elements that draw inspiration from Disney’s Hells Bells (1929): Cuphead_Boss_In_The_Caves Cuphead_SuperDeath Cuphead_TheGreatSlime Cuphead-CaptainSilver Cuphead_Title

Additional Images added November, 2014:


Screen Capture from Hell’s Bells (1929):

hells bells cuphead-flower1

Screen Capture from Swing, You Sinners:









via cartoon brew