Bringing the art of animation from Disney to the Quad Cities

Local News

A promising new animated series based in the Quad Cities caught the eye of Disney animating genius Tom Ruegger. Now the local artist who created the cartoon “Chucky Chicken” hopes to work with the experienced mentor to bring the series from YouTube to the big screen.

“A hundred years ago Walt Disney had to leave the Midwest and go off to la in order to make his dream come true,” Davenport-based animator Michael Cook says, “We’re in the future now we shouldn’t have to do that.”

Davenport ⁠— the setting of this Emmy-nominated animator’s newest adventure. Cook describes how he ⁠— literally ⁠— draws his inspiration from his surroundings, saying, “I can get inspired by what I see around me the Mississippi River in the summertime ⁠— the steamboats going through.”

Cook and Chucky didn’t make this journey by themselves ⁠— the quirky chicken caught the eye of Tom Ruegger — the creator of Disney’s Animaniacs.

“It’s so intimidating to know somebody who created my childhood is now helping me make new childhoods.” Michael says.

The A-list animator ⁠— bringing the magic and passion of Disney to the Quad Cities-based series. Cook enjoys working with the artistic, animation legend.

“It’s not just wanting to work with somebody just because they got the big name its building a relationship and building a friendship and building a connection with somebody because that is more important than anything really.”

Friendship ⁠— resolving both chicken and human struggles.
“Chucky is kind of me in chicken form.” explains Cook, “What I love about Chucky is he’s always there for his friends.
“I have to deeply admire how human mike is.” a voice actor with the Chucky Chicken project said.
“Mike cares about the person behind the voice so mike cares about the character.”

From a doodle on a paper, into the hands of a Disney talent Chucky is ready for his next adventure. Michael hopes to see his chicken make it big. He has hopes Chucky will star in a tv series, a movie, and wherever his wings can fly ⁠— “One day I’ll get it… one day.” Cook says.

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