Don't Hug Me I'm Scared
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Don't Hug Me I'm Scared is a short musical film directed by Becky Sloan & Joseph Pelling. The film begins with an anthropomorphic character of a notepad singing a seemingly innocent tune about creativity, but as the song progresses, the lyrics and the video take on an increasingly grimdark tone. Due to the ambivalent nature of the film, it soon gained the reputation of a shock video and many viewers have since shared their reactions and analyses of its hidden meaning.
The original video was uploaded to Vimeo on July 28th, 2011, followed by a mirrored upload on YouTube on the next day. The short film was produced by the film and animation group THIS IS IT Collective and directed by its members Becky Sloan & Joseph Pelling. The video begins under the premise of a singalong segment typically featured on children's puppet shows, but takes an unexpected turn with the lyrics exploring darker themes such as death towards the end. As of May 6th, 2015, the film has over 6,000 likes on Vimeo and 25 million views and over 200.000 likes on Youtube.
"Don't Hug Me I'm Scared" was screened during various film festivals in 2012, most notably at The Wrap Shortlist Film Festival and the Sundance Film Festival_, the latter of which was mentioned in an article published by the The Sundance Institute. The film also received the Midnight Shorts award at the _South by Southwest film festival in March 2012.
In the weeks and months following its release, the short film was featured in numerous articles on art blogs and other websites such as Short of the Week, Animated-Review, Whitezine, Have You Seen This, Laughing Squid and This is Colossal. On May 9th, 2013, Youtube channel The Fine Bros uploaded a video in which well known Youtube celebrities react to the video. As of June 24th, 2013, the video has nearly 5 million views and 10,000 likes. It was also featured various other websites such as the Smosh Pit, Bloguh and Loitering Lion.
Some viewers have questioned and speculated the possibility of a deeper meaning behind the video, leading to critical analyses of the lyrics that are both serious and facetious. One of the leading theories interprets the film as a metaphor to how children are conditioned to act in a certain way due to some of the lines spoken by the notebook.
Green is Not a Creative Color
The lyrics "Green is not a Creative Color" gained popularity amongst the viewers due to its randomness, resulting in various fan artworks dedicated to the phrase.
On January 6th, 2014, Becky&Joe released Don't Hug Me I'm Scared 2 – TIME, a sequel to the original film featuring the same characters as they're now being tought about time from a talking clock, while keeping the more grimdark tones present at certain sections. The Youtube release of 2 days later managed to gain around 2.5 million views in the first two weeks it was up.
In the days following its release, the sequel was covered by Co.Create, Neatorama, Digital Arts and the Huffington Post. On Tumblr people quickly started pairing the clock from the sequel with the notepad from the first part throughout January, commonly drawing the two characters in a humanized form, resulting in large amounts of fanart of the duo (shown below). This ship was given the nickname padlock by its fans, as a portmanteau of "notepad" and "clock".
On May 20th, 2014, the Don't Hug Me I'm Scared YouTube channel released a 19 second Kickstarter video titled HELP, in which the puppets were tied up. It shows the puppet's kidnapper holding a hammer over the red puppet's head, and forcing him to say, "If you're watching this, then we need your help", then a link pops up which brings you to the Don't Hug Me I'm Scared Kickstarter page.
Three days later, on May 23rd, they released another Kickstarter video, which was the same length of the first one, titled HELP #2, in which the puppet's kidnapper was mumbling on phone, then it shows the yellow puppet, who has a bag on his head, he was crying and saying "I don't like it!".
As of September 2014, they reached their goal and they announced that four new episodes were being made, and as of May 2015, 2 have been released.
On October 31st, 2014, Don't Hug Me I'm Scared 3 was uploaded to YouTube. This episode was about love and didn't feature as much gore as the previous ones. In the first week of its upload, it had over 3 million views. On March 31st, 2015, Don't Hug Me I'm Scared 4 was uploaded, this one was about using computers and how addictive they can be. In its first week it had over 2 million views.
On October 14, 2015, Don't Hug Me I'm Scared 5 was uploaded (shown below, left), with the episode's subject being eating and diet, and with the remaining puppets starting to become aware as to what is going on. The video received over 15 million views as of writing. On June 19, 2016, the final installment of the series, Don't Hug Me I'm Scared 6 was uploaded (shown below, right), this episode's subject being dreams, and figuring out what was really going on. The final installment has received over 17 million views as of writing.
Wakey Wakey Teaser
On September 13, 2018, a short teaser video titled "Wakey Wakey…" was uploaded to Youtube (shown below), showcasing a new project in the chronology, and introducing new elements such as the town of Clay Hill. This upcoming project would be produced by Becky and Joe's Blink industries alongside Conan O'Brien's production company Conaco and Super Deluxe. Within 24 hours, the video received over 1 million views and over 141,000 likes.
The next day, on September 14, it was announced by a Super Deluxe spokeswoman that the upcoming project would be a TV series. On December 3rd, it was announced that the pilot episode of the show would premiere at the 2019 Sundance Film Festival, with a plot summary also released. However, there is currently no release date or network for the show.
Don't Hug Me I'm Scared Television Show
On June 19th, 2022, their YouTube channel shared a teaser trailer for the upcoming TV show. The video has gathered over 6 million views in the three months since it's upload (seen below).
On September 23rd, 2022, U.K.'s channel 4 premiered the pilot episode of the _Don't Hug Me I'm Scared_ television show. The show is produced by Blink Industries alongside producer Hugo Donkin, and run by creators Joseph Pelling and Terry Baker. The pilot episode is titled "Electricity," and has gathered a 9.3 rating on IMDB.
On September 23rd, Twitter user @SamThomasSitcom commented on how the show benefits from having a longer run-time and shared a clip from the show, gathering over 2,700 likes in a week (seen below).
I really enjoyed the Don’t Hug Me I’m Scared TV Show, it really does benefit from the longer runtime.
This moment here is one of my favourite bits from it.
#dhmis #DontHugMeImScared pic.twitter.com/kyVcKk8RfZ
— Bab-Dex (@SamThomasSitcom) September 23, 2022
 THIS IS IT Collective (via Wayback Machine) – Homepage
 Beckyandjoes.com – Don't Hug Me I'm Scared
 Vimeo – Don't Hug Me I'm Scared
 The Wrap Shortlist Film Festival (via Wayback Machine) – Don't Hug Me I'm Scared
 Sundance Filmguide (via Wayback Machine) – Don't Hug Me I'm Scared
 South by Southwest – Past Winners (page unavailable)
 Sundance Festival Article – Perfectly Strange Shorts Program
 Short of the Week – Don't Hug Me I'm Scared
 Animated-Review – Don't Hug Me I'm Scared (page unavailable)
 Whitezine (via Wayback Machine) – Don't Hug Me I'm Scared
 Have You Seen This? – Don't Hug Me I'm Scared
 LaughingSquid – Don’t Hug Me I’m Scared, A Creative Short Film With Dark Humor
 This is Colossal – Don't Hug Me I'm Scared
 The Smosh Pit (via Wayback Machine) – YouTubers React to Don't Hug Me I'm Scared
 Bloguh – YouTubers React to Don’t Hug Me I’m Scared
 Loitering Lion – Don't Hug Me I'm Scared
 Ace Fortress Forum (via Wayback Machine) – Don't Hug me I'm Scared Explaining?
 Yahoo Questions – Don't hug me I'm scared. What was the real meaning of the video
 DazedDigital – Don't Hug Me I'm Scared: 2 – TIME
 Fast Company (formerly Co.Create) – The reality-shattering puppets of 'Don't Hug Me I'm Scared' are back to upset you and your children
 Neatorama – Don’t Hug Me, I’m Scared 2
 Digital Arts – Don't Hug Me I'm Scared 2 is the disturbing sequel to Becky & Joe's YouTube hit
 Huffington Post – 'Don't Hug Me. I'm Scared' Gives A Not-So-Wholesome Lesson On Time
 Kickstarter – Don't Hug Me I'm Scared: The Series
 YouTube – Don't Hug Me I'm Scared 3
 YouTube – Don't Hug Me I'm Scared 4
 - CNet – Don't Hug Me I'm Scared is making new episodes
 Sundance Institute – 2019 Sundance Film Festival: Indie Episodic, Shorts and Special Events Announced
 It's Nice That – Don't Hug Me TV Show
 YouTube – Don't Hug Me .I'm Scared
 IMDB – Don't Hug Me .I'm Scared
 Twitter – @SamThomasSitcom
Jun 24, 2013 at 10:39AM EDT
Jun 24, 2013 at 01:00PM EDT
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