Tobias the Frog

Once upon a time..

I wanted to come up with my own cartoon character.  I was a huge fan of Calvin and Hobbes, I watched Saturday morning cartoons for hours, and I knew that I loved to draw.  So what did I do?  I just went ahead and created a character!

His name was originally Fred D. Frog, then it was promptly changed to Frank D. Frog.  The year was 1996.  The original design had four legs, a design feature that I was forced to give up when I wanted to give this frog full reign of human motion in the year 2000 and beyond.

Note the 4-legged design! This was the very first 3D animation I made on a computer, back in 1999.
This little animation shows exactly how I animated Toad back in the day
Although once modeled in Blender, I only animated using Microsoft 3D Movie Maker. Real software just wasn’t my thing!
Frog movie poster
A poster for a movie that was never actually finished. Lock n’ Toad became Lock ‘n Load II, in an odd twist.

Frank became the character that I would use for just about anything.  His nemesis was a fly named ‘Flybo,’ and so, of course, I quickly developed a movie starring the two called Lock ‘n Load on Microsoft 3D Movie Maker.  With the smash success of Lock ‘n Load, a sequel was quickly in the works.  Lock ‘n Load was released in 1999.  Lock ‘n Load II was finally released in 2004, though not as the movie I originally intended.  Somewhere along the way I actually realized that Lock ‘n Toad was a much, much better title.

These characters even spawned their own review website,
Toad even got his own robot suit for a brief period of time! Circa 2001
Not all animation was 3-D. Traditional animation was still my bread and butter.
This was one of the very first tests using a Wacom tablet. Not sure what’s going on here!

Although it was totally a “backronym,” Frank D. Frog’s name again changed to ‘Toad the Frog.’  His nemesis took the name “Lock,” because I totally wasn’t just making this stuff up as I went (you believe me, right?). These were the golden years for Fred/Frank/Toad.  He ended up starring in a number of animated movies, including the critical success known as REDUX.  Yes, life was good for the green guy!  However, despite my hardest efforts.. Lock ‘n Toad, as a movie, never got made.  That’s not to say that Toad has been sitting idly by, however!

Despite my attempts to modernize him, Toad still felt trapped in the 90s. GET IT??!

Earlier in 2015 I decided to give Toad a little makeover.  If I was ever going to use this character again, he’d need to be believable as a frog.  As much as I loved my childhood’s most iconic character, I knew that he had to actually LOOK like a frog to have any practical use.  With that, I also decided to update his name one more time.  Toad the Frog was humorous to me as a 20 year old.. but not so much any more.  I also took Tobias back to his roots:  a more amphibian style with four legs and a more natural color scheme.


That’s all for now!  What do you think about the strange and tumultuous life of Tobias D. Frog?


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