Freaky Flickers: Quest for the Golden Flicker, based on the Freaky Flickers toyline, was a CGI animated film about Aargh the Pirate, and his crew of Flickers, on a quest to find the Golden Flicker, the rarest Flicker of all, so they can pay off the debt of their creator Doc Flick.
It began in 2005 as a possible television series based on the toys that was worked on by Cary Howe and had later developed into a fully-fledged 90-minute feature film by February 2009. It was lined up for distribution to at least 2,800 cinemas by MGM and Howe described such a wide, major theatrical release for this film as "unique" and identified the film as a landmark, because the film was written, directed, modeled and animated by a single person and on a modest budget of around $250,000.
On 9 June 2009, after Howe had finished his night's work at noon he left his friend David Kann to edit the film in his living room while he went to sleep in his bed after sheer exhaustion and awoke just before 8pm to discover that the film's equipment and external hard drives containing its back-ups had been stolen by his associate Peter Gantner (a creator of the original toyline), not too dissimilar to what happened to the production of "Foodfight!". Howe put: "As I write this the film is in the hands of the lawyers but the odds of it ever seeing the light of day are near zero."
On a Cartoon Brew article about the theft a user under the name "Peter" posted the following statement:
"This trailer is just some early animation of the concept of the movie. Just wait till you see what this film looks like when it is done and released in a theater near you. Also no one forced their way into any ones home and who paid for all the equipment I took back. If some one came in your home and took your equipment and files wouldn't you call the police?"
It has never been officially verified as to whether this was really Peter Gantner or not.
A second trailer was produced, but never resurfaced until 18 June 2020. Two other pieces of footage can be found online, and an archived version of the original website can also be accessed via the Wayback Machine.
Synopsis from the official Freaky Flickers blog
"Meet the Freaky Flickers, tiny plastic marvels created by inventor and scientist Doc Flick by accident in his laboratory. Each imbued with unique personalities and abilities they quickly made themselves useful around Doc’s lab until soon they were all like a family.
But all is not well at Casa de Flick, as Doc has fallen way behind on the mortgage and the bank is literally beating down his door, demanding their due. Now Aargh the Pirate, leader of the Freaky Flickers, has organized his most trusted 'matees' to join him in search of the rarest Flicker of them all; The Golden Flicker, to help pay off Doc’s debt.
Join the Flickers as they adventure far and wide searching for the fabled Golden Flicker; from the edge of the world to an uncharted island, through the gullet of a whale and even into outer-space! No distance is too far, no joke too silly and no adventure too great for this wacky, fun-loving and downright freaky bunch. Freaky Flickers: Quest for the Golden Flicker is an action packed adventure visualized in computer animation, but inspired by such cartoon legends as Tex Avery and Chuck Jones, promising fun for the entire family!"
Cary Howe on the film's assets getting stolen
"This is the sad tale of how a landmark film was born and died. Late 2005 I began early tests for a possible TV series based on the Freaky Flickers toyline. By February 2009 the project had expanded to a 90 minute theatrical feature. We had a 2,800+ theater release with MGM and it seemed like nothing could stop us.
On 6/9/09 I finished my night’s work at 12 noon. Exhausted I wished my "friend" David Kann good night/afternoon and went to bed leaving him editing in my living room. I put in ear plugs to drown out the noise of the render boxes in the next room and fell asleep. I awoke just before 8pm to a silent dark empty house. Mr. Kann and the equipment were gone, as were the external hard drives with the project back ups. While I slept, my business associate Peter Gantner…took everything. What made the Freaky Flickers film so unique is that it was written, directed, modeled, animated and rendered by one person with a final budget of around 250K. A first for a major theatrical release. As I write this, the film is in the hands of the lawyers but the odds of it ever seeing the light of day are near zero. I entered the business in 1979 and after my experience with Freaky Flickers I can’t see myself ever making another film. On 6/9/09 not only did a film die but a career and a hundred plus unmade films passed."
- Cartoon Brew article in which Peter Gantner supposedly commented on the theft. Retrieved 23 Aug '13.
- The second trailer. Retrieved 18 Jun '20.
- The released Scene 3 "Where's My Whistle?". Retrieved 23 Aug '13.
- The released PSA "Freaky Flickers Recycle". Retrieved 23 Aug '13.
- The Wayback Machine archive of the original Freaky Flickers: Quest for the Golden Flicker website. Retrieved 23 Aug '13.