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How Netflix’s Animated ‘Big Mouth’ Normalizes the “Big Feelings” of Being Human

Showrunner Kelly Galuska breaks down one of the Big Mouth spinoffs most emotional scenes in which the animated characters deal with loss and grief.Netflixs Big Mouth spinoff sees the animated universes emotional monsters in a workplace setting as they manage the human clients to which theyre assigned. While Big Mouth centers on the nightmares of puberty Human Resources tackles the complete human life span from birth to death — and this scene delves into the latter with Amir and daughter Natalie facing the loss of Amirs mother Yara. Also at Yaras deathbed is her lovebug Walter the personification of that emotion. Showrunner Kelly Galuska notes how the scene balances the emotional weight and the irreverent comedy at the shows core.

We really wanted the show to be about the human experience entirely Galuska says. While the HR offices are in the tristate area it was important to Galuska that the show depicts how people do things in other parts of the world. Writer Mitra Jouhari who is Iranian American was vital for this storyline as was voice actor Sabrina Jalees playing Natalies sister Nadia whose father is Pakistani. The two let us in on their families stories and the way that they dealt with death and dying in their cultures says Galuska.

While the show addresses many of lifes trials and tribulations Galuska says the writers consulted with experts to approach each topic authentically. Writing the character of Yara who experienced dementia called for an expert on Alzheimers disease. We talked to neurologists about how your brain works she says noting that collaborating on BoJack Horseman with creator Raphael BobWaksberg taught her the importance of getting some vegetables with your treats. Adds the showrunner This show at its heart is about normalizing the big feelings people have. Theres so much human experience out there that is like yours and unlike yours and both are important.

While the nutty world of Big Mouth and Human Resources is a manic setting the latter still aims to tackle more serious themes. We represent the millions of voices we all have in our heads at once but were seeing them as these kookylooking creatures says Galuska of Walter the lovebug. Even though this show has a lot of disgusting stuff we always start from an emotional place.The end of somebodys life is a very touching and important moment Galuska says. We wanted to treat it with the reverence it deserved.

Galuska says experimentation is key particularly for a scene like this one. We do table reads and get reactions in the room and then we make adjustments she explains. While this emotional scene is light on humor the moments of levity help pack its punch Youre crying and then get a tiny bit of relief from the joke and then you go back to crying.

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