This Black History Month, Invisible Collective founder Justin Polk and Invisible director-actor Carl Jones celebrate the launch of the inspiring and hard-won original series for Major League Baseball (MLB). The Negro League highlights baseball’s influence on baseball, including its most legendary players, historic ballplayers, and the influence of the Negro leagues internationally.
Undeniable is MLB’s first-ever animated series, and a key initiative among many meaningful efforts by MLB, as well as major and minor league clubs, to celebrate Black History Month. The creative and live production of the series was led by Polk, an avid baseball fan. To fully bring Undeniable to life, Polk has partnered with Carl Jones (“The Boondocks,” “Black Dynamite”) and animation studio Martian Blueberry, whose ability to bring underrepresented stories to life is showcased through Exquisite and detailed animation in comics style. for the project.
“There was no one else for the job,” said Polk. “Carl is truly part of the Invisible family, and as owner of one of the only black animation studios in the industry, he has helped Invisible tell these diverse stories from a place of origin.”
The path to undeniable began in 2020, when Major League Baseball decided that it would officially begin dealing with nearly 3,400 players from the Negro leagues, who worked between 1920 and 1948, as major leaguers, making their stats and records a part of MLB history. . “After I found out, I reached out to Major League Baseball to ask if they would do a ceremonial campaign,” Polk said.
In response, MLB asked Polk to pitch them ideas for a project, which resulted in three animated films covering history-spanning legends Jackie Robinson and Monty Irvin, leading ladies of the league like Tony Stone, and the international influence of the league. Polk originally discovered these stories through Bob Kendrick, president of the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum and keen baseball historian who would often tell these stories to museum-goers. Naturally, Kendrick was tapped to narrate the project, too.
Polk then connected with Jones and Martian Blueberry Animation. Over the course of 12 weeks, Jones and his team created undeniably from traditional hand-drawn 2D animation, working in collaboration with MLB to get the detail in the animation just right – everything from the appropriate blue color on the Indianapolis Clowns’ uniforms to the cultural accuracy considered. The physical attributes of a player in production.
“These are black and brown legends who have faced an enormous amount of adversity and still found a way to overcome it and become the icons that they are. We face similar obstacles as black designers in Hollywood, where there is a lack of diversity everywhere,” Jones said. Invisible and Martian Blueberry align with our mission statements, and as Black-owned companies, we place special emphasis on telling our stories in an authentic way. Which requires a lot of attention to cultural nuances — to how we talk, walk, dress, move.”
With this extraordinary level of care, passion, and artistry, Polk and Jones undeniably convey the weight and vitality of the history of the Negro League and make history themselves. Polk said, “This project was important to me in so many ways: as a baseball fan, as a supporter of the history of the Black Leagues, and as a black man.” “I am so proud that Major League Baseball and the Negro League Museum have placed their trust in Invisible to share these amazing stories.”
Watch the first episode of Undeniable: Women of the Union of Negroes
Video source: Youtube
The three undeniable Episodes – approximately five minutes long – will air during Black History Month:
- February 1, 2023 (National Day for Girls and Women in Sports) – Negro Women’s Unions | Starring Tony Stone, Connie Morgan, and Mamie “Peanuts” Johnson
- February 8, 2023 – international influence
- February 15, 2023 – Jackie Robinson and Monty Irvin
Episodes will be shown on YouTube Kids, the official MLB YouTube page, MLB.com/originals, MLB.tv, and the MLB App with additional promotional support from the MLB Network and MLB Social Media.
Watch the trailer for Undeniably – women unions negroes: https://www.mlb.com/video/undeniable
MLB Social will publish content throughout the month aimed at celebrating and educating about the profound impact Black players, coaches, executives, and employees have on the development and growth of the game. MLB will highlight the Negro leagues and major league stars of the past, and also look forward, raising the voice of current black leaders across sports. There will be Instagram Live takeovers, longer video content, and unique art – all meant to celebrate the excellence of Lions and their impact on Major League Baseball.
Undeniably official MLB press release: https://www.mlb.com/press-release/press-release-mlb-launches-undeniable-…
client: Major League Baseball | Chief Operations and Strategy Officer: Chris Marinac; Executive Vice President of Marketing, Chief Marketing Officer: Karin Timpone; Senior Vice President, Creative and Content Marketing: Scott Weisenthal; Vice President, Creative Studio: Geoff Proud; Director of Projects, Creative Marketing and Content: Gordon Liserson; Directed by: Matt Mantilla; Producer: Palmira Ríos Segura; Project Director: Gemma Kaneko; Project manager: Danielle Skowronek; Vice President of Social Responsibility: April Brown; Director of Community Affairs: Kevin Moss;
created by Justin Polk, Beau Abbott, and Brian Abbott
Production company: Invisible Collective | Director: Justin Polk, Executive Producer: Sam Kelly Jr., Director of Photography: Adam Biel, Writers: Justin Polk, Beau Abbott, Brian Abbott
Animation studio: Mars Blueberry | Director of Animation: Carl Jones, Executive Producers: Love Barnett, Omar McClinton & Carl Jones, Supervising Animation: Feeney Wolfe and Agenor Forego Neto, Curators: Ana Carolina Antunes, Animation Editor: Alaric C. Martin, Art Director: Diego Molano, Writers Animation: Ryan Cunningham, Daniel Dean
Music composition by: Mark Akoni
Post-production audio: The sound of a violin sheet | Sound design and mixing: Ben Frere
Color and finish: Visual Effects Age Guide | Painter/flame artist: Evan Guidera
About the Negro Baseball Museum
The Negro Leagues Baseball Museum is the only museum in the world dedicated to preserving and celebrating the rich history of African American baseball and its impact on America’s social progress. The not-for-profit organization, privately funded 501c3, was founded in 1990 and is located in the heart of Kansas City, Missouri’s historic 18th and Vine Jazz District. The NLBM operates two blocks from the Paseo YMCA where Andrew “Rube” Foster founded the National Negro League in 1920. nlbmuseumkc
About Invisible Collective
a production partner built for the future; Conviction is built into the Invisible Collective’s mission statement. Since 2019, the Smart Creative Production company has fulfilled its mission around championing often overlooked, innovative, and groundbreaking talent by working with some of the biggest brands to create dynamic and original campaigns that speak to viewers from around the world. @tweet
About Mars Blueberry
Martian Blueberry was co-founded by animation veteran Carl Jones, who has provided Peabody Award-winning and NAACP Image Award-nominated writing, directing, and animation for numerous studios and networks across the entertainment spectrum. With a primary focus on animation, we aim to cater to the growing global appetite for diversity and inclusion, by utilizing our wealth of experience, production knowledge and industry resources, to accelerate the company’s progress at the forefront of the global marketplace. We are a young, thriving, vertically integrated company offering full service animation capabilities specializing in cutting edge 2D and 3D animation, visual effects and design. Serving a variety of entertainment activities including advertising, episodic TV, movies, NFTS, WEB3, and music videos. MB is a group of progressive minds with innovative ideas and talents that push the boundaries of tradition. @tweet