Most people don’t think spiders are particularly cute, especially not hairy, thick-legged ones. The excessive numbers of legs and eyes tend to turn people off, or at least not want them in our homes.
But one Disney-Pixar animator decided to prove the haters wrong by creating the world’s cutest CGI spider, and almost overnight, a YouTube sensation was born. As of Thursday, he even has his own line of merchandise, Polygon reports, as all great internet stars do!
Meet Lucas the Spider
He’s adorable, he can talk, and he’s the internet sensation we didn’t know we needed.
Lucas is the main character of his own series of short films on YouTube, where he has more than 2 million subscribers!
The “Lucas the Spider” cartoon was created by Joshua Slice, an animator who has worked on Disney blockbusters like “Big Hero Six” and “Zootopia.”
When asked what inspired him to animate a spider, of all things, Slice shared Lucas’ origin story with Business Insider:
“Creating characters on the computer and bringing them to life has always been a pastime hobby of mine. A year and a half ago I had the itch to start a new project and I saw an image of a jumping spider sitting on a leaf. I thought it was really cute and wondered just how cute I could make a spider in 3D. Despite all the success, the only goal I had in mind from the start was to make a believable spider look as cute as possible.”
In each video, Lucas is seen getting into mischief throughout the house and occasionally getting into unexpected trouble. In this episode, he found a sleeping “polar bear.”
The adorable arachnid is voiced by Slice’s real-life six-year-old nephew, who is also named Lucas.
Slice told Business Insider via email that they actually do all the voice recordings for his short films remotely, because the real Lucas and his mum, Slice’s sister, live in another state.
“Whenever I had a recording request, I would give it to my sister and she would record at their home,” explained Splice. “I’m shocked that we’ve been able to do it all remotely.”
The first few videos of Lucas the Spider went viral earlier this year. The video from January pictured below, titled “Captured,” has more than 17 million views on YouTube.
Many Lucas fans have taken to Twitter, saying that the cartoon has actually helped them with their fear of real-life spiders. Here are a few examples:
Lucas the Spider, I never thought I’d see the day when I’d be so enamored with a spider. I’ve had a fear of spiders since I was 8 years old and I am trying to overcome it, but I’ve fallen in love with this little guy. We must protect him. pic.twitter.com/KuWuigB1Xe
— Drico ⭐️???? (@DricoMonster) March 30, 2018
Well his goal worked. I have an extremely intense fear of spiders but I would die for Lucas https://t.co/EaehoWtL6r
— ????Mel???? (@Meelina_J) February 15, 2018
— Jayne Bishop (@JaynePGB) January 3, 2018
Now that Lucas has become a YouTube sensation, Slice says he’s just happy the videos can bring a smile to his viewers’ faces.
Said Slice, “The news cycle is so dominated with outrage, it’s great to put something out there that’s a positive influence.”
And starting today, you can purchase a “Lucas the Spider” stuffed animal, along with lots of other merchandise like mugs and t-shirts, all featuring your new favourite little spider.
Here’s just one of Splice’s Lucas the Spider videos, give it a look for yourself!
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