Our hippo was born in the Rockies. Denis Thomopoulos was driving cross-country from a college visit to Georgetown University when he stopped in Colorado and happened to pick up a traveling companion's pastel. He doodled a red hippopotamus and nothing has been the same since.
At Georgetown he went on to create a best-selling t-shirt - which marked the official birth of Hippo Works. Several thousand doodles later the hippo became known as Simon, the star of It's A Jungle Out There! a comic strip launched in books and in animation as a weekly cartoonlet syndicated to National Geographic Kids, AOL Kids, Clear Channel, Care2.com, among others.
From the outset Denis’s jungle characters spoke about what happens in the lives of real animals - even the awful stuff. Yoshi, a monkey, loses his sister to poachers; Peep the Bird discusses with his best friend Simon that “one of them won't likely be here by the end of this century" because of the growing rate of animal extinction.
Climate change has now inspired Hippo Works' first half-hour film, Simon Says "Save The Climate!", presented by unicef and The World's Largest Lesson and in support of the United Nations's Global Goals for Sustainable Development. The program includes a matching memory game and a teacher's eBook with Next Gen Science Standards, lesson plans, and eco activities. It's been screened at Greenfestivals.org, NASA, and the UN's Climate Week...please check out the show and share it with kids!
Denis has also used his characters to support animal-related causes. An example is a large egg he painted as part of Faberge's Big Egg Hunt charity event raising funds for The Elephant Family and Studio in A School.
To contact us, please drop us a note at hello(at)hippoworks.com