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How JumpButton Studio’s “Pizza Girl” Is Bringing People of Color Into The World of Gaming and Animation (Exclusive)

What do you get when Tristin Mays, Brandi Marie King, Wes Armstrong and Khleo Thomas collaborate with JumpButton Studio? A must-see animated short… that’s what!

In honor of Pride Month and Juneteenth, Pizza Girl hit JumpButton Studio’s official YouTube channel on June 19th, and it’s a super cute project that is sure to leave you with an ear-to-ear smile.

The story follows 15-year-old Aaliyah (Mays) as she tries episode by episode to express her crush on Jayda (King), but her attempts are hampered by all sorts of unfortunate coincidences and hilariously awful luck.

Given that the animated short was inspired by the creator and director, Rachel Headlam, and her own experience as a 15-year-old, she shared the true meaning behind the project.

“I created this short with the intent of creating humor for Gen Z kids, specifically LGBT kids so that they can feel seen. Though there might be some insiders, the overall humor will be enjoyable for everyone, and I hope that it leaves viewers laughing and wondering, ‘how does this happen to a person?'”

With just one watch of the minute and a half long clip, we can guarantee that you will have the exact same reaction!

 

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A post shared by Aaliyah (@pizzagirl_aaliyah)

To build up excitement surrounding the must-see animated short, the brains behind the operation made Aaliyah her very own Instagram account, where she posts TONS of relatable content, just like an ordinary teen.

“hey guys! 😝 just starting this social media thing… da name is aaliyah with two a’s, follow me on ig @pizzagirl_aaliyah #gamerlife #fyp #pizzagirl,” her first post shared, along with a cheeky mirror selfie.

Another post gave her followers a brief overview of the animated short, encouraging all teenagers to tune in. The Instagram post unveiled, “Everyone’s had a high school crush. Awkwardness, butterflies, and the perfectly planned, ever so anxiety-inducing, heart-wrenching confession. But thank god most haven’t had the luck of this kid! Aaliyah is a 15-year-old girl whose ideal day revolves around gaming, skating and eating pizza. She’s generally confident in games, sports, her sense of humor. She’s a tomboy, through and through.”

“All she needs is dope friends, great vibes and a half pipe, but this all goes out the window when Jayda delivers her pizza. For the first time in her life, she felt a crush... Will she get the girl?” the post concluded, leaving everyone on the edge of their seat.

Celeb Secrets got the inside scoop in an exclusive interview with Tristin, Brandi and Wes, where we learned TONS behind-the-scenes secrets regarding Pizza Girl.

 

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A post shared by Aaliyah (@pizzagirl_aaliyah)

Since the animated short’s highly-anticipated premiere on June 19th, Tristin, Brandi, Wes and the rest of the crew have had a month to soak in all of the viewers’ feedback and commentary. Fortunately, it has been nothing but positive!

Tristin revealed to Celeb Secrets reporter Melanie Rooten, “So far it seems like the feedback has been great! Everyone likes the energy [and] everyone loves the character. It’s really cute…. It’s like almost like a minute and a half long, but it’s just enough to give people a perfect taste of their childhood all over again.”

Given that Pizza Girl is extremely brief AND ends on a cliffhanger, fans are wondering what happens to Aaliyah after the credits roll, including the cast themselves.

“I want to see if she gets the pizza girl,” Brandi revealed to us. “I would love to see how she works up her courage and advice, good or bad probably from her friends, but just like building that confidence and like just going for it. I think that’s a great message.”

Tristin added, “It’d be cool to find out, like is she a nerd too? Does she like video games? Is she gonna join the crew?”

“Just to see what it would turn into would be cute,” she concluded with a smirk, and we wholeheartedly agree.

As a whole, the goal of Pizza Girl is to increase Black and LGBTQ+ representation within the gaming and animation spaces, as well as remind viewers of their childhood.

“It’s really cool just doing an animated series for the first time,” Tristin gushed. “I’ve never done voiceover work before, and this one was kind of perfect. We’ve all been friends for a really long time, and we weren’t really acting at all when we did it. We’re kind of able to banter back and forth and I guess bring people of color into this world of gaming and animation, and it’s cool to see that.”

In addition to this, “This is a project that hopefully, you know, bring some smiles to everybody and makes them wanna get together and play video games with their friends again. I feel like we’re all growing up a little bit too fast now, so I don’t know, it’s a little bit of something just to bring us back to like kind of early 2000s energy and just kind of relax.”

“It definitely made me wanna get my PlayStation, play Crash Bandicoot and order some pizza,” Brandi added with a grin.

While we wait to see what Aaliyah’s next time ordering a pizza has in store, be sure to watch our exclusive interview with Tristin Mays, Brandi King and Wes Armstrong below.

Afterwards, be sure to follow @jumpbuttonstudio, @tristinmays, @lovebrandimarie AND @wuzgood on Instagram, as well as leave a comment below letting us know how much you loved the animated short. Tell us what YOU want to see happen in future episodes!

WATCH PIZZA GIRL HERE:

Author

  • Melanie Rooten

    Originally from Southern California and currently residing in Music City, Melanie graduated from the University of Oklahoma with a BA in Journalism before beginning her career as a music and entertainment journalist. Beginning to work for Celeb Secrets and Celeb Secrets Country as an intern in May of 2022, she has also contributed to Holler, Music Mayhem, Country Now, Country Chord, We Got This Covered and Decider throughout her career thus far. When she is not working, Melanie enjoys going to concerts and music festivals, binging her favorite television shows, spending time with her friends and family and cheering on the Oklahoma Sooners (of course).

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Originally from Southern California and currently residing in Music City, Melanie graduated from the University of Oklahoma with a BA in Journalism before beginning her career as a music and entertainment journalist. Beginning to work for Celeb Secrets…

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