Normally, fan fiction about U.K. boy band One Direction is not anything new on the internet. But when that fanfic comes in the form of a video created by the lead animator of raunchy spy cartoon Archer, features an evil leader named Lord Faptaguise and a secret weapon called the “pussy magnet” (not what you think) — and gets more than a million YouTube views in less than two days — it’s worth noting.
For those not already writing their own stories about the group, One Direction consists of five guys — Niall Horan, Zayn Malik, Liam Payne, Harry Styles and Louis Tomlinson — who were one-time contestants on U.K. talent show The X Factor. In real life, they formed a band at the suggestion of Simon Cowell, but in the 18-minute video “The Adventurous Adventures of One Direction,” they are superheroes sent on a mission by their commander, “Psymon,” to save the world’s cats from a Skeletor-looking villain named Lord Faptaguise (keep sounding it out until it makes sense).
In the video’s intro, creator Mark Parsons — an Atlanta denizen whose day job is lead animator on the FX show Archer — claims, “I just thought it was about time there was some 1D fanfic written by a dude, which I’m one … dude. So that’s what I did. Then I animated it.” Dressed in a T-shirt and wearing a mop top, he could easily be in One Direction, instead of creating bizarre fanfic about the band.
“What inspired me to make the cartoon was back in March, when I first heard of 1D, and I thought, ‘They are heroes whose story needs to be told,’” Parsons said in an e-mail to Wired. “I did do the voices, which is why Zayn and Niall start sounding alike. And why the girls sound pretty dude-y.”
While fan fiction of any variety has the capacity to be as crazy as it is brilliant, Parsons’ version has rather creative layers that tie together pop culture tropes — to save the cats the boys track down Sir Paul McCartney (dressed like Yoda), who gives them a “pussy magnet” to pull the kittehs out of Lord Faptaguise’s cages — with highly quotable dialog and Pop Up Video-esque data bubbles. (Yes, this sounds weird, but just watch.)
Describing how the video actually plays out is futile, but its 1.1 million-and-counting views and currentblow-up status on Tumblr should serve as enough reason to press play.
And, for the record, if this means that fan fiction is moving from Fifty Shades of Grey into viral video territory, that’s totally OK.