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South Park

Animation Studio

Marina del Rey

Inside the South Park studio there’s a pagoda, a recording studio with an adobe roof, an animation area with a thatched grass roof, and a shrine to the glam-rock band KISS.

And lots of disembodied doll parts.

Welcome to the home of Comedy Central’s sassy, foul-mouthed animated series “South Park.”

“The South Park people are so off-center that it kind of works,” said Steven Drucker, vice-president at Hellmuth Obata & Kassabaum Inc., the Santa Monica design firm that helped create the office space.

The studio is located in a warehouse that was once occupied by a Japanese fashion designer. When the designer vacated the building, he left behind the pagoda. Another previous tenant contributed the nook with the adobe roof.

When South Park creators Matt Stone and Trey Parker first saw the place, they fell in love with it.

“It’s very unusual and weird, very quirky,” Drucker said. “It’s like walking into a part of town that has some old buildings that you want to preserve.”

The work stations for the animators are done in a very bare-bones style. A skeletal framework “kind of like an erector set” was used to divide the work areas, Drucker said.

“I expected them to customize the space and make it their own,” he said. “It has worked out fabulously and famously.”

The individual workspaces now have everything from homages to the individual “South Park” characters to a miniature tiki hut that looks like it came from a low-budget hula movie. As for the doll parts, well, there’s no ready explanation. “There are some things that border on or go beyond the realm of bad taste,” Drucker admitted.

Ann Donahue

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