Back in 2018 a fan of the K-pop group Monsta X tweeted at We Bare Bears creator Daniel Chong that if he ever featured a K-pop group on the show he hoped it would be Monsta X. Considering that the show has done several references to K-pop in the past, Chong simply replied with, “i’ll see what I can do.”
Little that did that random fan know he had just set something powerful in motion.
A year later Monsta X appeared as themselves on the final episode of We Bare Bears season 4 and the fandom around the band exploded. Their favorite boys were animated! Chong’s tweets about the episode spread through the internet like wildfire. The plot of the episode followed Grizz and Ice Bear trying to get their brother Panda to meet the band, which he loves, but hijinks get in the way
When the episode was announced Chong shared a screenshot of his original tweet conversation with the fan and simply added, “This is literally how it happened.”
In the lead up to the We Bare Bears movie we looked back on this wild story with Chong and asked him if it really was the tweet of a random fan that got him to put Monsta X in the show. Chong admits that he and the writers had been working on a K-pop episode at the time but they hadn’t yet settled on which band they wanted to ask. The tweet put Monsta X on Chong’s radar who remembers, “the timing was perfect. I looked them up and we were like, let’s try to get them. So it all worked out perfectly.”
Once the band were signed on story artists Sang Lee and Charlie Parisi did a ton of research for the episode, including digging into chat rooms and websites to find out, as Chong puts it, “everything about these boys and what are the inside things about them. That’s what the K-pop community is. It’s about knowing every inch of these bands.” The We Bare Bears crew even went to a Monsta X concert in America.
Chong and the team however didn’t expect just how big the episode would go over. When it was announced the Monsta X fandom catapulted viewership on the preview videos Cartoon Network had released into the millions. Fans quickly picked up on all the research that had been put into the episode by the We Bare Bears crew and loved it.
“The K-pop community online is unmatched,” praises Chong. “It is a force to be reckoned with and if they get on board with something that you’re doing, which they did on our show, it was just through the roof.”
Don’t forget that We Bare Bears: The Movie is now available to watch! Find it on your favorite video on demand platform!