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An Oregon couple is creating wholesome 80’s-themed videos with their gerbils with the goal of producing more positive content on the internet.
Kyle and Marylou Bryant created a TikTok show about a gerbil named Bella who loves all things 80’s.
The pair said they got the idea from their children’s memories about growing up in the 1980’s and renting family movies from Blockbuster stores.
The idea has morphed into a TikTok account with around 13,000 fans and a pilot episode that premiered on Sunday.
Videos show “Blockbuster Bella” using a dial-up connection to AOL and frequenting a mini Blockbuster store to rent “Ferris Bueller’s Day Off.”
A boom box and vinyl record player can also been seen in the videos, along with a cut-out image of Michael J. Fox in “Back to the Future.”
Kyle constructed an elaborate, historically-accurate mini-set for the TikTok videos. With his experience in building film sets, it took him around 80 hours to build the Blockbuster store. Building Bella’s house took around 40 hours, while Marylou spent 15 hours writing scripts.
The character of Bella is actually played by two gerbils named Ginger and Charlotte. The rodents only work between 5 and 10 minutes in between takes.
As far as acting goes, Kyle lets the gerbils do their own thing.
“For the most part, I film what she does, and then I’ll put that through a little bit of movie magic, a little creative editing, to make it so that it fits the storyline,” Kyle explained.
Kyle told FOX 12 Oregon that he wanted to create something “positive and uplifting” to counteract against negative content.
“We believe that there’s a community that wants to have something like this,” Kyle said. “That wants to have a positive show.”