A Portland man’s adorable animated short about friendship, love, and ‘getting through tough times’ is generating thousands of smiles.
Born of grief, when his nephew died unexpectedly, Steve Cowden spent most of 2020 working on the video during lockdown, and now hopes to pitch it as a heartwarming series.
After a family gathering to honor the nephew, Cowden’s 22-year-old son Trent began spontaneously playing chords on the old piano.
“My twin brother Scott joined in with singing the words ‘Chocolate Cake and Ice Cream.’ We had just eaten dessert and he sang the silly words, I think, to lighten our hearts,” Cowden told GNN.
“I was upstairs with my mom and the tune was so sweet that I ran downstairs to be part of the moment. We all sang in harmony together. It kind of felt magical and seemed to help us. It was just a jingle at the time but it stuck with me.”
Chocolate Cake and Ice Cream, Some things are just better together
After returning to Oregon, while commuting to work, he began singing it and adding more words. He pulled out his voice memo app and made some recordings. By the time he had arrived at work (about 40 minute drive) the song was complete, and he and Trent later recorded the final version using another old piano.
“The song was so catchy, I almost immediately had the idea of making it into an animated short about a dog and cat.”
Cowden’s cute animation includes a moment when the cat, in order to amuse the doggie in the window, dances the moonwalk across a fence top.
“The response has really been amazing. One woman told me she shared the video with her network of 400 families who have experienced the loss of a loved one.”
I’ll always treasure these times forever, and whenever I see your smile.
Some things are better when they’re together, so let’s never say goodbye.
Chocolate cake and ice cream—I hope we never part.
Cowden has been an illustrator for 30 years, and in 2000 he did the art for a children’s book entitled Cheese Louise. Since releasing the video, Steve has dreamed up additional characters, and written more episodes that he hopes can be make them into a series.