Canada

T.O. filmmaker’s ‘raccoon story’ becomes ‘Trash Panda’ video game

An image from the 'Trash Panda' video game.

Practically everyone in Toronto has a raccoon story. But not everyone turns it into a video game.

Filmmaker Jason Leaver, best known for his web series, Out With Dad, is doing just that with Trash Panda, a game he is currently developing where the player is a raccoon wandering Toronto’s streets on garbage night, making a nuisance of himself wherever he goes.

“Thing is, everyone has their raccoon story,” said Leaver.

“Whether it’s raccoons making their way into your house, your shed or whatever, or making a mess that you’ve got to clean up the next morning, we all have that story. ”

The 43-year-old Scarborough resident was encouraged to take his raccoon tale a major step further during one memorable night.

“I was pulling out the garbage bin and there was a raccoon already trying to get into it,” said Leaver.

“It was empty, the poor guy didn’t know. But we both scared the heck out of each other,” he added. “And then his sibling shows up and starts trying to come over to me, he even grabbed hold of my leg, rather tender and lovingly, I think for a raccoon. But I don’t know if I ever screamed so loud in absolute terror.”

Filmmaker Jason Leaver, best known for his web series, Out With Dad, is currently developing a Trash Panda game, where the player is a raccoon wandering Toronto’s streets on garbage night, making a nuisance of himself wherever he goes. HANDOUT PHOTO
Filmmaker Jason Leaver, best known for his web series, Out With Dad, is currently developing a Trash Panda game, where the player is a raccoon wandering Toronto’s streets on garbage night, making a nuisance of himself wherever he goes. HANDOUT PHOTO

Leaver hopes to release Trash Panda this year.

Working on it since Christmas, he has posted bits on social media and had his effort tested by gamers in the early stages.

“Torontonians like their raccoons — and they hate them,” he said with a laugh.

“It very much is a love-hate (relationship.) We hate them, but we’re proud of them.”

And just in case he gets any funny ideas about changing the video game’s working title from Trash Panda to something else, he now knows not to.

“Just (Tuesday) I mentioned online that I like the title. I don’t love that title. Maybe people can suggest names. And overwhelmingly everyone said, ‘No! The name is Trash Panda!’ So I’m sticking with Trash Panda.

Leaver is also proud of his Toronto roots so is happy to show them off in the game.

  1. A raccoon was caught on tape lounging on a porch,

    Raccoons provided pandemic silver lining in 2020

  2. A raccoon is seen opening a supposed raccoon-resistant green bin in the Beach area.

    Trash panda figures out how to open 'raccoon-proof' green bin

  3. A trash panda is seen going through trash.

    Steer clear of T.O. raccoons after 62% rise in bites, scratches: City

“So I will definitely have the Toronto skyline in there,” he said. “What’s kind of exciting is with everyone being so excited about the game, I’m getting lots of great suggestions from the Trash Panda enthusiasts.”

Including his seven-year-old daughter, Evelyn.

“She’s been enjoying playing it as well,” said Leaver.

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