10 Shows to Write Home About

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The beginning of April may signal the arrival of spring in the natural world, but for TV execs and animation producers, it only means one thing: Yup, it’s time to fight the crowds and sell your goods at the MIPTV content market (April 1-4) in Cannes. Here are some of the new animated shows that will be looking for buyers and producing partners at the mart this year:

Dude, That's My Ghost

Dude, That's My Ghost

Show: Dude, That’s My Ghost
Produced by: Gaumont Alphanim, Disney XD, EMEA; Orange, France
Created by: Jan Van Rijsselberge (Robotboy, Santa’s Apprentice)
Package: 52 x 13
Target Audience: 6-12
Synopsis: This comedy series follows the adventures of 11-year-old Spencer who has to adjust to life with his new buddy/guardian, the ghost of a flamboyant guitar-playing rock star, when he moves to Hollywood with his family. (The series was formerly known as Spencer’s Ghost.)
Type of Animation: Digital 2D, done with Toon Boom Harmony. The producers opted for this software as the character design involves a lot of detail in the clothing and style of each character. “We wanted the characters to look as though they had chosen their own outfits and not been dressed by their parents,” says Alphanim’s creative director and exec producer Heath Kenny. “Also we really wanted to have the flexibility to keep a lot of fun squash and stretch in the more cartoony characters like Billy Joe Cobra the Ghost.”
Selling Points: “While this show may seem a buddy comedy like many others at first glance, that’s where the similarity ends,” notes Kenny. “Thanks to the vision of the director and the support of the dedicated team at Disney XD, in both development and current series, we have two very memorable characters in a world that unites a strong sitcom feel with classic cartoon comedy. As visual or dialogue-driven gags can often be culture specific, DTMG has a solid grounding in character-driven comedy that we believe is truly international.”
Website: www.alphanim.com
Fungi

Fungi

Show: Fungi
Distributed by: awol
Production Partners: Storfisk, TV3, Top Draw Animation
Type of Animation: 2D Flash
Created by: Veronica Lassenius
Package: 26 x 7
Target Audience: 6-11
Synopsis: This charming show features the adventures of fantastical Frida, Max the musician and their oh-so-interesting neighbors, the Undergrounders. Living in an apartment block called Fungihouse, these mysterious neighbors never fail to fire the imaginations of Frida and Max, who are astute observers of comings and goings and never met a mystery they didn’t love.
Selling Point: “The fantastic universe of Fungi brings an optimistic view of life in a community of neighbors every child can relate to,” says creator Veronica Lassenius. “The way Frida and Max solve everyday mysteries invites children to be creative, observant and build their own opinions about their environment. And all that is lots of fun!”
Website: www.awolanimation.com
Bola Kampung Extra

Bola Kampung Extra

Show: Bola Kampung Extra
Produced and created by: Animasia (Malaysia)
Type of Animation: 3-D CG
Package: 8 x 3
Target Audience: 6-12
Synopsis: This new offering is the spinoff of the studio’s animated feature Bola Kampung: The Movie. These comic short-form toon revolves around the misadventures of a young group of soccer players in an underdog school team.
Selling Points: “The show is dialogue-free, fast paced and funny,” says Animasia’s managing director Edmund Chan. “There’s a big demand in the market right now for comedy shows, and this show will be best to broadcast during the Euro 2012 Football season. Besides saving on dubbing costs (non-dialogue), there are also sponsorship opportunities which broadcasters can increase revenue by promoting to advertisers. Our post team can also insert product placement shots for broadcasters to sell to potential advertisers.”
Delivery date: May 2012, in time for European 2012 soccer season
Website: www.bolakampungmovie.com
Robin Hood

Robin Hood

Show: Robin Hood
Produced and created by: DQ Entertainment, Method Animation, ZDF Enterprises
Type of Animation: Stereoscopic 3-D CG
Package: 52 x 11
Target Audience: 6-12
Synopsis: The adventures of a young Robin Hood and his friends in the Sherwood Forrest as they band together to fight the evil plans of the notorious Prince John.
Selling Points: “Robin Hood is one of the most-loved characters of all time and a cult hero that children have grown up reading about for ages all over the world,” says DQ Ent.’s chairman and CEO Tapaas Chakravarti. “We’ve always believed that high quality animated IPs that have global appeal will have immense potential for broadcast, merchandising and licensing. This 3-D series will center on a never-before-seen, 10-year-old version of the hero and his Band of Merry Friends. The CG-animated characters are very endearing and will surely captivate and engage our young audiences with their pranks. The show will be an exciting mix of fantastic action, magic and friendship set against the backdrop of the lush and mysterious Sherwood Forest.”
Website: www.DQEntertainment.com
Trucktown

Trucktown

Show: Trucktown
Produced by: Nelvana Studio
Based on: The book series from award-winning author Jon Scieszka, that has sold over one million copies.
Type of Animation: CG
Target Audience: Preschool
Synopsis: The action-packed show stars Jack Truck, Dump Truck Dan and Gabriela Garbage Truck and their pals as they rambunctiously roar, romp and crash their way through their hometown of Trucktown. This group of friends just wants to rev-up their engines and smash their way through anything. So pump up your tires and roll on over to join in the fun!
Selling Points: “Trucktown will follow the lead of the first book in the series titled Smash Crash,” says Irene Weibel, Nelvana and Corus Kids’ VP of international production and development. “We see Trucktown as a true boys preschool show: It will be rambunctious and revved up and celebrate boys! Each episode will focus on play and games and result in physical, rough and tumble fun. Here are a couple of signs you will see in Trucktown: ‘Bumping and Smashing Not Prohibited’ and ‘Please Drive on the Lawn.’ We are pleased to have award-winning author Jon Scieszka on board as we develop Trucktown, providing us with his input about the characters, stories and designs.”
Website: www.nelvana.com
Florrie's Dragons

Florrie's Dragons

Show: Florrie’s Dragons
Produced by: Studio 100 Media
Created on: Wish Films, U.K.; Clockwork Zoo and Studio100 Animation
Animation produced by: Clockwork Zoo, South Africa
Type of Animation: 2D, cut-out style
Package: 52 x 10
Target Audience: 3-6
Synopsis: This vibrant, preschool show about friendship, community, compassion, creativity and positive values is based on a book series by children’s author An Vrombaut (64 Zoo Lane). It centers on little Princess Florrie who lives in a castle, and her best friend Dear Dragon, and their magical adventures with Toot Toot the Musical Dragon, Splish Splash the Magical Water Dragon, Zoom Zoom the Flying Dragon and the Dancing Dragonettes.
Selling Points: “Florrie’s Dragons is a warm-hearted comedy for a very young audience with a unique look that makes no secret about its picture book origins,” says Patrick Elmendorff, Studio100′s managing director. “It’s filled with everything that is truly wonderful about childhood. The show draws children into a magical world where every day is special and all the stories have strong ties with real life situations and experiences. We are delighted to have Florrie’s Dragons in our portfolio. There is something so unique about An Vrombaut’s books, and the series reinforces to us our true vocation as children’s TV makers: to tell stories and to tell them the way children like it.”
Website: www.studio100media.com
Teenage Fairytale Dropouts

Teenage Fairytale Dropouts

Show: Teenage Fairytale Dropouts
Produced by: Anima Estudios, SLR Productions, Home Plate Ent., Telegael
Distributed by: CCI Ent.
Type of Animation: High Def, Flash 2D
Package: 52 x 11
Target Audience: 6-11
Synopsis: This charming toon centers on the next generation of fairytale characters, who really don’t want to follow in their parents’ footsteps. Jeremiah, the son of the Giant from Jack and the Beanstalk, is vertically challenged and hates stomping. Trafalgar, one of Merlin’s many nephews, is likely to turn himself into a goat, and Fury, Tooth Fairy’s daughter, hates to deal with children’s teeth.
Selling Points: “Teenage Fairytale Dropouts is a show with three unique heroes who are truly best friends,” says José Carlos García de Letona, Ánima Estudios’ exec VP. “What gives the series its comedic edge is its focus on the offspring of famous fairytale characters and the challenges they have making their way at FairyTale High School without walking in their parents very large (as in giant), or very traditionally magical footsteps.”
Website: www.ccientertainment.com
Jade Armor

Jade Armor

Show: Jade Armor
Produced by: TeamTO, Gamania Digital Ent. and Sofa Studios
Distributed by: CCI Ent.
Type of Animation: CG
Package: 53 x 13
Target Audience: 6-11
Synopsis: This action comedy series centers on a young boy named Yang who gains special powers thanks to an ancient suit of armor and with the aid of his friend ChoYo and the support of magical Beasticons, he learns to fight the strange minions sent by the evil Dark King.
Website: www.teamto.com
Fugget About It

Fugget About It

Show: Fugget About It
Produced by: 9 Story Entertainment, Darius Films, Teletoon
Created by: Nicholas Tabarrok and Willem Wennekers
Developed by: Jeff Abugov (Two and a Half Men, Roseanne, Cheers)
Package: 26 x 30
Style of Animation: 2D Digital
Target Audience: Over 18
Synopsis: This new primetime animated sitcom follows the misadventures of former New York mob boss Jimmy Falcone and his family, who are forced to enter the witness protection program and move to small-town Canada. After Jimmy is asked by his associates in the Gambini crime family to whack his good old Uncle Cheech, Jimmy goes to Don Gambini to plead his uncle’s case. When nothing comes of it, he politely throws the mob boss out of a 19th story window. Now with the mob out to kill him, Jimmy has no choice but to turn to the Feds, who move the family to cold, snowy, boring Regina, Saskatchewan.
Selling Points: “What sets the show apart from other toons on the market is that it is a great fish-out-of water story,” says creator/exec producer Willem Wennekers. “Our heroes are part of a tough New York mob family in a particularly gentle part of Canada. Not only do they culturally clash with their environment, but they have to maintain a secret identity which, if revealed, could mean they’d be dead. That sense of jeopardy is what adds another level of excitement (and humor) to Fugget About It.”
Premiere: Fall 2012 on Teletoon at Night; English/French.
Website: www.9story.com
Max Steel

Max Steel

Show: Max Steel
Produced by: Mattel and Fremantle Media Ent.
Animation studio: Nerd Corps
Distributed by: Fremantle Media
Package: 26 x 20
Type of Animation: CGI
Target Audience: Teen/tween boys
Based on: The Mattel character and property of the same name, first introduced in 1999.
Synopsis: This high-octane, action-packed superhero series follows the epic adventures of Earth-bound teenager Maxwell McGrath and his out-of-this-world friend Steel. The mismatched duo must overcome comedic trials and tribulations toward each other in order to create a heroic turbo team. Once combined together, Maxwell and Steel serve to protect Earth from all manners of mayhem, monsters and extraterrestrial invasion as the galaxies greatest new super-hero, Max Steel.
Selling Points: As Sander Schwartz, FME’s president of kids and family entertainment, tells us, “Max Steel is an iconic boys’ action adventure property, and we are very excited to partner with Mattel on this cutting edge series. With the advances in CGI and other audio visual technologies available today, this show will have eye-popping animation, stunning visuals and great music, I am confident that Max Steel will soar to more heroic heights than ever before. Max Steel is a strong addition to our growing portfolio of family entertainment brands and further emphasizes FME’s mission to bring quality content to the teen market.”
Premiere: The series will launch in 2013 to core kids audiences on Cartoon Network channels throughout Latin America, including Mexico, Brazil, Argentina and Chile.
Website: www.fremantlemedia.com