Ape, Pie, Robber, Dr. W Dished Up at Cartoon Forum

Last week, the 19th edition of Cartoon Forum which took place in Ludwigsburg, Baden-W’rttemberg, Germany attracted over 765 broadcasters, investors, producers and distributors to a three-day presentation of the latest European animation projects for TV and new media platforms. A total of 63 projects were presented from 14 countries, summing up about 370 hours of content and a budget of around 200 million euros. According to the press office, one-third of the projects at the event confirmed to have secured short-term financing following. Here are several of the Forum’s presentations which caught our attention:

The talented Folimage team, headed up by Pascal Le N’tre, brought a new series titled Claude to the well-attended Cartoon Forum last week. The show targets six- to eight-year olds, but audiences of all ages will get a kick out of the show’s offbeat humor. The toon centers on a unique, four-eyed furry character whose appealing quirkiness puts him in stark contrast with his fairly normal parents and friends. Claude, who eats shoes and birds, is doted upon by his adoring parents, who don’t seem to notice his odd tendencies or looks. For more info, visit www.folimage.fr

The Daily Ape is an animated comedy which mirrors topical events happening in our world, but it’s set in the world of apes. The actual behavior and intelligence level of the world stays the same; it just gets a whole lot hairier. Producer Petteri Pasanen of Anima Vitae studios in Finland says this show will be up to date and locally customized as part of ‘a new wave of animation!’ He would like to hear immediately from the best comedy writers around the world at [email protected]

Picnic With Pie is a new project from Submarine’s producer Bruno Felix and Walking the Dog’s Eric Goossens. The preschool project is developed from the traditionally illustrated children’s book Picnic with Pie, which as been ttranslated into contemporary 3D animation with a lot of potential for online and game development. Submarine is best known for itsKika and Bob series, which has sold to more than 18 countries worldwide. The studio will follow a similar plan with this new project, ilaunching an interactive website combining old-fashioned storytelling with gameplay for preschool kids. For more information about the new property, go to www.submarine.nl/picnic.

Animation X’s managing director Stephan Schesch and Les Armateurs’ Didier Bruner introduced a TV series based on the beautiful characters from their hit Euro movie The Three Robbers. Kids will certainly appreciate the warmth and appeal of these characters, which were originally created by children’s author Tomi Ungerer, and follow their new adventures in the robbers’ forest. This modern-day Robin Hood tale, along with the things that the young heroine of the show (Tiffany) can teach the sheltered, uneducated robbers, give children the rare opportunity to feel empowered in an otherwise intimidating adult world.

Finally, during the last presentation of the final day, I was lucky enough to catch the unusual toon called Dr. W. The 26 X 4-minute show revolves around a delirious doctor who is always searching for the truth about natural facts of life. Peter Keydel and Muyi Neira from Magoproduction S.L. in Barcelona developed this character from their award-winning short. I loved the odd look of their 3D series which uses different animation methods while presenting medical and health facts in a funny, ironic style.

For more info about the event, visit www.cartoon-media.be.