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The Hot Sheet: Eight Shows to Track Down at MIPJunior
You’ll find a lot of TV industry heavyweights mingling at the Hotel Martinez in Cannes during the first weekend in October for the annual MIPJunior market. Here are some of the hot new animated series that will be making some waves during the season:
Me and My Robot
Produced by: Millimages, Synergy Media
Format: 52 x 13
Target Audience: Kids 6-9
Type of Animation: CG
What’s It About: This comedy series explores the topsy-turvy lives of a group of friends at a high-tech school. The hero, Eugene, and the very humanlike robot he built called C.H.I.P.–along with their friends Maia and Joseph–are always getting into trouble, and using their ingenuity (or lack of it) to get back out of it!
What Makes It Stand Out: In addition to the show’s creative, high-tech premise and its lovable human and robot co-stars, Millimages’ group commercial director John Reynolds believes those who had seen the project in its early stages will be pleased with how it turned out: “We are very excited to be launching our latest kids property along with Synergy at MIPCOM,” he beams. “For those who have followed the show from its infancy, I’m sure they won’t be disappointed with the high quality of the final product.”
Produced by: Toonbox LTD, The Riki Group
Created by: Vladimir Ponomarev
Format: 52 x 11
Target Audience: Kids 5-10
Type of Animation: Flash
What’s It About: Anything and everythign goes on the wild and whimsical planet of Qumi-Qumi, where the hapless shaman Jooga and the dim-witted soldier Shoomadon compete for the heart of the beautiful Yoosi. Their love triangle is often interrupted by quirky snags they must work together to overcome in this slapstick show set in a strange world of magic jungles, mischievous monsters, levitating beauty parlors, solar-powered sheep and even Elvis!
What Makes It Stand Out: Bringing a fresh artistic twist and a global-distributino-ready made up language to the digital 2D toon scene is a can’t miss winning strategy, according to Toonbox producer Pavel Muntyan. “In today’s crowded kids’ market, Qumi-Qumi jumps out with its completely original design, fantastic display of imagination, a cool language that can be shared by kids around the world adn stories that are just plain fun!” he insists.
Website: www.riki-group.com; www.toonbox.ru
Produced by: Guru Animation Studio
Created by: Angela Kim
Format: 52 x 11
Target Audience: Preschool (3-6)
Type of Animation: Digital, Fabric Cut-Out
What’s It About: This touchably soft, sweet series takes place in Port Little, home of the Little Movers (Amelia, Tibor, Suki and Trevor)–four friends with a shared affinity for planes, trains, trucks and cars. Things are constantly on the move in their town, and they always find a way to get things done, whether it’s moving a baby whale back to her mommy, a prickly cactus away from the rain, or a family of snowmen to the north before they melt.
What Makes It Stand Out: According to Guru’s president and creative director, Frank Falcone, the new series will help teach children important lessons about the more and more globalized world they live in. “Where do things come from, and how do they get here? This is a question that goes unanswered to lots of kids,” he notes. “[The show has a] curriculum that helps children to understand that the things they depend on each day come from places all over the world.”
Tube and Victor
Produced by: Imira Entertainment
Format: 52 x 12
Target Audience: Kids 6-12
Type of Animation: Digital 2D – Harmony
What’s It About: Tube is a competetive, surfing-obsessed teen who lived a fairly normal life–that is, until his dad married a vampire and they moved to the perpetually spooky dale of Halloween Valley! Now he shares a room with Victor, his scientifically minded monster step-brother. While Tube and Victor come from different worlds, they learn to be friends and explore the wonders (and terrors) of Halloween Valley together.
What Makes It Stand Out: With the inarguable popularity of horror movie tropes in family entertainment on the rise, this show is set to catch the creepy comedy wave. By utilizing the versatility of Toon Boom’s Harmony software, Imira was able to create a unique look with highly textured, collage-like backgrounds that let the graphic 2D characters pop. And they’ll be popping up all over the place, thanks to a full 360 cross-media plan for Tube and Victor.
Format: 26 x 30
Type of Animation: 3D HD Augmented Reality Show
Production Partners: Screen 21, Sony Computer Entertainment Europe.
Executive Producer: Carlos Biern
Worldwide Distribution: BRB Internacional
Target Audience: Kids 6-10
What’s It About: Viewers get to visit the very tiny world of the strange and powerful creatures known as Invizimals, who are invisible to the human eye, but become visible once captured by the PSP (PlayStation Portable) via the latest reality enhancement technology!
What Makes It Special: The show is based on the dynamic video games saga created by the Spanish studio Novarama and produced by Sony Computer Entertainment Europe (SCEE) and is billed as the first TV show which will incorporate the concept of reality enhancement technology. “The future of the animation industry is the union of the videogame and TV series—both sectors come together beautifully in Invizimals,” says Carlos Biern, exec producer and director of co-productions at Spanish studio BRB Internacional.
Boy and the Dinosaur
Produced by: 1461 Productions
Created by: Davey Moore, David Bunting, Paul Couvela and Russell Dever, based on an original idea by Jason Harding
Distributed by: Foothill Entertainment
Type of Animation: CG
Target Audience: Kids 2-5
Format: 52 x 11
What’s It All About:This charming preschool show centers on the ordinary four-year-old Boy and his extraordinary Dinosaur and blends big, visual storytelling and broad physical comedy, with plenty of original music and a simple educational philosophy.
What Makes It Stand Out: Boy and the Dinosaur is a timeless series with universal appeal and produced by a multi award-winning U.K, team including director Paul Couvela (Bob the Builder, Chuggington), producer David Bunting (Shaun the Sheep, The Tigger Movie) and writer Davey Moore (Octonauts, Rastamouse, Thomas & Friends). “We love this series and are so excited with the fresh new look, designs and the strong visual storytelling created by a multi-award winning U.K. team,” says Jo Kavanagh-Payne, managing director of Foothill Europe Ltd.
Produced and Distributed by: Vodka Capital
Directed by: Pepe Sanchez
Format: 13 x 1 animated shorts and app
Target Audience: Tweens
What’s It About: The app comprises 100 levels for iPhone, iPad & Android combined with 13 x 1, 3D animated content for TV, web and mobile. The backstory is about a curious bug that was accidentally trapped in the Apollo 11 capsule and escaped to the moon, where it mutated and cloned into a perfect, irreverent creature. Today, a lunar expedition has brought the bug back to earth and it’s now threatening to destroy our planet. Viewers/players have to help the bugs overcome obstacles and get back home.
What Makes It Stand Out: The edgy new brand will be exploited across all media channels by Vodka Capital, which has already secured a master toy and TV partners. “This brand won’t necessarily start with TV, it will start with the app and be an entertainment-based gaming brand. Then we’ll launch the short-form animated series. We look at it as a cross-platform brand born out of an app,” says Steven Posner, Vodka’s managing partner, whose credits include Jelly Jam and Pirata & Capitano.
Distributed by: DHX Media
Produced by: Moody Street Kids and Kickstart Productions
Created by: Obie Scott Wade (Baby Looney Tunes, Julius & Friends)
Format: 52 x 11
Target Audience: Kids 8-12
What’s It About: A high-energy animated comedy about the exploits of 12-year-old Guy Hamdon who thinks he’s an extreme dude with a macho attitude who finds a ring that transforms him into a superhero. The catch, however, is that the superhero is SheZow, a female superhero with big hair, high-heeled go-go boots and powers like super strength and She-Riffic speed and feminine intuition that tickles his tummy.
What Makes It Stand Out: “Having to dress like a girl when you’re a 100% macho guy, is toe-curlingly embarrassing for you, but highly amusing to everyone else,” says Josh Scherba, senior VP of distribution at DHX Media. “Now imagine it’s the only way you get to be a super hero. This show perfectly captures the comedy potential in this scenario.”