The Walt Disney Co. has announced plans to triple its investment in animation production for programs in Europe, the Middle East and Africa, increasing its output from two to seven long-form series per year for Disney Channel, Disney XD and Disney Playhouse.
The European production drive will be lead by a London-based team headed by Marc Buhaj, senior VP of original programming for Disney Channels EMEA. The drive will include two long-form series for Disney Channel, four for the recently launched Disney XD and one for Playhouse Disney.
‘For The Walt Disney Co., it’s about creating world class animation that will appeal to kids and families both locally and internationally,’ says Buhaj. ‘Part of our ongoing strategy as a global company is to provide a local voice to the Disney brand in markets around the world.’
Among the series currently in development for Disney Channel are:
‘ I’m in Love with Rikki Doom, written and created by Dan Berlinka and Andy Williams at Dandy Productions (Brush Head, The Raoul Show), produced by Robert Chandler (Space Age Films), and designed by James A. Brouwer (7 Shades of Awesome).
‘ Tomax and the Amazing Things, designed and created by Peter Fowler, written by The Trap (Harry Enfield and Chums, People Like Us) and produced by Baby Cow (The Catherine Tate Show, Have I Got News for You).
‘ Out of Step, written and created by Morwenna Banks (The Appearance) and Carl Goreham (Meg and Mog, Stressed Eric).
Series in the works for Disney XD include:
‘ Max Helsing: Monster Hunter, created by Curtis Jobling (Frankenstein’s Cat; art director on Bob the Builder).
‘ Joe Giant, created by Alexander Bar (Lunar Jim).
‘ Inventory X, created by Andy Briggs (Hero.com/Villain.net).
The team has also co-produced the European shorts series The Secret Life of Suckers and Marvo the Wonder Chicken and is currently in production on the animated comedy Rekkit Rabbit from French producer Marathon.