Foothill Debuts Three at MIP-TV

Santa Barbara, Calif.-based Foothill Ent. is heading to Cannes for MIP-TV with three new animated children’s shows under its arm. The company has picked up Zot the Dog and will introduce buyers to Boy and the Dinosaur and Big Top Island. Going into the show, the company also announces new sales with key international channels and a major new homed video deal for a the classic Collingwood O’Hare animated special, Rarg.

Zot the Dog is based on Ivan Jones’ best-selling books, and is produced as a 13-episode series for the U.K.’s ITV network. Foothill’s latest acquisition, the show follows the humorous and zany adventures of Zot, a good-hearted, fun-loving but rather bouncy dog, and his best pal Clive. Together they embark on adventures in the countryside where all of the animals talk, except for Zot, who doesn’t need to.

The CG series Boy and the Dinosaur generated a good deal of interest at the last MIPCOM Jr. Created by Jason Harding and exec produced by Splash! Prods., the show revolves around a boy who makes a wish on a shooting star while playing with his toy dinosaur. When he awakes in the morning, he finds that the dinosaur has followed him from his dreams and into the real world.

Also from Splash! Prods. comes Big Top Island (26×11), which takes place at a circus school run by the island’s resident monkey troupe, The Gomez Brothers. Though they are excellent performers, the brothers turn out to be terrible teachers as they continuously shatter the island’s tranquility with each week’s new class of clumsy novice acts. This show will be ready for delivery this fall.

Still in pre-production is the animated/live-action preschool series Iconicles, created by phuuz ent. and co-produced with Create Media Ventures in the U.K. The interactive variety show for kids 4-6 was commissioned by BBC/CBeebies for 2009. Foothill will also be seeking to close a major partnership arrangement at MIP-TV for its family property based on the world-renowned arcade game Whac-A-Mole, which was introduced at last year’s MIPCOM.

In addition, Foothill has announced that it has closed sales for the animated movie Kiddo the Super Truck with South Africa’s SABC, RTP in Portugal and RTV in Slovenia. France’s TF1 and Channel 4 in Finland recently acquired the childrens’ favorite Little Monsters, and Canal J in France and DigiTurk in snatched up the animated movie Toy Warrior. Meanwhile Microscopic Milton was licensed to Disney Spain, Canal + in Poland and RTV in Slovenia.

A deal with independent producer-distributor IMC Vision willl bring Collingwood O’Hare Ent.’s BAFTA-nominated classic Rarg to DVD for the very first time. The release also marks the 20th anniversary of the first collaboration between director Tony Collingwood and producer Christopher O’Hare, which launched the studio in 1988. The half-hour cartoon has been re-mastered in the widescreen format and has just been released in the U.K. Foothill holds worldwide rights to the program and will be looking to close additional deals at MIP.