Nicktoons Runs with Leader Dog, Tortellini Western

Nicktoons, Nickelodeon’s recently re-launched 24 hour animation channel, is set to premiere two new original series from Animation Collective. Leader Dog debuts on April 18 at 8 p.m. and Tortellini Western will premiere later in the season. Both shows were created by Animation Collective founder and CEO Larry Schwarz and feature a retro-2D style. Nicktoons will air 13 episodes of each.

“We really wanted to create something totally original, yet familiar–the kind of shows we grew up with and watched on Saturday mornings. We wanted to tell funny stories with memorable characters–the kind that will become classics,” says Schwarz.

Directed by Sergei Aniskov, Leader Dog tells the story of a junkyard dog who is plucked from the pound to lead an advanced civilization on a distant planet. Each episode will run three minutes.

Tortellini Western, directed by Sean Lahey, follows the wild west adventures of a recently arrived Italian immigrant family. The two-minute homage to Spaghetti Westerns is described as The Simpsons had it been directed by Sergio Leone of The Good, the Bad and the Ugly fame.

Leader Dog and Tortellini Western, like all of Animation Collective’s shows, are created and animated completely in-house by the company in its studio in New York’s Hell’s Kitchen. The studio’s animators even lend their voices for several of the main characters.

Incredible Crash Dummies, a series of interstitials produced by Animation Collective and 4Kids Ent. is currently running on the FoxBox on Saturday mornings and Animation Collective’s original series Princess Natasha Secret Agent and Kung Fu Academy are featured in the KOL section of AOL.