***This market spotlight originally appeared in the November ’22 issue of Animation Magazine (No. 324)***
MIPCOM, the global content market, returns to the Palais des Festivals in Cannes next week (Oct. 17-22). This annual event attracts many animation executives, buyers, producers and creatives as they seek the latest trends, toons and talents for their businesses. We’ll have daily news from the event on our website. Here are some of the pre-event announcements that caught our interest just before our print deadline:
City of the Future
French animation studio Millimages, home of global hits such as Molang and Pirata & Capitano, is introducing a new show titled Welcome to Permacity. The 52 x 11′ show follows the daily life and adventures of a seven-year-old girl named Camille and her talking cat in an incredible eco-city. “The city is almost a character in itself,” says Marina Narishkin, Millimages’ general manager. “In Permacity, you won’t find pollution, whether it’s noise, visual or atmospheric! Everything is designed to respect biodiversity and its inhabitants.”
She adds, “This project was ‘love at first read’ for our producer Bonnie Lener. At the 2021 Paris Book Fair, her team came across the documentary comic book by Olivier Dain-Belmont, an architect, and illustrated by Fachri Maulana and published in 2021 by French [publisher] Sarbacane, and were immediately convinced of its potential for TV. Welcome to Permacity will of course entertain, but while raising children’s (and parents!) awareness, it will also help them discover how an ecologically sound city functions. We also love the show’s original graphic style, which is dynamic, very colorful, complex and detailed. All the backgrounds naturally encourage adventure and exploration.”
Where in the World?
Since its debut on Netflix, WildBrain’s Emmy-winning animated take on Carmen Sandiego has been a big hit for the steamer. The first four seasons of the 2D-animated show, which was produced by WildBrain and Harper Collins Productions and features the voices of Gina Rodriguez and Finn Wolfhand, will be available at the MIPCOM market. As any child of the ’90s will tell you, the show follows the adventures of the red fedora-wearing master thief who uses her skills for good. As she pulls off a string of international capers, the show uncovers Sandiego’s backstory and why she became a thief.
Caroline Tyre, WildBrain’s VP of global sales and rights strategy, tells us, “It’s been a thrill for our talented teams to be part of the reinvention of this beloved and iconic property, and with new consumer products licensing opportunities in the pipeline, Carmen Sandiego is proving to be more popular now than ever before. We’ve already secured deals for the Carmen Sandiego series with Disney for its linear channels in Japan and France, and we see significant potential for the series in all markets.”
Ewe Will Love This!
After exploring the world of kitchen-dwelling insects (Oggy and the Cockroaches), a lopped-off hand (I Lost My Body) and UPA’s blind old man (Mr. Magoo), French animation powerhouse Xilam turns its attention to an enthusiastic farm animal with chops. The Karate Sheep is a 78 x 7′, CG-animated new series targeting kids ages six to nine. Created by Xilam’s own Hugo Gittard (Zig & Sharko, Mr. Magoo), the show is described as a non-verbal slapstick series about Trico, an optimistic sheep who loves to share new objects and ideas with the rest of the flock. This always causes a ruckus in the mountain pastures, which inevitably ends up disturbing a tough ewe whose job is to keep the sheep safe.
“Slapstick comedies are a core part of our company’s legacy and DNA, so we’re excited to be launching another series in this genre for the international market at MIPCOM 2022,” says Morgann Favennec, exec VP of distribution at Xilam. “Karate Sheep is filled with endearing characters and original humor, and we’re sure Trico’s adventures will charm and entertain audiences across the globe.”
U.K.-based Beyond Rights has picked up BBC and Maramedia’s 13 x 11′ preschool series Olga Da Polga. Based on the popular Michael Bond (Paddington) books about a chatty guinea pig, the series will feature a blend of live action with CG effects for the animals’ mouths, as well as colorful animation for Olga’s imaginative tales.
First introduced in 1971, Olga was named after the Bond family’s real pet guinea pig. The fictitious Olga is a charming animal who loves to tell tall tales. In each story, something ordinary happens to Olga, and she gives her animal friends a wildly exaggerated version of events, subsequently revealed to be untrue by what the humans say. Olga’s stories are designed to encourage imaginative storytelling as well as raise awareness of the world around them.
Cookbook Media will serve up Great Wolf Entertainment’s animated special The Great Wolf Pack: A Call to Adventure to buyers this fall. The 45-minute outing introduces young viewers to five charming woodland friends who discover the mystical Great Wolf Geyser — an ancient force with the power to whisk them to whimsical new worlds in order to help those in need. The project, which premiered on YouTube and at Great Wolf Lodge resorts last month, was executive produced by Julia Pistor (The SpongeBob SquarePants Movie, The Rugrats Movie) and Kent Redeker (Doc McStuffins, Spirit Rangers). The film was directed by Chris Bailey (Alvin and the Chipmunks, Kim Possible), who led an award-winning team of artists from L.A.-based animation studio Six Point Harness. It’s definitely a fun adventure worth howling about.
He’s Just a Bit Different!
London-based kids entertainment distributor Cake is bringing My Brother the Monster, a new animated comedy from Canada’s Arcana Studios and Mexico’s Gasolina Studios. The 26 x 11′ series which targets six- to eight-year-old audiences and centers on Mombou, a nine-foot-tall furry monster who crash lands on Earth and becomes part of Petunia’s family. Petunia and her ‘little big brother’ make the perfect team, but when Mombou becomes worried, anxious or overwhelmed, he reverts back to his original small size, which happens a lot… particularly at school. As Cake CEO Ed Galton tells us, “My Brother the Monster is a tale of friendship and inclusion. We are excited to be working with Arcana Studios and Gasolina and are looking forward to introducing our partners and broadcasters to Petunia, Mombou and all their friends!”
Science Leads the Way
London-based children’s entertainment distributor Serious Kids has acquired worldwide sales rights to Doodle Productions’ preschool show Messy Goes to Okido ahead of its season three launch. The CG-animated series (104 x 11′) centers on a curious monster and his friends as they try to answer science and art questions, like why the sky is blue and how images get on TV. Messy Goes to Okido is based on Doodle’s children’s science magazine show and publication OKIDO, which is well-known in the U.K. The spinoff’s third season will premiere in November on CBeebies and on HBO Max in the U.S. According to the distributor, the show has sold to broadcasters in over 50 territories, including iQIYI (China), Piwi+ (France), RTVE Clan (Spain), ABC4 Kids (Australia), Family Jr. (Canada), Télémagino (Canada), E-Junior (the Middle East), Carousel (Russia) and EBS (South Korea).
A Happy Hippo
Among the many colorful and entertaining animated shows Irish distributor Monster Entertainment is bringing the new South African show Zizi and Hannibal to the markets this fall. The 26 x 11′ preschool show centers on a clever and curious girl and her happy-go-lucky hippo friend, Hannibal. In each episode Zizi uses her imagination to enter a magical world, where she learns all about animals in Africa. The entertaining 2D toon is produced by Pixcomm with assistance from South Africa’s Department of Trade, Industry and Competition, and public broadcaster SABC. “Zizi and Hannibal is a proudly South African animated series that features an African girl as the protagonist. It is important that all children, regardless of their background and economic status, have free access to quality content that reflects, celebrates and affirms who they are,” says the show’s production manager Nandipha Tatoba.
Mondo TV has love on its mind! The Italian toon house is launching its new series One Love at MIPCOM this fall. The 26 x 7′ 2D preschool series is co-produced by Mondo TV and T-Rex Digimation and is expected to be completed by spring 2023. The colorful show takes place on a planet with a beating heart, where best friends Amo and Ama, together with the rest of the Baby-Hugs, jump from one adventure to the next by using the strongest power they have – Love! According to the producers, emotions, colors and sustainability are central to each episode. There’s also a focus on executive function skills in kids as well as offering young viewers a way to express emotions through music. Mondo TV Studios is in charge of pre-production at its new studio in Tenerife, while Mondo TV S.p.A will manage the animation and the international distribution of the series for all territories except Italy and the Indian sub-continent.