The annual children’s content event MIP Junior (www.mipjunior.com) is scheduled to take place October 12-14 at the famous Palais de Festival in Cannes, France and online during this year’s hybrid MIP Rendezvous Cannes. We reached out to several global animation producers and distributors to find out which new shows they will be bringing to this important market. Here are a few titles that caught our interest:
Package: 52 x 11’
Animation Style: 2D
Created by: Gyimah Gariba
Produced by: Guru Studio
Synopsis: Big Blue follows sibling underwater adventurers Lettie and Lemo ,who lead a quirky submarine crew, and a magical ocean fairy stowaway named Bacon Berry as they explore and protect the denizens of a vast ocean-covered planet. The series is packed with comedy and high stakes adventure and will inspire kids to make their world a better place as they dive deep into the mysteries of the ocean.
Stand-Out Qualities: Adventurous, comedic, inspirational
Target Audience: Kids 5-9
Exec Quote: “Get ready to jump into the Big Blue! We’re really excited to be unveiling this epic new adventure for kids of all ages. It’s the perfect time for a show like this. Together with their quirky misfit crew, Lettie and Lemo set out to explore, protect and bring together their underwater world that’s filled with creatures from all walks of life. The series shows the importance of discovering and caring for our environment, and how by working together we can make our world a better place,” says Jonathan Abraham, Guru’s VP of sales and business development.
Delivery Date: 2021
The Boo Inn
Package: 52 x 11’ in development
Animation Style: 2D
Created by: Josh Selig, Celia Catunda and Kiko Mistrorigo
Produced by: Pinguim Content and Little Airplane Productions
Synopsis: The Boo Inn follows the comedic adventures of seven-year-old Oliver, his little sister Abigail and the haunted hotel’s resident ghost dog Salami as they try to keep all the inn owners (both past and present) happy, while also trying to keep the ghosts from being discovered.
Stand-Out Qualities: Two of the world’s leading animation companies have joined forces to develop this spooktacular new comedy series for young children.
Target Audience: Kids 4-8
Exec Quote: “We are delighted to team up with Little Airplane for this wonderful new show,” says Celia Catunda, co-founder of Pinguim Content. “Its lead characters – Oliver, a creative and imaginative problem-solver who believes in all things supernatural and otherworldly; Abigail, a sweet, spontaneous and joyful bundle of energy; and enthusiastic chatterbox Salami – are sure to appeal to kids everywhere, who love all things spooky!”
Delivery Date: TBA
Pip and Posy
Package: 52 x 7’
Animation Style: CG
Created by: Based on the hugely popular books by Axel Scheffler
Produced by: Magic Light Pictures with animation from Blue Zoo. The series is executive produced by Michael Rose and Martin Pope and produced by Vici King for Magic Light Pictures. The showrunner at Magic Light is Jeroen Jaspaert (Stick Man, The Highway Rat) and Blue Zoo’s director is Matthew Tea.
Distributed by: Magic Light Pictures
Synopsis: Pip and Posy is a story of friendship and understanding that captures the intense emotional highs and lows of preschooler life and shows that we all can be there to help each other. With a delightful cast of engaging, witty and lovable animals, the series follows the colorful adventures of forgetful rabbit Pip and impulsive mouse Posy, best friends who both love to use their imaginations to create a wonderful world of play.
Stand-Out Qualities: The first ever preschool series from multiple Oscar nominated Magic Light Pictures, Pip and Posy is packed with warmth, humor and sympathetic understanding of the little dramas of young children’s lives.
Target Audience: Preschool
Exec Quote: “We’re really excited to be in production on our first-ever preschool series. Axel Scheffler creates truly enchanting worlds and we can’t wait for viewers to join Pip and Posy for their fun adventures,” says Michael Rose, co-founder of Magic Light Pictures.
Delivery Date: First quarter 2021
Royals Next Door
Package: 52 x 11′
Animation Style: 2D with photographic backgrounds
Created by: Veronica Lassenius
Produced by: Pikkukala (Helsinki/Barcelona), Lunanime (Belgium) and Ink and Light Films (Ireland)
Distributed by: Dandelooo
Synopsis: Crown Princess Stella has just received the best news ever! Due to water damage in the castle (King Bob forgot to turn the tap off) the royal family must move out. Queen Kat sees it as the perfect opportunity to modernize! In line with King Bob’s royal motto “closer to the people,” they decide to live in a normal house in an ordinary suburb. It’s time to show the people that the royals are just like everyone else, and Stella, who has her own Royal Vlog on YouTube, will also share anecdotes about her new life as a normal girl, review everyday objects, share amazing findings, and much more!
Stand-Out Qualities: Original design, 2D with photographic backgrounds, strong female character.
Target Audience: Kids 7-12
Executive Quote: “Loosely based on Veronica’s own preteen life of a Finn girl living abroad, this fun and sweet comedy will touch anyone who is trying to ‘fit in.’ The series illustrates the struggles of being ‘a little different’ and learning to adapt, learn and grow in new surroundings without losing one’s identity,” note Dandeloo co-founders, Jean-Baptiste Wéry and Emmanuèle Petry.
Delivery Date: November 2020 to November 2021.
Bobble the Little Witch
Package: 26 x 11’
Animation Style: 2D
Created & Produced by: Gutsy Animations
Synopsis: After Bobble’s parents decide to downsize and leave the city for a tiny house on her eccentric Great Aunt Pearl’s land in the country, Bobble learns to communicate with nature and carries the stories of her adventures in her bright purple hair. Mentored by Great Aunt Pearl, Bobble learns a little magic, and uncovers the power and secrets of the natural world. With an unlimited resource of imagination, Bobble creates stories of her own, sews clothes and builds beautiful structures – like a treehouse or an insect hotel – from natural and recycled materials.
Stand-Out Qualities: The series combines exceptional visuals with stories inspired by Nordic nature, mythology and folklore, and a magical environment and creative outdoor play patterns to encourage kids to connect with the natural world around us all.
Target Audience: Kids 6-9
Exec Quote: “We at Gutsy Animations want to make a positive impact on the world, people and the environment, and create gutsy content for global audiences. This is the starting point of our new green kids brand, at a time when it is needed more than ever. Bobble the Little Witch will be a celebration of nature, community and sustainable living,” says Reetta Ranta, head of brand & development at Gutsy Animations and the creator of the show.
Delivery Date: TBC
Oggy and the Cockroaches – Next Gen
Package: 78 x 7’
Animation Style: 2D
Created by: Jean-Yves Raimbaud
Directed by: Khalil Ben Naamane
Produced by: Marc du Pontavice (for Xilam Animation)
Distributed by: Xilam Animation
Synopsis: Following the 20th anniversary of its iconic and globally renowned slapstick comedy series Oggy and the Cockroaches, Xilam Animation is now gearing up to launch a rebooted version of the series. Oggy and the Cockroaches – Next Gen will see Oggy take on the responsibility of parenthood as his Indian friends’ daughter, a seven-year-old elephant named Piya, comes to stay. Piya is kind-hearted, happy-go-lucky, full of energy and completely derails Oggy’s daily grind, as the blue cat must learn how to become a surrogate parent. This is a dream come true for the cockroaches, who see Piya as a new way of ruining Oggy’s life. With a refreshed look and feel, the new iteration of Oggy and the Cockroaches brings a focus on emotions, tenderness and friendship.
Target Audience: Kids
Exec Quote: Marc du Pontavice, Xilam Animation’s CEO, says, “We’re so excited to bring this refreshed version of our flagship series to the millions of fans of Oggy. While staying true to the DNA of the property, Oggy and the Cockroaches – Next Gen comes with more emotion and tenderness. We believe this will deepen the experience of the audience and enhance their attachment to our lovable characters.”
Delivery Date: Fall 2021
Package: 26 x 26′
Animation Style: Full CG
Created by: TeamTO and Chloe Miller
Produced by: TeamTO
Synopsis: An action comedy starring an unlikely teenage female hero with an even unlikelier set of powers — and one awesome high-tech armor suit! The last in a long line of strong and powerful women, Cho Yu’s life takes an unexpected turn when she puts on a mysterious bracelet sent anonymously through the mail. Like the legendary superhero of the same name, Cho is immediately encased in a suit of jade armor. With her kung fu talents suddenly levelled up, it’s now Cho’s turn to embody this epic hero, with the help of her friends Theo and Lin, and the mystical Beasticons that accompany the Armor.
Stand-Out Qualities: Comedy, Action and Adventure! Jade Armor is a character-based story with the added bonus of being part of the awesome world of kung fu, with entertaining villains that are both comedic and evil.
Target Audience: Kids 6-10
Exec Quote: “With its bubbly and brave heroine who is descended from a long line of strong women, Jade Armor is a project very dear to my heart,” comments Executive Producer Corinne Kouper. “This modern girl role model is a fun and important one for the kids’ space and interestingly appeals to boy audiences as well.”
Delivery Date: Fall 2021
Package: 52 x 11’
Animation Style: CG
Created by: Chris Karwowski and Joe Wong
Produced & Distributed by: One Animation (creators of twice Emmy-nominated Oddbods, Insectibles, Antiks and Rob the Robot). Executive produced by Richard Thomas and Michele Schofield.
Synopsis: Future Bros. is a fun, thoughtful comedy that follows the life of seven-year-old boy genius Andy who, by way of his own time-machine invention, finds himself face-to-face with his 13-year-old self — and realizes he is sorely lacking. Andy7 is a self-motivated, energetic genius, while Andy13 is lazy, moody and celebrates everything dumb and average. Andy7 knows there is greatness in his future self and he’s going to mine it out of him, one nugget at a time. Andy7 is going to have to create mind-blowing inventions, lead a group of kids who look to him for adventure, and turn his future self into the teenager he wants to be. This time-travel show, (without all that pesky time-travel) is about two people with very different perspectives, butting heads over the direction their life should go.
Target Audience: Kids 6-11
Exec Quote: Michele Schofield, SVP content distribution at One Animation, says, “Future Bros. is charming and thoughtful, while also being highly entertaining, and we’re very excited to bring this series to the market for the first time. Through the eyes of seven-year-old Andy, the series takes a unique and refreshing look at the growing pains faced by children as they start thinking about what shape they want their life to take, and recognizing the control they have over their future self. We’re confident its core message that having persistence will lead to positive changes in your life, but that you can still have plenty of fun along the way, will resonate with audiences internationally.”
Delivery Date: 18 months from greenlight
Package: 52 x 11′
Animation Style: CGI
Created by: Denise & Francis Fitzpatrick, creators of Jakers!
Produced by: FuturumKids
Synopsis: Paddles tells the story of a polar bear cub accidentally delivered by the Stork to a frozen River Shannon in Ireland – and brought up by a pack of Irish wolfhounds. A charming, exciting and very witty series that, through the adventures of its funny and lovable star, shows its young audience that being different is something to be celebrated and enjoyed.
Stand-Out Qualities: The show boasts all the invention, endearing characters and high production values that made Jakers! a hit across multiple regions, as well as a very successful licensed property. With a talented team behind it that includes not only Tim Harper but respected animator Somu Mohapatra and award-winning writers Hickey & McCoy from the U.S. and Danny Stack from the U.K., this is a show that looks set for ratings success.
Target Audience: Preschool 4-7
Exec Quote: Brendan Kelly, FuturumKids head of sales, notes, “Following the sale to anchor broadcaster Cartoonito in the U.K., we are delighted with the keen interest from broadcasters around the world – Paddles is a special show and has all the qualities made famous by Jakers!”
Delivery Date: Sept. 30
Format: 40 x 7′
Animation Style: 2D Digital
Created by: The Brothers McLeod
Produced by: Wyndley Animation Ltd.
Synopsis: Circle Square is a show about a community of nine houses, each home to a distinctive character or family. There’s a helpful dragon, a shy yeti, a rambunctious family of humans, a blended family of wizards, some very particular owls, a morose dog, two groovy living instruments, an old active bear and some walking, talking pine trees. “It’s not the usual mix of characters,” explains Myles McLeod. “We wanted each household to really pop out as distinctive because we have quite a few characters in the community.”
Stand-Out Qualities: Big on comedy, Circle Square also has a big heart. Empathy, community and neighborliness are at its core. The quirky characters in its diverse cast reflect a real cross-section of a typical neighborhood – old, young, families, individuals, friends. All kinds of people, each household – and house! – very different from the next; yet all there for each other, always ready to help one another out, providing valuable lessons for young children on the importance of community, cooperation and collaboration. Warm and humorous with a unique visual aesthetic, Circle Square reflects a child’s first discovery of the wider world beyond their home, and their natural curiosity about what it is like and what they can do there.
Target Audience: Preschool 3-6
Exec Quote:Helen Brunsdon, exec producer for Wyndley Animation, says, “We are really excited about our brand new show, which is currently in pre-production. At its heart is a show about community, helping each other and living next door to a fabulous range of neighbors — all strong themes which we think will have great international appeal.”
Delivery Date: Dec. 2021