Just as birds begin to plan their migration routes for the cold weather, animation producers start getting ready for the fall content markets! Here are some of the best new toons available at MIP Junior (October 12-13) in Cannes:
Created by: Emmy-nominated Dan Clark (Yo Gabba Gabba!, Team Smithereen) and Oscar Covar (The Tasty Tales of the Food Truckers, Team Smithereen)
Format: 52 x 11’
Type of Animation: CG
Target Audience: Kids 5-8
Produced by: Shellhut Entertainment
Distributed by: HIP (Henson Independent Properties)
Synopsis: A comedy adventure about three fun-loving Earth kids who jet off into the supercluster of stars and hop from planet to planet on a mission to make friends with outer-space kids all across the universe — then share their findings via posts to Planet Earth. It’s a comedy about discovering common ground (even if it eludes us at first) and embracing each other’s differences.
Stand-Out Qualities: friendZspace merges wild adventure and character-driven comedy with gripping storytelling for both boys and girls. The series is driven by the simple act of befriending kids who are very different from ourselves. It’s about communication, finding shared interests, making a connection and nurturing new friendships. At the same time, it’s over-the-top, irreverent and silly, yet sweet and aspirational.
Quote from Exec: “This new original series provides a rich and immersive world of fresh characters with messages of unity, acceptance and friendship,” commented Claudia Scott-Hansen, SVP Global Distribution, at The Jim Henson Company.
Stan Lee’s Superhero Kindergarten
Created by: Stan Lee
Format: 52 x 11’
Type of Animation: 2D
Produced by: Genius Brands International, Stan Lee’s POW! Entertainment, Arnold Schwarzenegger’s Oak Productions
Distributed by: Genius Brands International
Synopsis: Many years ago, Arnold Armstrong (Arnold Schwarzenegger) was just an average gym teacher who acquired incredible superpowers when the Earth passed through the ionic dust left in the wake of a mysterious comet. As a result, Arnold transformed into Captain Courage, one of the earth’s greatest protectors! Now he must serve humanity once again by working “undercover” as a brand-new kindergarten teacher whose real job is to secretly train train this unique new generation of super-powered five-year olds.
Stand-Out Qualities: This show is one of the last creations by the legendary Stan Lee. The series stars action icon Arnold Schwarzenegger, who also serves as an executive producer, and co-creator of Deadpool Fabian Nicieza is scripting the series. In addition to featuring compelling superhero-driven stories, the series will also include valuable lessons about health, exercise, nutrition, anti-bullying and using your talents for good.
Quote from Exec: Andy Heyward, Chairman & CEO of Genius Brands International, notes, “Stan Lee was the greatest creator that Hollywood and pop culture has ever known, and we are honored to continue his legacy of creating a new superhero franchise for kids with another iconic hero, Arnold Schwarzenegger, in Stan Lee’s Superhero Kindergarten. We truly believe this series has all the elements to appeal to kids all around the world and are excited to debut the series at this year’s MIP Junior”
Delivery Date: 2020
Created by: Laura Muller and Nicolas Le Nevé
Directed by: Nicolas Le Nevé, Laura Muller, and Antoine Colomb
Format: 78 x 7’
Type of Animation: 2D and 3D
Produced & Distributed by: Xilam Animation
Synopsis: The new series follows the adventures of a young wolf who dreams of being like the storybook heroes he admires. From medieval Europe, to Greek and Nordic myths and Asian tales, in each episode Lupin will journey into a different storybook and attempt to become the hero. However, the impetuous wolf is far from perfect and often gets into a terrible mess, making it hard for him to reach the all-important happy ending.
Quote from Exec: Marc du Pontavice, founder and CEO at Xilam Animation, points out, “In the series, the traditionally bad character, the wolf, does not want to be bad, he wants to be good. He wants to be a hero. But moreover, he wants to be the hero in his own way; he wants to write his own story, and create his own path. What’s more, each episode is made out of a pop-up book as we want kids to feel they can imagine and create a whole world from a simple piece of paper.”
Delivery Date: Fall 2020
Created by: Matt Fernandes
Format: 52 x 11’
Type of Animation: CGI
Produced by: Industrial Brothers and Boat Rocker Studios
Distributed by: Boat Rocker Studios
Target Audience: Preschool
Synopsis: Time to call Kingdom Force: the fastest, fittest and heroic rescue crew you’ve ever seen! Led by the fearless wolf, Luka, this team has a carnivorous appetite for danger and thrills and there’s no operation they can’t pull off with the help of their giant rescue robot, Alpha-Mech.
Stand-Out Qualities: A high-octane, 3D animated action show for kids 3-6, Kingdom Force follows the thrilling, fast-paced exploits of five mighty animal heroes as they serve and protect the citizens of five unique animal kingdoms.
Quote from Exec: Jon Rutherford, Managing Director and President Rights for Boat Rocker, notes, “Kingdom Force is a fast paced show where individual heroes come together to form a giant rescue robot. It strikes the perfect balance between strong characters, action, and humor with strong themes of diversity, inclusion, and community that will resonate with our audience.”
Delivery Date: Fourth quarter of 2019
Produced by: Science SARU
Distributed by: TV Asahi
Format: 48 x 5.5’
Type of Animation: 2D
Target Audience: Kids & Family, primarily ages 4-8
Synopsis: Shiro, an ordinary-looking dog living with an ordinary-looking family in Japan, is in fact a superhero dog. His mission is to secure mysterious bones that are said to have the power to rule the world. Can Shiro get to the mysterious bones before they fall into the hands of an evil genius dog, and protect the Earth?
Stand-Out Qualities: Super Shiro is a new fast-paced slapstick chase comedy series inspired by the hugely popular Crayon Shin-chan franchise which has aired internationally since 1992. With its action and humor, it will be universally appealing to both kids and family with the core target at 4 to 8-year-old boys and girls.
Quote from Exec: Takahiro Kishimoto, Head of Animation, International Business Department of TV Asahi, notes, “Shiro is our superhero, and his character is recognized and loved in many countries over the last decade or so. The series has the very rare combination of being in the vein of Tom & Jerry and its type of action and the witty/funny dialogue that characterizes Crayon Shin-chan. In fact, it is considered to be the very first show of this kind to be produced in Japan and it only became a reality because of the great talent of Masaaki Yuasa, the Cristal Award Winner at Annecy in 2017, and his team at Science SARU.”
Delivery Date: Winter 2019, Early 2020
Created by: Colin Williams and Sam Barlow, with artwork by Alena Tkech, from a book by Oliver Austria
Format: 52 x 7’
Type of Animation: 2.5D (2D with 3D lighting and camera effects)
Produced by: Sixteen South and Letko
Distributed by: Sixteen South Rights
Synopsis: Odo is the littlest owl in the forest, but he’s very comfortable in his own feathers. What Odo does mind, however, is being told that he can’t do something because he is little. Every day, Odo’s parents drop him off at Forest Camp, and when things go wrong, he always wants to put them right, but that often causes things to snowball completely out of control.
Stand-Out Qualities: Odo is like everyone who finds themselves expected to conform by society in ways that they don’t want to be. This is a show that celebrates the square peg in a world of round holes! Odo is a little owl who truly believes in himself and knows that he can accomplish great things. He promotes self-belief, which is proven to reduce stress and lower vulnerability to depression. With anxiety and depression levels now eight times higher than they were 50 years ago, there has never been a better time for kids to meet Odo!
Quote from Exec: Colin Williams, creative director at Sixteen South, says, “Odo is a very special, funny, bold and cute new lead character who’s the smallest owl in the forest. Despite being small, Odo believes that there’s nothing he can’t do and while his self belief is sometimes misplaced, he deliberately models the best way to combat anxiety and depression which sadly are on the rise in kids.”
Delivery Date: Third quarter of 2020
100% Wolf: Legend of the Moonstone
Created by: Adapted for screen by Fin Edquist, based on the book by Jayne Lyons
Directed by: Serg Delfino and Jacquie Trowell
Target Audience: Kids 6-10
Format: 26 x 22’
Type of Animation: CGI
Produced by: Flying Bark Productions in association with ABC Australia, Super RTL Germany as commissioning broadcasters, and Studio 56
Distributed by: Studio 100 Media
Synopsis: Freddy Lupin, heir to a proud family line of werewolves, was in shock when on his 13th birthday his first “warfing” went awry, turning him into a ferocious… poodle. Enrolled in the mysterious Howlington Academy, Freddy is going to try to prove that despite his appearance, he still has the heart of a werewolf! So what if he’s a pink poodle? Freddy Lupin knows he’s got what it takes to win a place in the elite Night Patrol.
Stand-Out Qualities: The show is based on a hilarious and dramatic concept about a boy trying to find his way in a difficult world, one in which he is an outsider. The recognizable challenge of the “fish out of water” is amplified by his status as a future pack leader and the expectations to be the very best of his kind, no matter his outward form. Set up with a huge problem to solve across the series, his story takes off as part mystery, part drama and always comedic.
Quote from Execs: Executive producers Barbara Stephen and Michael Bourchier tell us, “When the opportunity came to make a television spinoff from the movie 100% Wolf, we jumped at the chance. With such an iconic central character in the unique form of a were-poodle, the challenge was to find a world that would sustain story while giving our audience an insight into the value of being different. With our talented creative team, we aimed to provide an intriguing world for our characters to explore and our audiences to enjoy. We are thrilled with the result!”
Delivery Date: March 2020
Seal Force 5
Created by: Paul and Rob Caldera
Format: 26 x 22′
Types of Animation: 2D/3D
Produced by: Hoho Entertainment
Distributed by: Hoho Rights
Synopsis: Seal Force 5 is a classic battle of good versus evil as five arctic seals, mysteriously mutated into humanoid form, assemble as an elite special forces team to prevent an ancient evil from destroying the world.
Stand-Out Qualities: The Seal Force 5’s mission is to thwart shadowy forces attempting to drive the planet to ecological collapse. The series is a battle cry for environmental change.
Quote from Exec: “Not only is the message of fighting for ecological survival a message for our times, but it is delivered through sharply drawn characters and high octane adventures with a healthy dollop of humor and an ongoing series narrative arc,” says Oliver Ellis, Joint Managing Director of Hoho Entertainment.
Boy Girl Dog Cat Mouse Cheese
Created by: Based on an original concept by Jeff Harter and Cloudco Entertainment.
Format: 52 x 11’ Season 1 (Season 2 commissioned by Gulli)
Type of Animation: 2D
Target Audience: Kids
Produced by: Cloudco Ent (U.S./U.K.), Watch Next Media (France) and Kavaleer Productions (Ireland)
Distributed by: Cloudco Entertainment
Synopsis: Boy Girl Dog Cat Mouse Cheese is a comedic take on the blended family. The dad’s “sons” are a boy, a dog and a mouse; the mom’s “daughters” are a girl, a cat and an anthropomorphic piece of cheese. The new family learns to love each other and live together under one roof.
Stand-Out Qualities: The show is immediately relatable to kids, families, pets and foodstuffs of all persuasions! This is an animated take on a family comedy sitcom with real heart, about the conflicts and complications of a blended family, and no matter how unusual, they learn how to become a real family. The wacky characters are immediately relatable to the audience because underlying each of them individually, and together as a family, is a warm, fuzzy core!
Quote from Exec: Karen Vermeulen, head of global content strategy and co-prods and managing director, U.K., Cloudco, says, “We are really excited by the amazing creative talent and broadcast partners including CBBC (U.K.), Gulli (France), RTÉ (Ireland) and DeAgostini Networks (Italy) that have come together to produce a laugh-out-loud comedy, with real heart. Season 2 has already been commissioned by Gulli (France) before Season 1’s premiere which charts future success!”
Delivery Date: September 2019
2 Happy Farmers
Produced by: Rainbow Media
Format: 72 X 7’
Target: Preschool 2-5
Synopsis: This new CG-animated show targets younger preschoolers and offers a fresh take on life in the countryside, seen from the perspective of two cute animal farmers. Our heroes invite the young audience to discover life on the farm and introduce various farming activities, enlightening them by showing the processes and interactions between nature and animals. Viewers will also be entertained by the funny gags and the fun activities of the team of animal friends.
Stand-Out Qualities: 2 Happy Farmers focuses on a classic evergreen theme, touching upon some of children’s favorite subjects. It’s also a highly educational show, illustrating the value of teamwork to overcome problems and adversities. Along with the two main protagonists, kids get to discover some of the best aspects of life in the country: the enthusiasm and the involvement of the farm family in everyday life.
Delivery Date: 2020