BAFTA-winning and Emmy-nominated children’s TV creators and producers Sixteen South Originals (Northern Ireland) and Mikros Animation IP (France) today hatched the trailer and first episode for its new comedy series The Coop Troop(52 x 11’) at the Annecy Festival. “We can’t wait to introduce the audience at Annecy to our motley group of furry, feathery and woolly rescuers,” said Sixteen South Creative Director Colin Williams. “The Coop Troop is our retro homage to classic TV series of the ’70s and ’80s like The A-Team, and we are very excited to hear what viewers make of it.”
The Coop Troop was co-created by Williams and children’s author-illustrator Alex T. Smith. The series is set to debut on France Télévisions and Tencent Video (China) in 2023.
Aimed at kids 5-9, the CGI series follows the entertaining exploits of five unlikely heroes: hyperactive rabbit Maggie, eccentric inventor Flo the chicken, bon vivant swine Clive, excitable lamb Billy and enigmatic egg, Jo d’Oeuf. Thirsty for adventure to escape their mundane farm life, The Coop Troop’s mission is to help any animal with a problem — and they’re kept very busy by the precious, pampered pets of neighbouring town, Animauville.
When their red telephone rings, somebody needs help, so the Troop set off in their ingeniously — if haphazardly—– modified chicken Coop to provide it. No matter how simple the problem, The Coop Troop will always come up with a way to solve it — usually in the most roundabout, over-the-top way possible, resulting in an escalating comedy of ridiculous events as each mission snowballs out of control. As they frantically try to get things back on track they attract more chaos at every turn — but with The Coop Troop, satisfaction is always (eventually) guaranteed!
RAI Kids‘ (Italy) ecological animated special AquaTeam – Sea Adventure (24′) has added to its growing list of accolades by winning Best Animated Short at the Blue Water Film Festival in San Diego, Calif. The comedy-adventure premiered in March 2021 on Rai Yoyo and RaiPlay to top audience numbers.
“RAI Kids and GraFFiti Creative are terribly proud of this incredible award. Many thanks to the festival director, the visionary Greg Reitman, and to the Jury of the Blue Water Film Festival,” creator-producer Federico Fiecconi commented.
“The news broke in from San Diego while we are already at work on new AquaTeam specials, paving the way to a full series. Here at the Annecy MIFA we are in talks with several major companies interested in joining in as co-producers and distributors. It’s really an exciting moment for our sea heros and we foresee a brilliant future for Otty the Octopus and Marysun, our ‘Lara Croft of the oceans,’ who in the space of just one film has won over critics and audiences with record ratings on the RAI channels.”
At Annecy, RAI Kids head Luca Milano announced the production of further 4 x 24’ AquaTeam specials, bringing back more sea defence action written by U.K. duo Colin & Jonathan Davis and produced by Milan-based GraFFiti Creative. The franchise also launched the AquaTeam Kids Labs Program, calling kids “from animation… to action!” in fighting ocean plastic pollution. The tour will hit Italy’s coasts during the summer, starting June 18 in Golfo Aranci (Sardinia). The Labs are endorsed by the Sardinia Film Commission, which supported the first AquaTeam special through its New Animation in Sardinia Program.
“I like to quote Verna Myers on this one, which is ‘Diversity is being invited to the party. Inclusion is being asked to dance and belonging is that your music is played.’ And you can boogie. I like to add the dancing part.”
That quote from WIA Secretary Julie Ann Crommett (Founder & CEO, Collective Moxie) is a perfect introduction to the push for intersectional equity championed at the Women in Animation World Summit held at Annecy on Monday. The inspiring, insightful program — themed this year on “Gender Justice: A Global Call for Inclusion in Animation” — is now available to watch online via the WIA website.
Speakers including Maureen Fan, Pierre Perifel, Mounia Aram, Sajda Ouachtouki, Camille Eden, Adrianna Cohen, Marya Bangee, Janine Weigold, Paula Boffo, Saraswathi Vani Balgam, David Prescott, Deepa Joshi, Vanessa Ann Sinden, Delphine Nicolini, Miles Perkins and Chris Mack this year tackled a range of topics affecting diversity & inclusion efforts in animation, including the current labor shortage and studio programs.
Film Constellation announced pre-sales for the animated family feature adventure The Last Dinosaur, from U.K. studio Red Star (The Amazing Maurice), written and directed by Ben Smith (StarDog& TurboCat). The sci-fi comedy has been picked up by BF Distribution (LatAm), Icon (Australia & New Zealand), Italia Film (Middle East), Filmtrade (Greece & Cyprus), Forum Film (Poland), MCF Megacom (Former Yugoslavia) and Red Cape (Israel).
Synopsis: When Rex, son of the King of Dinosaurs is suddenly snatched up and transported to the future in a time machine, he finds himself stranded in the 21st Century. Desperate to return to his own era to help save his kin, Rex must team up with a gang of freaks, nerds and geeks to go back 65 million years in time. But when he realizes saving those he loves will prevent all his newfound friends from ever existing, Rex will have to face what it means to be … The Last Dinosaur.
The Last Dinosaur is produced by Jérôme Boutroux (The Amazing Maurice), with cinematography by Faraz Hameed (Doctor Strange). The ~$10 million movie launched sales at Cannes and continued to woo buyers at Annecy, and is due for delivery in Q3 2024. Film Constellation is also selling Annecy WIP project They Shot the Piano Player. [Deadline]
McFarlane Films is joining forced with wiip and Rooster Teeth Studios (Warner Bros. Discovery) to develop the McFarlane Toys action figure line RAW10 into “an R-rated Saturday morning cartoon for adults” that satirizes ’80s animation tropes through the eyes of the cybernetically enhanced animals.
The series is created by Dan Dominguez (gen:LOCK), who exec produces alongside Todd McFarlane (Spawn), McFarlane Films’ Sean Canino, wiip’s Paul Lee, Mark Roybal and Nate Winslow, and Rooster Teeth Studios’ Dan Shorr. [Deadline]
Nick Bruel’s hit children’s book series Bad Kitty is getting into animated mischief with a new television series adpatation from Boat Rocker (Doino Ranch, Daniel Spellbound).
Selling more than 20 million copies since they were first published in 2005, the books follow a havoc-prone housecat named Kitty: “Whether she is trying to be good or be quiet and behave, it seems that trouble finds a way to her.” [Variety]
Live entertainment leader Feld Entertainment announced its new animation project, Monster Jam Adventures Animated Shorts, which will air on YouTube. The Monster Jam YouTube channel has seen extensive growth since its creation with more than 831,000 followers and 527M+ video views totaling in 25.8M+ hours watched. The three-episode series is created in partnership with Curious Media.
Monster Jam Adventures sees iconic Monster Jam trucks tackling unexpected adventures, solving problems and lending a helping hand. Led by the legendary Grave Digger, the trucks work together to overcome any obstacle. Vocal talent includes Hall of Famer and former Monster Jam announcer Scott Douglass; current CNBC Monster Jam broadcast team Scott Jordan, Colt Stephens and Leslie Mears; and notable voice actor Joe Gaudet. First ep. premieres June 24 at 10 a.m.