Emmy Award-winning French animation production and distribution company Dandelooo will be unveiling two new original animated TV projects to potential industry partners at this year’s Cartoon Forum in Toulouse (September 20-23). Studio co-Founder Emmanuèle Pétry Sirvin commented: “I fell in love with Space Ham at Cartoon Springboard. This project is the best example of a great ‘creator driven’ comedy series I can think of that’s come about in the past few years! It’s Your Body! aims to help children understand their own body reactions and the emotions linked to these reactions in a fun way and we will not avoid all the ‘yucky’ stuff too! Even parents will be surprised as well!”
- It’s Your Body! (39 x 7′, Kids 6-11) Directed by Yulia Aronova and Eloïc Gimenez and produced by Dandelooo, the 2D edutainment comedy series explains the physiological phenomena of the human body to children in a fun way, sometimes in relation to emotions, but always from the point of view of … animals! Every day, while the owners of the house are absent, Louise the robin, Cameron the cat and twin fleas Jazz and Anna gather to watch their favorite TV series “Passions of the Heart”. Their goal: to understand the strange reactions of humans through the things they see on television! Rosa the chameleon will give them the scientific answer.
- Space Ham (52 x 9′, Preschool) Directed by Nicolai Viewerth, the 2D and 3D comedy series is a co-production with MiniCosmos (Denmark). Do you remember back in the day when you had sleepovers with your best friend? Imagine if that was every day … and in space! Two pigs – Tim, a ‘thinker’ who likes to have his life in order, and Carl, a ‘doer’ who doesn’t think about the consequences of his actions – guard a space station on an asteroid far, far away. They are best friends, skilled in their hobbies, but aimless at handling their trusted positions as their “trying to be an adult” causes chaos rather than safety.
Academy Award-nominated French animation studio Xilam Animation is set to bring two brand-new projects to Cartoon Forum. Both dynamic projects are CGI animation, strengthening Xilam’s commitment in that space. Founder & CEO Marc du Pontavice said: “We are continuing to grow and diversify our slate with new vibrant CGI projects following our successful foray into the format. Piggy Builders and Wild Life City are perfect additions to our production slate, revealing innovative talents, encompassing Xilam’s style and ideals in a unique way, with new loveable characters and fun adventures for both the preschool and 6-11 demographic. We are very much looking forwarding to debuting the series and introducing them to the global marketplace at Cartoon Forum.”
- Piggy Builders (52 x 11′, Preschool) Created by Marie Manand, Julien Hazebroucq and Emmanuelle Leleu. Ever wondered what happened to the three little pigs after their well-known misadventure with the wolf? They realized that building houses together, as a team, is what they enjoy the most. Cesar, Charlie and Cornelia are now known throughout the forest as the Piggy Builders. Their creations have cozy interiors, clever architecture and eco-friendly materials – an invitation to have fun with playing and building. In order to help their friends and neighbors, they can make the impossible possible. They can build, renovate and repair – they’ll deal with any construction challenge one may be facing!
- Wild Life City (39 x 13′, Kids 6-11) Created by Nicolas Deveaux (Athleticus, 1 Meter/Hour), co-produced by Cube Creative Production and Xilam Animation. A lively action-comedy featuring realistic animated animals dives into the brightly colored hills of Wildlife City, a lovely town on the seaside where animals all live in harmony. Turtle Kate, Koala Betty, Elephant Tom and Flamingo Jason run The Lighthouse Market, a cosy hangout where you can chill out with your friends, upcycle your broken items or use the ultra-fast and eco-friendly delivery service. Everything would run smoothly, if it weren’t for a mischievous roller-skating trio of gibbons looking to undermine the Lighthouse’s popularity. Luckily, our four friends can count on each other – and their sets of wheels – to foil the monkeys’ plans. Expect epic chases and stunts, but also tons of laughter and a strong dose of emotions!
Heading across the Channel, The BFI has unveiled the latest slate from the U.K. Government-funded Young Audiences Content Fund (YACF, www.bfi.org.uk/yacf), revealing two brand-new and distinctive commissions, three recommissions and nine new development awards from across the U.K. This includes three diverse animation projects in development. Head of Fund Jackie Edwards said: “The Government-backed YACF has been transformative for the industry, breathing life into ideas that would not have come into being without it … At the grassroots stage YACF resource has improved the quality of ideas being pitched to broadcasters via our development funding, we’ve brought security and value to the sector when our young audiences need it most and crucially, we’ve brought fantastic new stories to the small screen from across the U.K. that are reflective, diverse and, as evidenced by the recommissions, hugely popular. Young audiences are 25% of the population and 100% of the future and the Fund’s role in ensuring they are adequately served by television production in the U.K. is further underlined by this latest slate of projects.
- Attention Ayshia (Three Stones Media) is a series about a trio of young toy fixers. Ayshia, Jada and George usually find it is the human circumstances behind a toy emergency that need fixing, and this will form the core story of every episode. The series focuses on emotional intelligence with the protagonists using their skills in diplomacy, listening and compromise to solve the problems of the toys and their owners. Toy owners will not always be children, parents and grandparents will also provide encounters with a variety of moral issues relevant to Ayshia and her friends. The series will touch upon themes of self-esteem and body positivity, consent, as well as loss and rejection. Creator Rasheka Christie-Carter hopes to challenge the idea of disposable toys by using these objects as a means to explore moral lessons as well as the potential for longevity and recyclability for much loved items.
- Libby’s Silent World (Slick Films) Inspired by the story of the team’s Oscar-winning short The Silent Child, the series will see a young deaf child Libby and her day-to-day adventures and challenges at an old-fashioned school at risk of closure. The series will be representative of D/deaf audiences and their world, with 78% of deaf children in the U.K. attending mainstream school with no specialist support in place. The producers wish to incorporate comedy to allow them to cover some more difficult subjects, highlighting the hidden challenges D/deaf people face as well as educating hearing audiences. The project has backing and guidance from Deafkidz International. The characters will be animated in 3D using motion capture, as the most cost effective way to accurately portray sign language, which has not yet been done before for television.
- I’m Not Gonna Lie to You (Bryncoed Productions) Inspired by the dramatic increase of suicide rates in young women and girls, Natalie Mitchell tells the story of Rose, aged 13. The producers aim to produce a series that helps audiences understand mental health struggles in a truly empathetic way, showing the inside track for a young teen audience. The series will take the audience into the life and mind of Rose, represented through rotoscope animation, as her world unravels and anxiety and depression leads to suicidal thoughts. Although tackling a heavy subject, where Rose comes to view daily life as a constant threat of failure and trauma, ultimately the series is about the life of 13-year olds, and will demonstrate all the fun and humor that comes with that.