Another MIPCOM find, courtesy of Animation Magazine, called Welcome to Bric-A-Broc. “Mino is a lively city cat: cheerful, crafty and very boisterous. In the hope of calming him down, his parents have sent him to a countryside holiday camp for the summer. Mino can’t think of anything worse! He’s stuck in the middle of nowhere on a dilapidated farm run by an old goat and a scatter-brained giraffe. The manager is a stickler for rules and the instructor keeps organizing loads of outdoor activities to make the most of the fresh air when all Mino wants to do is stay inside where it’s warm and cosy and play computer games. Mino has to learn to make the best of it but his exuberant character turns every episode into an extraordinary escapade.” That’s the official description from Gaumont Animation in France, and you can see more at their web site. Currently they’re seeking distribution for Bric-A-Broc outside of Europe.
image c. 2015 Gaumont Animation
The Ollie & Moon Show is a new 2D animated TV series, based on a popular children’s book series by Diane Kredensor, “…an Emmy Award-winning artist, director and producer whose credits include Pinky and the Brain and Clifford the Big Red Dog, among others.” [So says Variety]. “In the series, two animated cats travel around the world. teaching viewers about the joy of unlikely friendships and global citizenship… The series will use art that blends live-action with 2D designs.” Ollie is a young cat who likes to plan and schedule his far-flung trips around the world. Moon… likes to bounce off the walls. Somehow these two get along well enough to travel together and learn as they do. The series has been picked up by NBC’s Sprout Network for broadcast starting in 2017.
image c. 2015 Cottonwood Media
Another MIPCON discovery: Nature Cat, a new 2D animated TV series produced by Spiffy Pictures. “Nature Cat follows Fred, a house cat who dreams of exploring the great outdoors. In each episode, once his family leaves for the day, Fred transforms into Nature Cat, ‘backyard explorer extraordinaire.’ Nature Cat can’t wait to get outside for a day of backyard nature excursions and bravery, but there’s one problem: He’s still a house cat with no instincts for nature. Like many of today’s kids, Nature Cat is eager and enthusiastic about outside activities, but is at times intimidated by them. With the help of his animal friends, Nature Cat embarks on action-packed adventures that include exciting missions full of nature investigation, aha discovery moments and humor, all while inspiring children to go outside and ‘play the show.’ Through Nature Cat co-creators and brothers David Rudman (Sesame Street, The Muppets) and Adam Rudman (Tom & Jerry, Sesame Street, Cyberchase) have teamed up to inspire viewers to get outdoors and develop connections with the natural world.” Good news, everyone! Nature Cat has been picked up for distribution by PBS Kids. They have an interactive web site for the show.
image c. 2015 Spiffy Pictures
Another discovery from MIPCOM, thanks to Animation World Network. Created by BRB Internacional, Minchi’s Adventures combines puppetry, live action footage, and animation in each 3-minute episode. “The series follows a pet lizard belonging to a 7-year-old boy that, connected to the outside world via Internet, explains nature in a simple and very fun-filled way while encouraging ecological values.” You can learn more about it at BRB’s official Minchi page.
image c. 2015 BRB Internacional
DHX Media (the production home of My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic, Littlest Pet Shop, and many many more) have recently signed an international distribution deal for a new CGI TV series called Endangered Species. Unfortunately, so far none of those distribution deals include the USA! “The series follows Pickle, Merl and Gull, a bunny, a squirrel and a seagull who might not seem high on the protected species list, but who are constantly on the verge of catastrophic extinction through comical misadventure.” Check out the article over at Animation World Network to find out more.
image c. 2015 DHX Media
Animation World Network has a recent article about two more new animated shows that were presented at MIPCON this year — both of them produced by m4e in Germany. Wissper is “… a CGI animated TV-series aimed at young girls ages 4 to 7. Wissper is a perfectly normal little girl, but she has a very special talent: She is the only girl in the world who can talk to animals! Creatures of all shapes and sizes seem to instinctively know that when they have a problem, Wissper will find the solution. This makes Wissper’s house the first port of call for animals in distress.” The first set of episodes are supposed to premier world-wide before the end of December. And then, there’s Atchoo! Another animated series, this time targeted at slightly older boys and girls. You see, there’s this young boy named Teo, with an unusual attribute: When he gets excited or upset, he sneezes… and instantly turns into an animal. Different each time. “The series offers loads of comedy, gags and funny dialogues, but all the fun is aimed at communicating an important message, that difficulties, fears and diversity are not necessarily all bad, but can engender endurance and originality.” That’s what they said folks! Atchoo! is scheduled to hit the world in 2017.
image c. 2015 m4e
Recently (October) it was once again time for MIPCOM in France, where dozens of TV production companies seek out international distribution for their new shows. Including lots of animated TV series — including several of furry interest. Among them is Deer Little Forest, which is actually part of a large international marketing campaign aimed at very young kids. (Check out their web site to see what we mean.) Among the many places you’ll find Deer Little Forest is an animated TV series created by King Rollo Films. “Deer Little Forest is a preschool brand created by Henries’ Award-nominated illustrator Jo Rose, currently being developed for licensing, publishing and television. The world of Deer Little Forest stars the irrepressibly enthusiastic Flo and her band of charming, silly, helpful and wise woodland buddies: Bodhi Bear (never shy to lend a helping paw), Rowan the Philosophical Fox (yogi and Japanese gardener), Barley-Crumb Badger (usually unearthing an interesting factoid under a rock), Lockhart Deer (relentlessly toot-tooting his horn and crashing about in glee), and local boy best friend Toby (the city slicker charmer).” You can see a preview of the TV series over on Vimeo. Turns out there’s also a Deer Little Forest app available.
image c. 2015 King Rollo Films
Back in 2011 Kizoic Comics created a tie-in comic book line for Kung Fu Panda, anticipating the release of the Kung Fu Panda 2 animated film that year. Well now in anticipation of next January’s upcoming release of Kung Fu Panda 3, Titan Comics are having a go with their own full-color Kung Fu Panda comic, written by Simon Furman and illustrated by Lee Robinson. “Po has been a busy Kung-Fu Panda! He’s had 2 hit movies, a successful TV show, and there’s another exciting movie on the way! And now he’s set to get even busier in his own brand new comic! Join Po, The Furious Five and Shifu – and all their enemies – for their own comic strip adventures! This issue kicks off a special two-part story: Wake Me Up Before You Po-Po!” Seriously. It’s on the shelves now!
image c. 2015 Titan Comics
Junji Ito is a well-known creator of horror manga in Japan, celebrated for his intricate black & white artwork. Now he’s done something… different. Autobiographical. But with a twist. It seems that Mr. Ito invited his fiancee’ to move in with him. Wonderful. Unfortunately… with her comes her two pet cats. A strange white cat named Yon (whose white fur features a skull-like pattern on the back) and Mu (a fluffy and fun-loving country cat). Mr. Ito is a bit put out by this development — especially since he’s a dog person! Now he’s detailed his frequent attempts (and frequent failures) to bond with these new feline housemates in a new manga, Junji Ito’s Cat Diary: Yon & Mu. More recently, Kondansha Comics have translated the manga series and released them together in a single graphic novel. In black & white, of course! Find out more at Amazon.
image c. 2015 Kodansha Comics