A Mondo Aperitif
Major European animation production and distribution company Mondo TV has big plans for MIPCOM this year. While our November issue will go into detail on what the studio — now in its 51st year of operation — has in store, here is a small recap of the goings-on at Mondo TV to whet your appetite before you get the full scoop by picking up Animation Magazine at the MIPCOM, Brand Licensing Europe and CTN events ( if you haven’t subscribed yet, that is). Brand new to this year’s Cannes confab is the series adaptation of merchandising hit Suzy’s Zoo, Adventures in Duckport (52 x 11; kids 4-8). Co-produced with L.A.’s Lawless Entertainment, the series will feature original Suzy’s Zoo characters, including the duck Suzy Ducken and her friends Jack Quacker, Penelope O’Quinn, Corky Turtle and others as they embark on charming adven-
“Next to that, we have a number of development projects we find in France or the United States, or Europe, or Asia — anything we are sort of fascinated by and we see a real market for that bring a real entertainment value,” says Sissmann. “For us, the entertainment value that we are capable of offering to kids and their families is essential.”
In the works are Enchanted Sisters and Boubouh, both with The Jim Henson Co., Gilbert and Allie with 9 Story’s Brown Bag Films, Nefertine on the Nile with Graphilm and Cyber Group’s in-house take on Tom Sawyer, which will take advantage of the cutting-edge animation developed for Zorro. At Cartoon Forum, the studio will present another Jonny Duddle project: Gigantosaurus, while Sissmann says that MIP attendees can expect to learn more about a new star-powered kids’ musical project.
Sissmann points out that these projects can spend up to several years in development. “The idea is not to develop for the sake of developing, but to give time to the development team to create the best possible project, whether we find the market this year, next year, or the next year. We are always looking ahead to try to understand what the public at large and different broadcasters want.” Cyber Group accommodates this by completely separating its animation development and production operations.
“It’s so important, because when you do this you have time to talk to talent, to give them ideas to develop … We have spent time finding new sources of financing that will exclusively finance development and will not hinder production capacity,” says Sissmann. “We try to improve each production we’re doing in terms of storytelling and in terms of animation. I think that’s the only thing to do because when you look at how fast the world is changing, with the tablets, the SVOD platforms, there are the same needs but also different needs. And it’s become more and more competitive.”
By building a broad base of development projects and giving the artists and writers time to ensure they can carry their weight, Cyber Group has crafted a strong foundation from which to take on a market full of growing competition, increased globalization and constantly evolving technology while maintaining a tradition of excellent entertainment. [