26- May 1

Animation Magazine - - Frame- By- Frame -

Stuttgart Int’l An­i­ma­tion Festival and FMX of­fer days of cutting edge films, work­shops and net­work­ing op­por­tu­ni­ties with a touch of Ger­man hos­pi­tal­ity. [itfs.de | fmx.de] Today on disc: Garo: The An­i­ma­tion Sea­son 1 Part 1, Rage of Ba­hamut: Ge­n­e­sis - The Com­plete Se­ries, The In­spec­tor, Wab­bit: Sea­son 1 Part 1, Crazylegs Crane, The Ant and the Aardvark, One Piece: Sea­son 7 Voy­age 6, Kamisama Kiss: Sea­son 2, Lily’s Drift­wood Bay: Meet Lily and Cail­lou’s Pet Pa­rade.

‘IAn­i­ma­tion leg­end An­dres Deja dis­cusses mov­ing on from Dis­ney to his new short film,

By James Gartler.

had al­ways hoped I would be there un­til I died,” says An­dreas Deja with a chuckle as he re­flects on his 30-plus-year ten­ure at Dis­ney Fea­ture An­i­ma­tion. “Well, maybe not un­til I died,” he says. “At least un­til I couldn’t draw any more for one rea­son or an­other.”

And in a man­ner of speak­ing, that part came true. Fol­low­ing the re­lease of 2009’s The Princess and the Frog, Dis­ney put on hold plans for hand-drawn fea­tures, pre­fer­ring to fo­cus on CG an­i­ma­tion. Hav­ing brought such iconic char­ac­ters as Ja­far, Gas­ton, Scar and King Tri­ton to life us­ing only pen­cil and pa­per, Deja soon opted to move on and con­tinue to make tra­di­tional an­i­ma­tion on his own terms.

That pas­sion is now be­ing chan­neled into his first in­de­pen­dent short film, Mushka. “This is my chance to work on a project I never would have had time for if I were still on the Dis­ney pay­roll,” he says of the 25-minute movie. “So here I am with all the time in the world, ba­si­cally, and the en­gine is still go­ing and the cre­ative juices are still flow­ing.”

The premise for Mushka first came to Deja some six months af­ter his de­par­ture from Dis­ney in 2011.

“I love sketch­ing an­i­mals and I thought about fo­cus­ing on a hu­man-an­i­mal friend­ship,” he says. “Mushka is about a girl who is rais­ing a tiger as a cub and as he gets older and big­ger there’s trou­ble be­cause there are peo­ple who want him dead.”

Though an early draft of the story was set in In­dia, Deja quickly re­al­ized it would only in­vite com­par­isons to Dis­ney’s The Jun­gle Book, the film that first in­tro­duced him to an­i­ma­tion at the age of 11.

“I wanted to get away from that so I went north and moved the whole thing to Rus­sia to deal with the big­gest cat in the world: the Siberian tiger. Sud­denly, ev­ery­thing be­came kind of fresh be­cause that’s a lo­cale that hasn’t been ex­plored in an­i­ma­tion.”

Rewrit­ing The Rules Fans can ex­pect to see a dif­fer­ent vis­ual style in Mushka that’s more in keep­ing with the veteran art- ist’s per­sonal aes­thetic. “I wanted it to look more the way I draw things in my sketch­book,” Deja says of his vivid color pen­cil linework. “I wanted to main­tain that look, which is looser, so I be­gan by do­ing an an­i­ma­tion test and that gave me enough con­fi­dence to move ahead with it.” The end re­sult, he hopes, will strike a bal­ance be­tween sketch­i­ness and the kind of flu­id­ity of mo­tion usu­ally as­so­ci­ated with his Dis­ney char­ac­ters.

Help­ing to fur­ther im­merse the au­di­ence in that cul­ture are the pe­riod-ap­pro­pri­ate out­fits char­ac­ters will be seen sport­ing, thanks to the work of one of Deja’s for­mer UCLA stu­dents, Ariel Gold­berg. “I had no idea what peo­ple were wear­ing in Rus­sia in the 1970s and ’80s, ab­so­lutely no clue, and you can’t re­ally re­search that on­line. Luck­ily, (Gold­berg’s) par­ents were teenagers in Rus­sia at that time, so it was per­fect for him to do all the cos­tume de­signs and he did a won­der­ful job.”

In­spi­ra­tional Icons The di­rec­tor’s small cir­cle of col­lab­o­ra­tors in­cludes none other than leg­endary com­poser Richard Sher­man, who first heard the story for the film over an im­promptu din­ner. “It just so hap­pened that I de­scribed it re­ally well and Richard was fas­ci­nat-

But they’re not that much older. “I think one of the core dy­nam­ics that works for this show, that al­ways works for this show, is they’re like su­per cute kinder­garten-age girls that fight mon­sters be­fore bed­time and they’ve got to jug­gle their lit­tle do­mes­tic life with their be­ing su­per­heroes,” says Jen­nings. “We didn’t want to make them mid­dle-school­ers, we didn’t want to make them high-school­ers, but we also did want these op­por­tu­ni­ties to ex­pand the world a lit­tle bit.”

“Most of the episodes don’t fo­cus as much on a gim­micky bad guy,” says sto­ry­board artist Ju­lia Vick­er­man. “It’s a lit­tle bit more about the girls and what they’re learn­ing about them­selves, like life lessons type stuff, and also the pac­ing of the show is a lot faster than it used to be to ac­com­mo­date what kids are watch­ing these days.”

Mi­nor Makeovers Many of the same is­sues faced the vi­su­als for the show. “There are a lot of nos­tal­gic im­pres­sions that I don’t want to lose, such as the girls’ heart-shaped bed, or three holes in the house and the general feel­ing of Townsville,” says Eu­song Lee, art di­rec­tor on the se­ries. “Those things I think we had to keep to keep the whole vibe, but we tried to push the col­ors and the style.”

Among the tweaks: drop­ping the thick black lines that made the orig­i­nal se­ries so dis­tinc­tively graphic, mi­nor de­sign changes to the girls and a slight al­ter­ation of pro­por­tions. The over­all re­sult is an in­ten­tion­ally sub­tle dif­fer­ence.

“We want it to feel like the orig­i­nal, but we also wanted to ex­pand it and make it feel a lit­tle more as if you can con­nect with it as an au­di­ence,” says Jen­nings. “We did that in a lot of dif­fer­ent ways, sub­tle ways and not so sub­tle ways. We rounded some of the edges and we made things a lit­tle more vol­u­met­ric, but we still have a lot of things that are very graphic.”

“I think the show is ac­tu­ally dra­mat­i­cally dif­fer­ent vis­ually, but the girls are so iconic you look at it and it feels like how you re­mem­ber the orig­i­nal show be­ing, so it doesn’t come off as feel­ing dif­fer­ent,” says Boyle.

The show is board-driven with Jen­nings and Boyle com­ing up with out­lines for episodes, hand­ing them off to two in-house writ­ers who both have an im­prov com­edy back­ground and then to the show’s four pairs of sto­ry­board art- ists. An­i­ma­tion is done at Sun­min An­i­ma­tion in South Korea.

“Nick and Bob are so col­lab­o­ra­tive and are letting the board artists have a lot of cre­ative say in this show, which is very nice,” says Vick­er­man.

While McCracken is not in­volved in the new show, the pro­duc­tion team has been in touch with him and Boyle says he’s been sup­port­ive of the project. “I told him that we’re do­ing a dif­fer­ent thing, it’s dif­fer­ent times, a dif­fer­ent crew, and he was on board,” says Boyle.

Pleas­ing the Fans As it is with al­most any re­boot, fan re­ac­tion has been split be­tween those thrilled to have an old fa­vorite back and those for whom the new show can never equal the orig­i­nal. The voice cast, in par­tic­u­lar, drew fan fire with a pe­ti­tion launched to have orig­i­nal cast mem­bers Cathy Cava­dini, Tara Strong and E.G. Daily re­turn. De­spite a flurry of pro­mo­tion, the pe­ti­tion drew few sig­na­tures — and Vick­er­man says the new cast of Amanda Leighton as Blos­som, Kris­ten Li as Bub­bles and Natalie Palamides as But­ter­cup will win over view­ers once they see the show.

“Once fans hear and get used to these girls’ voices, they’re go­ing to love them be­cause each of these girls is re­ally mak­ing it her own,” she says. “With any re­boot there’s al­ways go­ing to be some anger there, but what you have to keep in mind is we’re not eras­ing the orig­i­nal ver­sion.”

“We’re on this show be­cause of the orig­i­nal show and as fans we love it,” Boyle says. “We’re try­ing to fig­ure out how to make a ver­sion that hope­fully is some­where close to the orig­i­nal in terms of its pop­u­lar­ity and fun, and I think we are do­ing that. I’m very proud of the whole crew and what ev­ery­one’s do­ing and how it came out.” [

Pro­duced by: TeamTO (teamto.com) Cre­ated by: Pongo Kuo (orig­i­nal con­cept) For­mat: 52 x 11 (De­liv­ery in 2018) Tar­get au­di­ence: Kids 6-11 Type of an­i­ma­tion: CGI Syn­op­sis: This ac­tion-com­edy fol­lows Cho Yu, a mod­ern girl who stays busy with school and vol­un­teer­ing at an an­i­mal shel­ter. Com­ing from a long line of pow­er­ful women, Cho Yu’s life takes an un­ex­pected turn when she re­ceives a mys­ti­cal — some­times un­pre­dictable — suit of jade ar­mor. With her best friends Yang and Lin and the mag­i­cal Beas­ti­cons, Cho Yu suits up to bat­tle the forces of dark­ness. Sell­ing points: This show, reimag­ined with a fe­male lead since its pitch at Car­toon Fo­rum 2011, is all about girl power. “With its bub­bly, fem­i­nine and brave hero­ine – de­scended from a long line of strong women – Jade Ar­mor is a project very dear to my heart,” says EP and TeamTO found­ing man­ager Corinne Kouper. “This mod­ern girl role model is a fun and im­por­tant one for the kids’ space and in­ter­est­ingly ap­peals to boy au­di­ences as well.” Key cre­atives in­clude di­rec­tor Chloe Miller ( An­gelo Rules) and head writer Re­becca Hobbs ( P.E.T. De­tec­tives). Pro­duced by: Toon­box An­i­ma­tion Stu­dio Dis­trib­uted by: Ankama An­i­ma­tions (ankama.com) For­mat: 32 x 5 Tar­get au­di­ence: Preschool Type of an­i­ma­tion: 2D Syn­op­sis: When lit­tle blue kit­tens Kit and Kate hop into their en­chanted toy box and choose some­thing to play with, their imag­i­na­tions cre­ate a big, new world to ex­plore. On their ad­ven­tures they must make de­ci­sions, which don’t al­ways turn out right. Luck­ily there’s al­ways a help­ful “stranger” (their mom in imag­i­nary dis­guise) to help nudge them in the right di­rec­tion. Sell­ing points: Avail­able in Rus­sian and English, this trans­me­dia prop­erty is col­or­ful, invit­ing and gen­tle enough for lit­tle tykes. With mo­bile apps as well as phys­i­cal and dig­i­tal books to ac­com­pany the short an­i­ma­tions, the cu­ri­ous lit­tle cats are ready to meet new friends around the world. Broad­cast­ers: Dis­ney Ju­nior (Aus­tralia & New Zealand), EBS (South Korea), Icflix (SVOD in MENA) Pro­duced by: TeamTO, Thuris­tar Dis­trib­uted by: CAKE (R7.D18) Cre­ated by: Jo­eri Chris­ti­aen For­mat: 52 x 11 Tar­get au­di­ence: Kids 6-11 Type of an­i­ma­tion: CGI, SD and HD Syn­op­sis: This me­dieval com­edy cen­ters on street-smart Jimmy the Squire, his best friend Cat the dar­ing princess, and his fa­ther, Henri of Or­ange — a charm­ingly in­ept but pas­sion­ately chival­rous knight who might not be the most ef­fi­cient pro­tec­tor of the realm, but is def­i­nitely the fun­ni­est. To­gether this trio sets

Samka Pro­duc­tions, Bam­boo

Jet­pack Distri­bu­tion

Pre­vi­ously held in New York, the cer­e­mony will present awards to six of the 24 nom­i­nees span­ning 13 coun­tries: Ar­gentina, Aus­tralia, Brazil, Canada, Colom­bia, France, Ice­land, Italy, Ja­pan, Sin­ga­pore, the Nether­lands, Nor­way and the United King­dom. In ad­di­tion to preschool and an­i­ma­tion cat­e­gories, awards are pre­sented for fac­tual, non-scripted, se­ries and TV movie/minis­eries.

This will be the fourth edi­tion of the awards, which were first pre­sented in 2013. The awards close a pro­gram­ming track ti­tled Kids@MIPTV, which also in­cludes the Fu­ture of Kids TV Sum­mit.

The cer­e­mony it­self is set for April 5. — Be­nesse Cor­po­ra­tion / TV Se­touchi Broad­cast­ing / Dentsu / DASH / de­mand / The An­swer­stu­dio, Ja­pan

An­i­ma­tion Get Ace — Gal­axy Pop, Aus­tralia Mr. Trance — El Re­creo Stu­dio / Señal Colom­bia, Colom­bia Ronja, the Rob­ber’s Daugh­ter — NHK / NHK En­ter­prises / Dwango / Poly­gon Pic­tures, Ja­pan Le Tré­sor du Vieux Jim (The Great Treasure Quest) — TAT Pro­duc­tions / Mas­ter Films, France [

As an­other MIPTV looms, times are good for Rome-based Mondo TV, one of the con­ti­nent’s top pro­duc­ers for an­i­ma­tion con­tent. The stu­dio has a trio of hot projects it’s bring­ing to the con­tent mar­ket and has a sur­prise an­nounce­ment sched­uled for the first day of the show. (Check www.an­i­ma­tion­magazine.net April 4 or sign up for our free email news­let­ter for de­tails di­rect from Cannes).

Mys­ter­ies aside, Mondo has big plans for its an­i­mated se­ries Ad­ven­tures in Duck­port, Ed­die Is a Yeti and Cuby Zoo.

Mondo will pitch strongly at MIPTV Ed­die Is a Yeti, a non-di­a­logue show co-pro­duced with Los An­ge­les-based Toon Googles. The 52 x 3 min. show fol­lows a yeti named Ed­die, who finds the world isn’t ready for him so he has to con­stantly dis­guise him­self while his best friend, Polly, tries to keep him out of too much trou­ble.

Ad­ven­tures in Duck­port is a 52 x 11 min. se­ries for ages 3 to 6 based on the Suzy’s Zoo pub­lish­ing brand. The 2D an­i­mated show will be pro­duced in HD and will fea­ture orig­i­nal Suzy’s Zoo char­ac­ters such as Suzy Ducken, Jack Quacker, Pene­lope O’Quinn, Corky Tur­tle and more. The show will ex­plore the ad­ven­tures of these char­ac­ters as they in­ter­act with the world and do their best to help the el­der mem­bers of their com­mu­nity with love and re­spect. Mondo is pro­duc­ing the show with a world­wide launch planned by fall 2017.

Stu­dio 100 Me­dia has long had a strong pres­ence at MIPTV and 2016 — the 20th an­niver­sary of the Mu­nich-based dis­trib­u­tor’s par­ent com­pany, Bel­gium-based Stu­dio 100 — is look­ing no dif­fer­ent as it brings Nils Hol­gers­son and The Wild Ad­ven­tures of Blinky Bill to the mar­ket.

Both prop­er­ties fit neatly into Stu­dio 100 Me­dia’s track record of sell­ing se­ries adapt­ing the best clas­sic chil­dren’s sto­ries from all over the world.

Based on the book by Swedish au­thor Selma Lagerlof — the first woman to win a No­bel Prize for Lit­er­a­ture — Nils Hol­gers­son is a 52 x 13 min. CGI se­ries pro­duced by Stu­dio 100 An­i­ma­tion that up­dates the suc­cess­ful 1980 2D anime se­ries that aired in more than 70 coun­tries.

Cre­ated by Pierre-Alain Chartier, Jan Van Ri­js­sel­berge and Cyril Tysz, the new se­ries fol­lows the reck­less and dar­ing rebel Nils, who is changed by a mis­chievous elf into a minia­ture hu­man who can speak with an­i­mals. With his faith­ful friend, Martin the gan­der, Nils em­barks on an ex­tra­or­di­nary jour­ney among the wild geese. The se­ries ex­plores im­por­tant val­ues and top­ics like con­ser­va­tion and friend­ship, all served with a healthy dose of fan­tasy, magic and ad­ven­ture.

With Lagerlof’s novel hav­ing been orig­i­nally pub­lished in two parts in 1906 and 1907, this CGI se­ries is aimed at ages 6-11, serves up a more con­tem­po­rary look and is adapted to the view­ing habits of chil­dren today.

Cur­rent plans are to de­liver the first 26 episodes in De­cem­ber, with the rest fol­low­ing in April 2017.

The Wild Ad­ven­tures of Blinky Bill is the most-re­cent it­er­a­tion of the clas­sic Aus­tralian chil­dren’s book, which was pub­lished in the 1930s and adapted to 2D an­i­ma­tion in the mid-1990s.

The 52 x 11 min. CG-an­i­mated se­ries is about 11-year-old Blinky Bill, a cheeky and over­con­fi­dent Koala with a knack for mis­chief. To­gether with his thrill-seek­ing and loyal side­kick, Jacko, Blinky Bill pro­tects and helps the cit­i­zens of their out­back town, Green­patch. Ex­ag­ger­ated in his wild imag­i­na­tion, Blinky Bill can take even the sim­plest of chal­lenges and turn it into an epic ad­ven­ture.

Pro­duced by Fly­ing Bark Pro­duc­tions in as­so­ci­a­tion with Tel­e­gael Te­o­ranta and Giant Wheel, the se­ries is cre­ated by Andy Collins, Steve Cooper, Lau­rent Au­clair and Piero Sgro, based on the book se­ries by Dorothy Wall.

A true Aus­tralian icon, The Wild Ad­ven­tures of Blinky Bill boasts high brand aware­ness, a strong pos­i­tive brand as­so­ci­a­tion and nos­tal­gic mem­o­ries in the older tar­get group as well as the wish to share these feel­ings with their fam­ily and chil­dren. The 2D an­i­mated se­ries was broad­cast in more than 120 coun­tries, and a re­cent CG fea­ture launched last year and has helped stoke in­ter­est in the char­ac­ter.

The first half of the 52 x 11 min. se­ries aimed at ages 5-7 is ready for de­liv­ery in De­cem­ber, with the rest com­ing in the sec­ond quar­ter of 2017. [

Hahn Film, www.hah­n­film.de Car­toon Film Rothkirch,

www.car­toon-film.de

Mo­tion Works, www.mo­tion­works.eu

Trix­ter Film, www.trix­ter.de Sen­a­tor Film­pro­duk­tion,

www.sen­a­tor.de

Green­light Me­dia, www.green­light­media.com

ndF: neue deutsche Filmge­sellschaft,

www.ndf.de

Sco­pas Me­dien, www.sco­pas.de

Stu­dio Film Bilder, www.film­bilder.de An­i­ma­tions-fabrik Ham­burg, www.an­i­ma­tions­fab­rik.de

The 23rd edi­tion of the In­ter­na­tional Festival of An­i­mated Film Stuttgart runs April 26-May 1 and fea­tures mul­ti­ple com­pe­ti­tions and awards: In­ter­na­tional, Young An­i­ma­tion, Tricks for Kids, AniMovie, An­i­mated Com Award, Ger­man An­i­ma­tion Screen­play Award, Ger­man Voice Ac­tor Award, The Crazy Horse Ses­sion 48-hour an­i­ma­tion jam and the Tele 5 “Lei­der Geil!” Spe­cial Award.

The festival also in­cludes An­i­ma­tion Pro­duc­tion Day, which con­sists of one-on-one meet­ings in which pro­duc­ers present films, TV or trans­me­dia projects to TV chan­nels, global dis­trib­u­tors, pub­lish­ers, banks and eq­uity in­vestors to find part­ners for co-pro­duc­tion, fi­nanc­ing and distri­bu­tion.

A new sec­tion of the pro­gram, “Pro­duc­ers Meet Pro­duc­ers,” helps pro­duc­ers, ser­vice pro­duc­ers and ser­vice providers find part­ners, while the APD Con­fer­ence looks at pro­duc­tion trends, fi­nanc­ing and me­dia pol­icy top­ics.

The festival and the char­i­ta­ble group Robert Bosch Stiftung present this year’s Arab An­i­ma­tion Fo­rum, which con­nects young an­i­ma­tion direc­tors and artists from the 22 mem­ber na­tions of the Arab League with pro­duc­ers from Ger­many. The win­ning project is nom­i­nated for the Robert Bosch Stiftung’s film prize.

Round­ing out the of­fer­ings are a dig­i­tal An­i­mated Video Mar­ket, which lets ac­cred­ited guests view all films sub­mit­ted to the festival, and an aca­demic sym­po­sium, this year themed “Nar­ra­tive Struc­tures and Vis­ual Sto­ry­telling.” [

Bub­bles, But­ter­cup and Blos­som re­turn largely un­changed for a new se­ries of Car­toon Net­work’s The Pow­er­puff Girls.

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