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Animation Magazine - - Frame- By- Frame -

4- 7Over 10,000 peo­ple will de­scend on Cannes for MIPTV, which this year fea­tures a fo­cus on Ger­many and the In­ter­na­tional Emmy Kids Awards. [miptv.com]

Mowgli and his an­i­mal friends and foes get the live-ac­tion/CG treat­ment in Jon Favreau’s The Jun­gle Book.

CCar­toon Net­work takes a more mod­ern, char­ac­ter-driven ap­proach in up­dat­ing

for a new gen­er­a­tion. By Tom McLean.

raig McCracken’s The Pow­er­puff Girls was one of Car­toon Net­work’s most iconic hits dur­ing its orig­i­nal run from 1998 to 2005, en­joy­ing huge suc­cess as a pro­gram and as a li­censed prop­erty while help­ing to de­fine the Turner out­let’s iden­tity.

So more than a decade af­ter Bub­bles, But­ter­cup and Blos­som last saved Townsville from one of the mon­strous threats that emerged in al­most ev­ery episode, The Pow­er­puff Girls are back in an all-new an­i­mated se­ries de­but­ing April 4 on — where else? — Car­toon Net­work.

With McCracken hav­ing moved on to Dis­ney, where his most-re­cent show Wan­der Over Yon­der just con­cluded its award-win­ning sec­ond (and fi­nal) sea­son, Car­toon Net­work stayed in house by tap­ping Ad­ven­ture Time art di­rec­tor Nick Jen­nings and Clarence su­per­vis­ing pro­ducer Bob Boyle to run the show.

“I’m a huge fan of The Pow­er­puff Girls and al­ways have been,” says Jen­nings, ex­ec­u­tive pro­ducer on the new se­ries. “It was pretty ground­break­ing at the time ... So to re­boot it 15 years later and give it a new mod­ern spin was a great op­por­tu­nity to take some­thing that we loved orig­i­nally and try to give it a spin for more of today’s au­di­ence.”

“It’s a great uni­verse that we all love and were in­flu­enced by, and there’s lot to play around with,” says Boyle, whose ti­tle is co­ex­ec­u­tive pro­ducer. “I think sto­ry­telling is dif­fer­ent now than it was 15 years ago when the show pre­miered, so it seemed ripe for some up­dat­ing.”

Jen­nings says the net­work had few di­rec­tives for the show. “They weren’t man­dat­ing any­thing spe­cific, other than just give it some kind of mod­ern spin, turn it into some­thing that is fresh with kind of a new vibe,” he says.

Sto­ry­telling Evolves With a largely blank can­vas, Jen­nings and Boyle an­a­lyzed the show to fig­ure out which parts were time­less and essen­tial and what needed to change to give it a mod­ern feel.

“In general, the way we tell sto­ries now, we tend to be a lit­tle more char­ac­ter driven,” says Jen­nings. “The orig­i­nal show, you could dig only so deep with the char­ac­ters and then you didn’t re­ally get to know them any more than Blos­som is the leader, and But­ter­cup’s the an­gry one.“

Fig­ur­ing out and un­der­stand­ing in de­tail the char­ac­ters’ per­son­al­i­ties not only made them more re­lat­able, Jen­nings says, it cre­ated fresh ma­te­rial the writ­ers could mine for sto­ries.

Along the way, a num­ber of dif­fer­ent takes on the idea of three cute lit­tle girls who also are tough-as-nails su­per­heroes were pitched. Among them: hav­ing the girls at­tend su­per­hero school or send­ing them into the fu­ture. “Ul­ti­mately, we came back to these are re­ally great, strong char­ac­ters and there’s not a whole lot that you have to change,” says Boyle.

But there are some changes. The most ob­vi­ous one is that while the girls are still young, they are no longer in kinder­garten — a change that Boyle says opened up a lot of story pos­si­bil­i­ties. “Mov­ing them into K through 12 opens up op­por­tu­ni­ties for dif­fer­ent classes, dif­fer­ent teach­ers; they can have lock­ers and club sports, kids of dif­fer­ent ages,” he says.

what

I imag­ined

out to make the Dark Ages a lit­tle bit lighter and a lot more fun. Sell­ing points: The se­ries is based on the highly en­ter­tain­ing short film 850 Me­ters from Jo­eri Chris­ti­aen, who is di­rect­ing the show and pre­vi­ously served as di­rec­tor and writer for Plank­ton Invasion. As Canal+ kids pro­gram­ming di­rec­tor Lau­rence Blaevoet said in last year’s pro­duc­tion an­nounce­ment: “Mod­ern ev­ery­day heroes ac­com­plish ex­tra­or­di­nary chal­lenges, in in­cred­i­ble set­tings wor­thy of a clas­sic chivalry film – all with tremen­dous hu­mour. This show gen­uinely has all in­gre­di­ents of a great show.” Broad­cast­ers: Canal+ Fam­ily, Tele­toon+ (France); Su­per RTL (Ger­many); VRT-Ket­net, RTBF-Ouf­tivi (Bel­gium) Pro­duced by: dios Dis­trib­uted by: Vi­a­com In­ter­na­tional Me­dia Net­works (R7.N7) Cre­ated by: Dave Cooper and Johnny Ryan For­mat: 40 x half-hour Tar­get Au­di­ence: Kids Type of An­i­ma­tion: 2D HD Syn­op­sis: Four ex­tremely un­likely room­mates get into all kinds of comedic hi­jinx as their ab­surd life sit­u­a­tions in­ter­twine in this Nick hit. View­ers tag along as Pig (the fool­ish one), Goat (the emo­tional artist), Ba­nana (the surly wise-guy) and Cricket (the brains of the bunch) deal with their very dif­fer­ent prob­lems in and out of their tree­house pad, which in­evitably come to­gether in the end. Sell­ing points: Cre­ators Dave Cooper and Johnny Ryan bring years of comics ex­pe­ri­ence to their first show, which Nick­elodeon U.S. re-upped for a sec­ond sea­son be­fore it even pre­miered. Ex­ec­u­tive pro­ducer and co-writer David Sacks ( Simp­sons, Reg­u­lar Show) adds to the cre­ative pedi­gree. In­ter­na­tional broad­cast in­ter­est is start­ing to pick up for the show, which makes its MIPTV de­but this year af­ter pre­mier­ing last sum­mer, so the time to jump on the Pig Goat Ba­nana Cricket train is now. Broad­cast­ers: Nick­elodeon (U.S.), YTV (Canada), An­tena 3 (Spain) Pro­duced by: Pro­duc­tions Dis­trib­uted by: D11) Cre­ated by: Wil­liam & Cazen­ove For­mat: 52 x 11 Tar­get au­di­ence: Kids 6-10 Type of an­i­ma­tion: 2D Syn­op­sis: Sib­ling con­flict leads to com­i­cal sit­u­a­tions in this slice-of-life show about seven-year-old Marine and 13-year-old Wendy. Wendy just wants to be a grown-up and get through the ups and downs of teen­hood in one piece, while Marine is still a hy­per­ac­tive, naive child who is al­ways com­ing up with crazy ways to get her sis­ter’s at­ten­tion. Sell­ing points: Based on the best-sell­ing comic books by Wil­liam & Cazen­ove (Bam­boo Édi­tion), the show’s “fo­cus on strong char­ac­ters and re­lat­able sis­terly bond make for a com­pelling, laugh-out-loud com­edy filled with themes that ev­ery kid can re­late to,” says Jet­pack CEO Do­minic Gar­diner. Com­mis­sion­ing broad­cast­ers M6 and Canal+ clearly agree. Broad­cast­ers: Pro­duced by: 2 Min­utes, Dog­house Films Dis­trib­uted by: About Premium Con­tent (P-1.E68) For­mat: 52 x 13 (De­liv­ery Q1 2016) Tar­get au­di­ence: Kids 6-10 Type of an­i­ma­tion: 2D HD Syn­op­sis: Be­ing a pre-teen is hard enough, but for Zoli things get even cra­zier when his es­tranged fa­ther sud­denly shows up … hav­ing been trans­formed into a dog. In ad­di­tion to putting up with his or­ganic food-ob­sessed step­fa­ther, ir­ri­tat­ingly pop­u­lar step­brother, a half sis­ter who’s a ge­nius and a mother who’s an out-there con­cep­tual artist, Zoli must get reac­quainted with his real dad now trapped in the furry body of the fam­ily pet. Sell­ing points: In ad­di­tion to a cre­ative con­cept that puts the mod­ern fam­ily sit­com set-up in a new light, Zoli & Pokey fea­tures a dis­tinct, quirky and col­or­ful de­sign scheme. Key cre­atives in­clude se­ries di­rec­tor Ja­copo Ar­mani, an award-win­ning an­i­ma­tor who has worked on both sides of the At­lantic, and writ­ers So­phie De­croisette ( K3, Heidi, Code Lyoko) and Anna Fré­gonèse ( Atomic Betty, San­tAp­pren­tice). Broad­cast­ers: Gulli (France) [

Cannes is go­ing to get a lit­tle bit glitzier this year as with the ad­di­tion of the awards cer­e­mony.

The nom­i­nees in the an­i­ma­tion-re­lated cat­e­gories are:

Preschool Bing — Aca­mar Films Pro­duc­tion / Brown Bag Films, United King­dom LazyTown — Car­toonito / Turner Broad­cast­ing Sys­tems Europe, Ice­land O Zoo da Zu — Dis­cov­ery Latin Amer­ica / Bou­tique Filmes, Brazil

Cuby Zoo, also a 52 x 11 min. se­ries, is a 3D CG-an­i­mated preschool com­edy about cube­shaped an­i­mal char­ac­ters. The se­ries is a co-pro­duc­tion of Mondo and South Korea-based Aurora World Corp., which pre­vi­ously teamed up for YooHoo & Friends. Cuby Zoo launched re­cently on EBS in South Korea, with sales to other ter­ri­to­ries ex­pected soon. Go­ing Abroad Both se­ries have sales of­fers on tap and Mondo plans to tar­get mar­kets first in EMEA, then Asia and Latin Amer­ica.

The sup­port from Aurora World, a suc­cess­ful toy man­u­fac­turer in South Korea, means there is plenty of li­cens­ing and mer­chan­dis­ing sup­port in that coun­try for Cuby Zoo, as well as on­go­ing sup­port for YooHoo & Friends. More global ef­forts will be rolled out at the Li­cens­ing Expo show, set for June 21-23 in Las Ve­gas, where Mondo also will work on ex­pand­ing li­cens­ing for Sissi: The Young Em­press.

Roberta Puppo, Mondo’s in­ter­na­tional cens­ing and mar­ket­ing man­ager, says MIPTV and its sis­ter show MIP­COM re­main the most im­por­tant mar­kets for break­ing new shows.

“We con­sider and look at both MIPTV and the MIP­COM as the ma­jor dis­play win­dows of any new show,” she says. “Many other im­por­tant mar­kets and events are tak­ing place, and day af­ter day are be­com­ing as im­por­tant, but it re­mains that MIP is the one date ev­ery­one makes sure they never miss.” [

Long a pow­er­house pro­ducer of tele­vi­sion, Ger­many’s grow­ing rep­u­ta­tion as a pro­ducer of top-notch an­i­ma­tion and vis­ual ef­fects has started to achieve its full ef­fect.

The na­tion is both the fo­cus coun­try for this year’s MIPTV, as well as the home of the FMX con­fer­ence and Stuttgart Festival of An­i­mated Films.

Ac­cord­ing to or­ga­niz­ers, Ger­man com­pa­nies have the fourth big­gest pres­ence at MIPTV and MIP­COM and Ger­many is the world’s sec­ond-largest tele­vi­sion mar­ket, with more than 40 mil­lion TV house­holds. The mar­ket is show­ing growth across all sec­tors, with an in­crease in co-pro­duc­tions and tax in­cen­tives at­tract­ing more pro­duc­tions to Ger­many.

On the an­i­ma­tion side, Ger­many’s out­put has so far failed to keep pace with the high­pro­file projects com­ing out of its neigh­bors such as France, the United King­dom or Rus­sia.

Though only a hand­ful of an­i­mated fea­tures are made in Ger­many each year, and its an­i­mated tele­vi­sion con­tent is not sold as far and wide as other na­tions’ con­tent, the per­cep­tion of the coun­try as a tech pow­er­house, but not a cre­ative one, is chang­ing.

This year’s An­necy festival has four Ger­man shorts in com­pe­ti­tion. And one of the hits of Car­toon Movie, The Jour­ney of the Ele­phant Soli­man, is be­ing pro­duced in Ger­many.

An­i­ma­tion pro­duc­tion in Ger­many is de­cen­tral­ized, which has the ben­e­fit of al­low­ing in­di­vid­ual states to of­fer lo­ca­tion in­cen­tives to stu­dios. There are clus­ters of an­i­ma­tion stu­dios around ma­jor ur­ban ar­eas, most no­tably Ham­burg, Ber­lin and Mu­nich.

Ber­lin is home to Hahn Film AG, one of the most rec­og­nized Ger­man an­i­ma­tion pro- duc­ers. Founded in 1980 by Ger­hard Hahn, the stu­dio’s spe­cialty is the devel­op­ment and pro­duc­tion of 2D and CGI chil­dren se­ries. Among its cur­rent projects are the TV se­ries Sher­azade — The Un­told Sto­ries, Mia and Me and Worry-Eaters.

Other stu­dios dot the coun­try­side. Fabian Driehorst of the Ham­burg-based stu­dio Fabian&Fred, says the two-man stu­dio has found suc­cess with shorts like the 2D Däwit, di­rected by David Jansen, which pre­miered at Ber­li­nale 2015 and has screened at fes­ti­vals from Chicago to Hong Kong. It’s also pro­duced award-win­ning com­mer­cials and now is aim­ing for big­ger projects.

“We are now de­vel­op­ing our first an­i­mated fea­ture film — our big­gest tar­get these days,” says Driehorst.

Sim­i­larly, Stu­dio Soi, a stu­dio with about 50 em­ploy­ees in Lud­wigs­burg, north of Stuttgart, has spe­cial­ized since its found­ing in 2D char­ac­ter an­i­ma­tion. Its cred­its in­clude Trudes Tier, The Amaz­ing World of Gum­ball and Ras­mus Klump.

On the vis­ual ef­fects side, Ger­many is home to stu­dios that have be­come sta­ples in the cred­its of Hol­ly­wood’s big­gest block­busters. Among them: Scan­line VFX, Pixomondo, Rise FX and Trix­ter.

Ger­man stu­dios with cur­rent ef­fects projects in­clude Stuttgart-based Luxx Stu­dios ( In­de­pen­dence Day 2: Resur­gence), Mack­e­vi­sion ( Game of Thrones), Pix­el­lu­sion (com­mer­cials), Pixomondo ( Crouch­ing Tiger, Hid­den Dragon: Sword of Destiny), Rise FX ( Avengers: Age of Ul­tron), Scan­line VFX ( Bat­man v. Su­per­man: Dawn of Jus­tice) and Trix­ter ( An­tMan).

As the de­mand for high-qual­ity vis­ual ef­fects con­tin­ues to grow, so will the for­tunes of Ger­man vis­ual-ef­fects houses. [

An­i­ma­tion Mag­a­zine: How do you think FMX has evolved in the last sev­eral years? Are there any trends you no­tice in the types, quan­tity or qual­ity of pre­sen­ta­tions?

Jean-Michel Blot­tière: We don’t want FMX to get big­ger in size, but to get more and more in­flu­en­tial. For this rea­son, talks about busi­ness mod­els and ac­cess to finance con­sti­tute an in­te­gral part of the pro­gram, as well as the VES and FMX CEO Sum­mit and Com­mer­cials Sum­mit – two in­vite-only events for de­ci­sion mak­ers from the in­dus­try. In ad­di­tion, the Direc­tors’ Panel as­sem­bles renowned per­son­al­i­ties such as Steve Martino (di­rec­tor for The Peanuts Movie) and Kevin Margo (di­rec­tor for Con­struct). These plat­forms come to life be­cause more and more key peo­ple come to FMX from year to year.

An­i­mag: What do you think makes FMX an essen­tial event for VFX pro­fes­sion­als to at­tend?

Blot­tière: We of­fer an event that is com­pre­hen­sive, high level and in­ti­mate. We bring to­gether com­mu­ni­ties that are not nec­es­sar­ily in close con­tact — an­i­ma­tion, VFX, vis­ual arts for games, VR, trans­me­dia — and we cover var­i­ous as­pects of each com­mu­nity — art, tech­nol­ogy, busi­ness. We of­fer a pro­gram with a strong struc­ture, which al­lows peo­ple to un­der­stand quickly where they want to go and what they want to lis­ten to.

An­i­mag: How many at­ten­dees do you ex­pect this year? And can you give us an idea of who at­tends and from where they come?

Blot­tière: In 2015, FMX had 3,200 visi­tors per day. These visi­tors came from 55 dif­fer­ent coun­tries. Pro­fes­sion­als made up 60 per­cent of this num­ber, among them one third that held man­age­ment or se­nior man­age­ment po­si­tions. Thirty per­cent of all at­ten­dees were fe­male. We ex­pect ap­prox­i­mately the same num­ber of at­ten­dees this year, maybe even an in­crease in the num­bers for fe­male at­ten­dees and man­age­ment.

An­i­mag: What is your per­sonal fa­vorite part of at­tend­ing FMX?

Blot­tière: I love the feel­ing of creat­ing this mo­ment of col­lec­tive in­tel­li­gence, which makes us fly higher than usual for four days. [

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