Produced By: Planeta Junior [R7.D19], Rai Com, DQ Entertainment, Gruppo Alcuni Based On: “Pulcino Pio” viral video Format: 52 x 11 Target Audience: Kids 6-8 Type of Animation: 3D CG Synopsis: Pio is a rockin’ chick — literally. This comedy series follows Pio and his friends’ adventures at their school, High Note, where every class is about music. With a song in their hearts, they experience the ups and downs of friendship, growing up, achieving goals and acceptance. Selling Points: Inspired by the novelty song phenomenon that inspired multiple translations and achieved more than 775 million YouTube views, Pio is primed to be a much cuter “Crazy Frog.” The project is lead creatively by head
Synopsis: This original animated comedy takes a very, very close look at the microscopic world of amoebas. This hidden realm of single cell organisms is just as cutthroat competitive as our multicellular world, and the show’s heroic glob must do what he can to survive everyday amoeba life — not to mention school. Selling Points: Based on the New York Times best-selling graphic novels by Jennifer Holm and Eisner Award-winning creator Matthew Holm (more than 1 million copies of the six books sold so far), the show is executive produced by Cottonwood founder David Michel ( Get Blake, Totally Spies!), with John Derevlany ( LEGO: Legends of Chima, Johnny Test) acting as showrunner. Delivery is expected for 2017. Broadcasters: Gulli (Canada) www.fedent.com Type of Animation: CG Synopsis: On the sprawling, prehistoric continent of Pangea, a group of young dinosaurs happen upon a mysterious blue lava flow that imbues them each with super powers, amplifying their dinosaur traits. Whether rescuing their fellow dinos or zapping incoming asteroids, the Supersaurus 7 are an indomitable force — when they use their powers correctly. The comedy and action increase when they face the rise of the mammals, lead by a despotic gerbil. Selling Points: “Chris and Henry have created an original concept in a muchloved genre that we haven’t yet seen in kids’ entertainment – dinosaurs as superheroes — two themes that kids everywhere have always loved,” said Alison Warner, Technicolor’s VP of IP Sales, Acquisitions & Co-Productions. “We believe that viewers will identify with our characters, who are in effect just kids learning to handle their new skills, while taking on some of the strangest and stupidest foes ever seen in a prehistoric world.” Co-creator Chris Hayward is co-creator of the BBC web series Misery Bear and writer of the BAFTAnominated CBBC series FIT; while Henry Coate is a director, designer and illustrator. technicolor.com fans after several seasons of the original series. It’s only natural that a new incarnation will follow. The “undercover fairy” angle opens up a world of comedy and action potential, expanding on the magical-girly Winx fanbase. The show was previewed at Licensing Expo and will be courting licensees at BLE. www.rwb.it [
ith a string of successes ranging from Zou to Zorro: The Chronicles, Paris-based Cyber Group Studios is on the verge of reaching a new level of success. Founder and CEO Pierre Sissmann says the company will have seven shows in production by the end of the year, including the company’s first cartoon comedy series, Taking Down Taffy, a co-production with Turner for Boomerang.
“That’s a very important step for us, artistically speaking,” says Sissmann, of adding the genre to the company’s spectrum of successful shows in the preschool, CGI, 2D and 3D markets. “It’s a big cartoon series — 78 episodes of 7 minutes — stretch and squash style, fantastic animation, and it has taken us some time to get to that level. I’m very happy to go into cartoon comedy because my goal is to try to reach as many artistic expressions as possible so that we are able to tell stories in any type of shape or form.”
Additionally, Sissmann says he’s excited for Gigantosaurus, which Cyber Group is doing for Disney Junior worldwide; Gilbert and Allie, a co-production with Ireland’s Brown Bag; and a Tom Sawyer series that just started the writing process. “It’s a lot about ecology and nature,” he says. “It’s a big responsibility to adapt and try to create a new Tom Sawyer, like it was a big responsibility to create something like Zorro.”
Cyber Group’s TV slate is filled with projects, including a second season of Mini Ninjas, a co-production with TF1 Productions; the third season of Zou; Mirette Investigates is still in production; and a Latin American influence can be found in Menino and the Children of the World from Ale Abreu, Oscar-winning director of Boy and the World, and co-produced with Didier Brunner’s Folivari.
Additional series in development include a Brazilian themed show with plenty of music and martial arts, and a sci-fi sports series featuring the ever-popular drones. And, at last month’s Cartoon Forum, Cyber Group presented Enchanted Sisters, a co-production with the Jim Henson Co., as well as Menino.
On top of that, Sissmann says he expects to announce a couple of feature film developments: one that will be a France-United States co-production with plenty of big-movie talent signed on; and a French-style movie. Sissmann, who previously ran the Walt Disney Animation Studio in Europe, says he’s been “cautious” about getting Cyber Group into the features market, but believes that the time is now right.
“When you do feature animation, you have some parameters you cannot forget,” says Sissmann. “You are more free in doing feature animation than in TV series, because when you do TV, it’s B2B; when you do a feature film, your client is the final consumer, the person who goes to the theaters.”
The company itself has had to grow and adapt to handle all this work. Sissmann says the company has split into distinct production and distribution companies, with the latter free to take on third-party projects.
And Jan. 1 will see the opening of Cyber Group Studios North America, based in Los Angeles and already hiring top talent.
“Hopefully, we are going to start a new growth period for the company based out of the U.S.,” says Sissmann, adding that he’s also working on opening up a division in China.
“We’re getting into things I really like, which is more development, more product, more creations,” says Sissmann. “I really look forward to on one side Cyber Group Studios having life in the U.S., and on the other side, entering the world of feature animation.” [
IMondo TV picks up another promising property from Korea to bring to MIPCOM in CJ E&Ms action series
talian production and distribution company Mondo TV is once again looking eastward for its next big hit as it rolls into MIPCOM. The company has partnered with South Korea-based content and marketing company CJ E&M to distribute and license in a number of territories the new animated action adventure show Robot Trains.
Two years in planning and production, Robot Trains is already a success in Korea. It was launched on seven different channels including a terrestrial one and a leading pay TV channel, Tooniverse. The series drew a strong audience that propelled the show to the No. 1 spot on SBS.
It also has spawned a healthy selection of merchandise based on the show.
Mondo is doing well with YooHoo & Friends, a series the company is co-producing with another Korean company, Aurora World Corp.
Mondo TV will distribute Robot Trains in Turkey, the Middle East and Africa, Portugal, Spain, Italy and Israel. The show is expected to enjoy strong licensing support, especially in toys but also in games, apparel, home ware and publishing.
“We are thrilled to be working alongside one of the most innovative content companies in Asia on this exciting show, which we are sure will enjoy a very positive response,” says Matteo Corradi, Mondo TV CEO. “Robot Trains brings together action, humor, lovable characters and fantastic designs in a show with enormous appeal to its target audience.”
“We are very excited about working with Mondo TV on Robot Trains,” says Dongsik Shin, SVP Animation, CJ E&M. “With the suc- cess of the series in the domestic market, we hope it expands for broader audiences”.
Aimed at kids ages 3-6, Robot Trains is set in Train World, where trains live in villages connected by tunnels. A brave young train named Kay answers the call to protect Train World when a renegade train named Duke closes the tunnels and endangers the village. With phenomena such as erratic weather and viral outbreaks threatening Train World, Kay and his friends — Alf, Duck, Sally and more — work together to restore their home to its original state.
Based in Rome, Mondo TV owns one of the largest animation libraries in the world, consisting of more than 2,000 episodes of television series shown all over the world together with more than 75 animated movies for video and theatrical release. [
Geronimo Stilton hasn’t been gone so long that you might have missed the ever-present, knowledge-loving journalist mouse, but he’s back after a few years’ production hiatus with a third season of adventures via Atlantyca Entertainment.
Though the second season’s first run ended four years ago, a third season was always part of the plan for the show, says Caterina Vacchi, who heads Atlantyca production. “The Geronimo Stilton brand continues to grow every year through publishing, and the animation series has played a crucial role in the evolution of the franchise’s global success,” she says. “Our production schedule, which was critical to our plan, was for us to deliver 78 new episodes, part of a targeted marketing strategy to ensure new and continued broadcasts, which also supports an extensive licensing program.”
The show’s vocal fans — as well as continued ratings success around the world — also played a role in continuing the series.
Atlantyca is co-producing the new season, dubbed Geronimo Stilton: New Adventures, with France’s Superprod and the participation of Rai Fiction and France Televisions. Vacchi says Atlantyca’s sales division secured key presales with broadcast partners such as ARD and KiKa in Germany, RTVE and TV3 in Spain, Minimax in Eastern Europe, and Nickleodeon in Geronimo Stilton: New Adventures Belgium and the Netherlands.
Viewers will notice the show has a slightly updated look and feel. Supervising director Niccolo Sacchi, who worked on the previous seasons, says the new season raises the storytelling stakes for Geronimo and his friends. “We’ve included bigger, nastier villains up against Geronimo’s funnier team, creating more laughs with hilarious characters involved in sillier pranks with some great awkward moments,” says Sac-
Geronimo Stilton have been sold in more than 100 countries, Vacchi says. The show recently came to North America through Atlantyca’s partnership with Amazon Prime, and Atlantyca is heading to MIPCOM to meet with other potential broadcasters.
It also could open the door to expanding Geronimo’s world in other ways.
“Geronimo has proven to be an evergreen property and we know the kids are watching and re-watching the adventures of our super-smart mouse and his family and friends,” says Vacchi. [