On the Right Track

Animation Magazine - - Tv -

II­tal­ian an­i­ma­tion pow­er­house Mondo TV brings and sev­eral other hot new se­ries to the MIPCOM mar­ket this fall.

taly’s Mondo TV has been be­hind some of the most in­ter­est­ing an­i­mated projects of the past 30 years. In re­cent sea­sons, the stu­dio has of­fered ti­tles such as Gor­miti, Sissi: The Young Em­press, The Trea­sure Is­land, An­gel’s Friends and Eddie Is a Yeti. The cre­ative pro­duc­tion and dis­tri­bu­tion stu­dio con­tin­ues its hot streak at MIPCOM this year, with a col­or­ful lineup of shows that de­liver unique sto­ry­lines and mem­o­rable char­ac­ters.

“The va­ri­ety of our shows is quite im­pres­sive this year, and we think we have some­thing for every broad­caster,” says Miche­line Azoury, Mondo TV’s head of sales and li­cens­ing. “We have a di­verse range of ma­te­rial, from 2D- and CG-an­i­mated shows for preschool­ers, as well as comedy se­ries for five- to nine-year olds. We con­tinue our clas­sic princess theme with our pop­u­lar show Sissi: The Young Em­press, which is at­tract­ing more and more new broad­cast­ers around the world. The toy line for the show is do­ing very well, and the li­cens­ing cat­e­gories are grow­ing across the Asian mar­ket.”

One of the stu­dio’s new­est shows is the CG ac­tion-ad­ven­ture Ro­bot Trains. Pro­duced by South Korea’s CJ E&M, the 32 x 11-min. se­ries airs daily on pay TV chan­nel DeA Ju­nior via Sky this fall. Mondo han­dles dis­tri­bu­tion and li­cens­ing for the property in a num­ber of Euro­pean ter­ri­to­ries (in­clud­ing Italy and Ibe­ria), the Mid­dle East, Africa and the Pa­cific. The se­ries is set in Train World, where all the cit­i­zens are trains. How­ever, a se­lect few among them are spe­cial trains which can trans­form into robots to em­bark on ex­cit­ing mis­sions.

An­other hot property is YooHoo & Friends (2017: 52 x 11’), a preschool se­ries cen­tered on a group of an­i­mal friends who in­habit the mag­i­cal is­land of Yootopia and help en­dan­gered an­i­mals in their world. The TV se­ries is bol­stered by high li­cens­ing aware­ness, with more than 80 mil­lion YooHoo & Friends plush toys sold since the world­wide launch of the line by Aurora World in 2007.

Also on the fall slate is In­ven­tion Story (2018: 104 x 11’), an in­no­va­tive new 3D, HD an­i­mated comedy-ac­tion se­ries for chil­dren ages four to eight. Com­bin­ing fun and learn­ing, the show stars Kit, a cre­ative young fox, who, in each episode, comes up with a new in­ven­tion, de­light­ing the rab­bit in­hab­i­tants of Car­rot Town and in­fu­ri­at­ing their an­gry, jeal­ous mayor.

La Co­me­dia Is King Azoury says comedy con­tin­ues to be in high demand in al­most every ter­ri­tory.

“Whether it’s di­a­logue comedy or sim­ple slap­stick, ev­ery­one seems to be de­mand­ing funny shows,” she notes. “Even the se­ries that are your typ­i­cal boys’ ad­ven­ture prop­er­ties need to have strong comedic el­e­ments, or they don’t have much of a chance of suc­ceed­ing.”

Ac­cord­ing to Mondo TV’s ex­pe­ri­enced sales exec, the TV an­i­ma­tion cli­mate is quite healthy and thriv­ing in Italy. “The kids’ chan­nel scene is quite com­pet­i­tive, which is great for all of us,” she notes. “Each chan­nel has its own style and tar­get age group au­di­ence and po­si­tion­ing on the mar­ket. The over­all scene is very dy­namic, and there is an abun­dance of high-qual­ity pro­gram­ming for chil­dren of all ages around Europe.”

“We are ex­pect­ing to see many more op­por­tu­ni­ties in stream­ing ser­vices,” adds Azoury. “Ama­zon and Net­flix are on top of the list. Many other lo­cal stream­ing plat­forms are tak­ing a good piece of the cake in every sin­gle mar­ket. The way kids con­sume small-screen en­ter­tain­ment has changed dras­ti­cally, in some coun­tries more than oth­ers. This has im­pacted our business pos­i­tively and opened up the op­por­tu­ni­ties to de­velop spe­cial shorter-for­mat shows for stream­ing and mo­bile plat­forms.” For more in­for­ma­tion, visit www.mon­dotv.it.

Di­rec­tor of Chil­dren’s Con­tent, BBC World­wide What do you look for in an an­i­mated show? We’re mainly look­ing for preschool projects. We have in­ter­na­tional CBeebies Chan­nels and, where ap­pro­pri­ate, look to ex­ploit across all me­dia glob­ally. The ideas should be dis­tinc­tive, con­tem­po­rary and rel­e­vant to chil­dren across all global mar­kets with some non-cur­ricu­lum learn­ing and/or so­cial and emo­tional val­ues as take out. Some ex­am­ples of our cur­rent global brands are Hey Duggee, Sarah & Duck and Go Jet­ters. We look for a strong cre­ative vi­sion. What is the worst thing a show cre­ator/pro­ducer can do in a meet­ing? It’s dif­fi­cult when peo­ple clearly don’t know any­thing about us. Good re­search is in­valu­able. What is the best thing they can do? Hav­ing done the re­search, demon­strate that cre­ative vi­sion and why the project would sit well on the CBeebies Chan­nels and/or in our cat­a­logue over­all. For the 6+ age group, con­sider the project’s com­mer­cial po­ten­tial, does it com­pli­ment any lo­cally pro­duced pro­gram­ming, what is the tar­get age group, what is unique about that se­ries? Fa­vorite hang­out at the mar­ket? Sadly, it’s my bed at the end of the day—and that’s not very late these days! Fa­vorite show/movie/book of the year: the Gal­axy Vol. 2, The Dry by Jane Harper The toon that changed my life: Banana­man (“Peel the force!”)—my first job in an­i­ma­tion/chil­dren’s was sell­ing at HIT En­ter­tain­ment and I did a deal for this show with some­one who has be­come a great friend. Most an­noy­ing buzz­words of 2017: “Fake news.”

VP of Pro­gram­ming & Con­tent Strat­egy EMEA, Ac­qui­si­tions & Co-Pro Int’l Kids, Turner What do you look for in an an­i­mated show? Great char­ac­ters, orig­i­nal­ity and pas­sion­ate creators. For Car­toon Net­work, we’re look­ing for shows that are funny, sur­pris­ing and smart for our 6- to 12-year-old tar­get au­di­ence. Our sec­ond flag­ship, Boomerang, is all about vis­ual, slap­stick hu­mor for younger kids and fam­i­lies. What is the worst thing a show cre­ator/pro­ducer can do in a meet­ing? Not be pas­sion­ate about their project. What is the best thing they can do? Be pas­sion­ate! Know their char­ac­ters and the uni­verse they’re try­ing to con­vey. It’s also great if they know our brands and how their project could fit. Fa­vorite hang­out at the mar­ket? Da Laura. Fa­vorite show/movie/book of the year: Game of Thrones, Driver is my fa­vorite movie that I saw re­cently. The toon that changed my life: The Amaz­ing World of Gum­ball when I first saw it. It’s one of the best things on TV. Baby blew my mind

Vice Pres­i­dent of Chil­dren’s Pro­gram­ming, PBS What do you look for in an an­i­mated show? A big idea that sur­prises me and makes me laugh. What is the worst thing a show cre­ator/pro­ducer do in a meet­ing? Tell me how much an­other net­work loves the pitch. What is the best thing they can do? Tell me why the idea is the per­fect fit for PBS KIDS and why they’d want to be on PBS KIDS! Fa­vorite show/movie/book of the year: Elan Mas­tai’s book, All Our Wrong To­days (at least the first two thirds of the book, then I was lost). TV shows: Stranger Things, We Bare Bears. The toon that changed my life: The Simp­sons. Most an­noy­ing trend/buzz words of 2017: They’re all an­noy­ing, but it will be 2019 by the time they make it to D.C.!

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