Cool new girl shows

Dot's Bots, Scary Godmother mark girl screen captures for Mainframe...
September 1, 1999

Dot’s Bots, Scary Godmother mark girl screen captures for Mainframe

Vancouver-based Mainframe is tackling the girls market for the first time with Dot’s Bots, a 26 x 22-minute animated series created by comic-book artists Steven Seagle (X-Men) and Dean Ormston (Judge Dredd).

The title character is a 12-year-old inventor who masterminds the creation of robots from cast-off toasters and other household rejects. Featuring 3-D CGI characters on a 2-D background, the series is budgeted between US$325,000 and US$340,000 per episode. At press time, the show was in development with talks underway to co-produce with an unnamed U.S. broadcaster and a Canadian production company, for a September 2000 delivery. Distributors have yet to be secured.

Mainframe has also recently optioned comic book-based Scary Godmother from creator Jill Thompson through her publisher, Pennsylvania-based Sirius Entertainment. The show is currently in early development, with Mainframe debating whether to launch the property via a TV series or DTV release. The TV series, which Mainframe plans to produce eventually either way, will feature 3-D CGI characters on a 2-D background and will consist of 26 half hours, budgeted at US$350,000 each.

Aimed primarily at girls ages eight to 11, Scary Godmother features a fearless little girl, her clutzy witch-like godmother and a host of spooky monsters.

‘Feisty little number’ heads up Energee’s Gloria’s House

Gloria’s House, a new girl-oriented co-production with Germany’s RTV Family Entertainment, is accompanying Sydney, Australia-based Energee Entertainment to MIPCOM this year. The 26 x 26-minute, 2-D animated series has a total budget of about US$6 million and is geared to girls ages eight to 12. ‘The lead character is a feisty little number,’ says Genevieve Dexter, director of co-productions and acquisitions at the U.K. office. ‘It’s not a `pink and purple’ series at all.’

The series is set around Gloria and her hillbilly-ish family after they inherit a run-down house in the posh neighborhood of Chillsville. Delivery is slated for the end of 2000, with Spain’s Luk International handling Spanish rights and RTV and Energee sharing remaining worldwide distribution.

Parka-wearing goat emerges from Eva

London-based Eva Entertainment has partnered with London’s Telemagination to introduce Georgie Goat, a 13 x half-hour, 2-D animated preschool series based on the book by Denis Roche.

Budgeted at US$275,000 per episode, the series centers around the exploits of a parka-wearing girl goat. ‘It’s the closest you can get to preschool drama,’ says Eva’s director of animation John Bullivant. ‘She’s a real character, in that she gets frustrated, jealous and upset with her friends and her mother.’ Slated for a winter 2000 delivery, at press time, Eva was negotiating with U.K. broadcasters and possible co-pro partners in Canada, France and Germany.

Headbone’s Fidgetmore debuts on Fox Family

Seattle, Washington-based Headbone Interactive’s Fidgetmore hits the air on Fox Family Channel this month, just prior to making international rounds at MIPCOM. The 13 x 11-minute, 2-D animated series is budgeted at between US$250,000 and US$300,000 per episode and is geared to the tween girl audience.

‘It’s a show about a group of ninth-grade girls in a second-rate, run-down boarding school,’ says Susan Lammers, executive producer for Headbone. ‘It’s about the trials and tribulations of growing up, but in a humorous way,’ she says.

Cinar hoping for bite with Mona

In an attempt to ride the ‘girl power’ wave, Montreal-based Cinar is bringing Mona the Vampire, a 26 x half-hour, 2-D animated series based on the books by Sonia Holleyman, to MIPCOM for the first time.

The US$8.3-million series, co-produced with Paris-based Alphanim, airs on YTV in Canada this fall, and has been presold to Canal J and France 3 in France, ZDF in Germany, Mediaset in Italy and the U.K.’s BBC. The show, geared to girls ages six to 12, features a 10-year-old sleuth decked out in a vampy costume, intent on solving mysteries in her hometown with the aid of her trusty cat Fang. Cinar is currently looking to license bath and body products, fashion accessories, activity toys and A/V multimedia.

Nelvana launches St. Trinian’s hellions

Remember the exploits of Alistair Sim as Miss Fritton, the befuddled headmistress of a school full of out-of-control fourth-formers in the 1950s? The Nelvana version won’t be quite as racy. Based on the original 1941 cartoon by Ronald Searle, the 26 x half-hour, 2-D animated series St. Trinian’s School for Girls is budgeted at about US$490,000 per episode. Canada’s YTV will air the series starting next February, with negotiations underway at press time to secure additional broadcasters.

The eight to 12 set will meet the likes of Fiona, whose favorite sport is pall-bearing, and Cynthia, who likes to collect headless stuffed animals. The St. Trinian’s hellions square off against their Pollyanna-ish rivals at the St. Francis School for Girls, and generally raise Cain.

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