Cool New Shows

April 1, 2002


Co-producers: Nine Network Australia and Telcast in Germany

Distributor: Australia’s Beyond Distribution

Premise: Two teens find a mysterious egg that hatches to reveal a baby dragon. But their fascination with the beastly infant is eclipsed by the arrival of people from another world, who–claiming to be the dragon’s owners–transport the entire group to the far side of the galaxy. There, the teen team struggles to save the dragon race from an ambitious ruler intent on using the dragons as weapons against his enemies.

Status: In development, with financing almost complete

Demo: Tweens

Style: Live action, with CGI and animatronic dragons

Format: 26 half hours

Budget: US$200,000 to US$250,000 per half hour

Delivery: 2004


Co-producers: London’s Egmont Imagination, TV2 Denmark and Vancouver, Canada-based Ocean Group

Distributor: Egmont Imagination

Broadcasters: TV2 in Norway and Denmark, TV4 in Sweden, and Super RTL in Germany

Premise: An established Danish property boasting two feature films, Jungo is now aiming to hit the small screen. The jungle-dwelling critter sets out with his urban pal Rita to find new digs as the city begins to encroach on his natural habitat. The pair’s travels take them far and wide–including the Mediterranean, the Alps and the North Pole.

Status: In production

Demo: Six to 12

Style: 2-D

Format: 13 half hours

Budget: US$300,000 per half hour

Delivery: Spring 2002

Disney’s Kim Possible

Producer: Walt Disney Television Animation in L.A.

Distributor: Buena Vista International Television

Premise: An original creation from executive producers Mark McCorkle and Bob Schooley (who have adapted Disney feature film characters Hercules, Aladdin and Buzz Lightyear for TV), Kim Possible follows the adventures of a high school cheerleader/spy whose missions take her across the globe, but get her back in time for homeroom. Kim’s chief nemesis is Dr. Drakken, who’s bent on recreating Earth as Drakkenville. Somehow, the series’ plucky heroine always manages to thwart his evil, yet comically over-complicated plans.

Status: In production

Demo: Two to 14

Style: 2-D

Format: 21 half hours

Budget: The series will likely run close to Disney’s standard animated TV budget of US$500,000 per half hour

Delivery: Disney’s Kim Possible will begin airing in the U.S. on Disney Channel this June

Pirate Islands

Co-producers: Australia’s Jonathan M. Shiff Productions and France-based Tele Images, with assistance from the Pacific Film & Television Commission and the Australian Film Finance Corporation

Broadcasters: Network Ten Australia, Disney Channel Australia and ZDF in Germany

Premise: Transported into a pirate-riddled video game world, 15-year-old Kate holes up in a self-built tree house, eventually stumbling upon the Castaway Children–led by the dashing Mars. (Does this sound like Peter Pan to anyone else?) Kate’s only way home is to win the game by beating the pirates to the hidden treasure and defeating the ghost guarding it.

Status: In production

Demo: Five to 15

Style: Live action, with animated effects

Format: 26 half hours

Budget: Approximately US$5.2 million

Delivery: Late 2002

Angel Babies

Co-producers: Australia’s Yoram Gross-EM.TV and Malibu, California-based Zuma Entertainment

Distributor: TBD

Premise: Ten little angels–including Mojo, the angel of courage; Bubby, the angel of innocence; and Kelly Jo, the angel of love–attend Heavenly classes in which they learn about life on Earth. Each week, Mother Angel assigns missions that take the Babies to Earth to help and guide human children. When they’ve done enough good deeds, the Angel Babies will earn their golden wings and be offered the chance to be reborn as human kids. The concept that there are angels looking out for us resonates that much stronger in the post-9/11 programming environment, making Angel Babies a strong candidate for North American sales.

A CD soundtrack is in production at Milkbar Studios in Australia, and U.S. toycos have already expressed interest.

Status: Preproduction, with a pilot ready for MIP-TV

Demo: Six to 12

Style: 2-D

Format: 26 half hours

Budget: US$310,000 per half hour

Delivery: Winter 2003

The Curly Tales of Piggley Winks

Co-producers: Mike Young Productions and Ireland’s Entara Limited

Premise: Grandpa Piggley (voiced by Colm Meaney) spends his days on an Irish farm weaving tales about his youth. Starting out by falsely exemplifying how good he was as a piglet, Grandpa’s tales always disintegrate into truer accounts of past shenanigans that inspire his mischievous city-dwelling grandkids.

Status: In production

Demo: Two to seven

Style: CGI key-frame animation

Format: 26 half hours

Budget: US$10 million

Delivery: Fall 2003

Phylactère Cola

Co-producers: Montreal, Canada-based Alliage Superinteruniversel and Sogestalt 2001 (a division of Spectra International)

Distributor: Spectra International

Premise: A sketch-comedy creation tagged as TV for the whole family, the series pokes fun at virtually every entertainment medium–satirizing quiz shows, film trailers, ads, comics, B-movies, reality shows and society in general. The sketches are mostly live-action à la Saturday Night Live, with some 2-D animated effects, sequences and characters thrown into the mix. Anything is possible in this show. Even the simple act of washing your face in the morning can become a sporting event. Zooming in on the animated cleansing bubbles, we find them in the throes of a heated match to see which team can clean more of the face than the other.

Status: Production of the first 13 eps is complete, and another 13 are underway

Demo: Eight and up

Style: Live action, with 2-D animation

Format: 13 half hours

Budget: Sets, costumes and most design elements were handled by the creators themselves, making for a smaller budget of around US$100,000 per ep

Delivery: The first 13 are ready, with the next batch slated for winter 2002


Producer: Film Roman

Premise: A misfit human boy discovers Jumbie-Land–home to a motley crew of animal hybrids known as the Jumbies–and finds friendship and acceptance.

Status: In development

Demo: Two to five

Style: 2-D

Format: Likely 26 x 11 minutes, although the format wasn’t completely finalized at press time

Budget: US$325,000 per half hour

Delivery: Spring 2003

Zoe Kezako

Producer: France-based Sparkling

Premise: Seven-year-old Zoe’s adventures are triggered by pre-pubescent annoyances such as having to clean her room when she wants to watch TV, or her new shoes being too new to wear. Zoe’s attempts to solve or avoid these problems typically end in a lesson learned–turning negatives, such as the arrival of an attention-stealing baby brother, into positives. Upon reflection, Zoe decides her baby bro is cute, fun to play with, and he needs looking after.

Status: In production

Demo: Six to 10

Style: CGI key-frame animation

Format: 26 x 13 minutes

Budget: US$300,000 per half hour

Delivery: The first 13 segments will be ready in July, with the remainder on track for completion in January 2003

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