Since quietly launching two years ago with the the goal of remaking Fido Dido for a modern TV audience (see ‘Fido Dido finds life beyond 7UP’ on page 102), New York-based Honest Entertainment has come on like a freight train, amassing a portfolio of six original properties in just as many months.
Although the new concepts are all in the early development phase, a 26 x 11-minute tween toon called Tony Curlynose: Earthboy in Space has already attracted the attention of Paris-based Carrere, which has signed on as a co-production partner. A futuristic 2-D animated concept, Curlynose is set in a utopian world where everyone is perfect–except Tony, who is born with a rather elongated and curly schnoz. After refusing plastic surgery, Tony is sent away by his horrified parents to join fellow outcasts on the planet Ickypoo. The intended punishment has the opposite effect: Tony loves Ickypoo, especially its non-sterile smells.
Next up is a series in development based on an Australian social expressions property. Created by Aussie artist Kyla May Horsfall, the Fleabag and Friends greeting card line is distributed Down Under by Hallmark and Simpsons. Honest plans to introduce the cards in the U.K. and North America to seed these markets for the TV series. Aimed at an eight to 12 audience, Fleabag and Friends is about a purebred dog who discovers he has fleas, a condition that ostracizes him from his pedigreed pals. To get rid of the problem, the pooch endures a humiliating flea bath treatment, only to discover that one tiny egg has survived the chemical assault. When Itchy Flea hatches, he’s convinced that Fleabag is his mother/father, sending the dog into an even deeper funk. After reconciling the nature of their relationship, Itchy and Fleabag move with their family from Australia to New York, and then spend each ep escaping the apartment to explore their new urban surroundings.
Also on the slate is a young preschool show banking heavily on the draw of music, which two-year-olds often glom onto before they learn to speak. Musikazoo (working title) is a 100 x 10-minute puppet show set in a tune-centric world in which the flowers sing and the bridges are xylophones. ‘We’ve been working in conjunction with music teachers,’ says Honest founder and president Joanna Ferrone (who created Angela Anaconda with Susan Rose), studying the positive effects music has on kids and whether they’d cotton on to a story and settings completely driven by it. The main characters are little spiders that comprise an arachnid quartet bent on discovering new sounds every day. The musical elements they collect are combined into a full-on ditty that’s played at the end of each show. According to Ferrone, Musikazoo (which is budgeted at roughly US$5 million) could be ready for delivery in nine months once the financing and partners are in place.
Rounding out the six-pack of new projects are Ahn Trio, Club Kids and cut-out series Family Values, which will be co-produced with Mainframe Entertainment.