Sardine makes waves with a fish-centric first project
If you’re in the market for a new Canadian co-production partner with a whack of really unique projects in its pipeline, you might want to check out Montreal-based Sardine Productions. The year-old animation studio’s first original animated series My Goldfish is Evil came out of nowhere to nab the third spot on Reed Midem’s list of most-screened projects at MIPCOM Junior (out of a total 738 programs).
The 26 x 22-minute comedy/adventure toon is about an eight-year-old boy with a super-intelligent yet Machiavellian pet goldfish who’s determined to take over the world. In one episode, Mr. Bubbles secretly overfeeds Beanie’s colony of sea-monkeys at night until the aquatic critters grow to a height of seven feet. He incites them to bust out of the apartment, but the situation escalates out of control when the sea-monkeys turn on their tyrannical goldfish leader. Beanie steps in to save the day and rescue his fish.
Sardine has presold the 2-D animated show to the CBC and Vrak.TV in Canada, and Telefilm has kicked in some development funding. The studio is looking for co-production partners and international distributors to help complete the financing puzzle in time to deliver the US$6.5-million series in 2005. My Goldfish is Evil targets kids ages six to 12.
Storimages’ donkey project needs a little top-up
With 80% of its US$930,000 budget locked in, Storimages’ new preschool series Trot-Trot seems likely to hit its fall 2004 delivery target. Based on a two-year-old picture book series by Bénédicte Guettier that has sold more than 100,000 copies to date in France, the 39 x 3.5-minute series stars an adorable little donkey who is carving out his independence one mishap at a time. When he takes both hands off his bike’s handlebars before he’s old enough to find the right balance, for example, he takes take a tumble and learns a lesson.
The look of the 2-D animated show is very ‘pencil-and-paper’ – sort of in the same vein as Universal’s Maisy. France 5 is on-board as the domestic broadcaster, and Paris-based Storimages was in negotiations with French commercial nets and video distributors at press time. As far as exporting the 24-book series goes, publishing deals have already been signed in Italy and Denmark, and talks are underway for Japan, Germany, Australia, the U.K. and Israel.
Red Kite’s got issues with The Frightened Family
With Red Kite Animation’s The Frightened Family in the small-screen pipeline, life’s about to look a whole lot better to every kid who’s ever felt smothered by an over-protective parent. Targeting kids eight to 12 and families, this CGI series is about little Helmut’s eternal struggle to get out of the house and do normal things. But with a family that practices extreme caution – Helmut’s father, for example, barbecues hotdogs in metal-forging gear with a 10-foot pole – that proves to be a monumental challenge for young Helmut.
Based on Scottish sculptor and show creator Mhairi Corr’s own family, the 52 x 11-minute series is budgeted at US$8.7 million. With just one script and five storylines completed, the show is still in early development, and Red Kite is looking for co-producers to help take it to the next level.