Cool New Shows

January 1, 2004


Co-producers: Montreal, Canada’s Vivavision and Paris, France-based Method Films

Premise: Based on an original concept dreamed up at Method Films, Flat stars a young boy who gets sucked into a magazine and jumps from book to book searching for an escape route. Exploring mags that cover topics ranging from high fashion to baby care, Vincent meets up with spunky 12-year-old magazine model Kyu, who wants out just as badly as he does.

Style: CGI (but rendered to look like 2-D)

Format: 26 x 24 minutes or 52 x 12 minutes

Demo: Eight to 12

Budget: US$330,000 per half hour

Status: In production

Delivery: April 2004


Co-producers: France’s Les Armateurs and Teva, and Luxembourg’s Studio 352

Premise: This series centers around video game creature Gift, who believes his digital world is real. He and his buddies watch our world (they call it Sitcom) very closely through all of the computer screens, monitors and cameras that hook up to the Internet, looking for clues that lead them on quests to find out where Gift came from.

Style: 3-D animation

Format: 26 x 13 minutes

Demo: Six to 12

Budget: US$4.6 million

Status: In development, with French broadcaster France 2 already


Delivery: Q3 2004

Atomic Monsters

Co-producers: London, England-based Corsham Entertainment and Montreal, Canada’s Context Pictures

Premise: What is a poor monster to do? This series finds giant carnosaur Nick torn between his desire to settle down with his fire-breathing turtle girlfriend in a quiet corner of Monster Island, and his natural urge to rampage. As he curbs his wild side and attempts to negotiate a meaningful peace with the humans in the mainland city of Megatropolis, Nick faces challenges from half of the island’s monster residents – they’re hell-bent on wreaking destruction and mayhem, as any monster worth his salt should be.

Style: 2-D/3-D animation

Format: 26 x 11 minutes

Demo: Six and up

Budget: US$4.3 million

Status: In development, looking for additional funding

Delivery: Q1 2006

Help! I’m an Outlaw

Producer: Cardiff, Wales-based Footpad Films

Premise: Based on folk stories about Welsh outlaw Twm Sion Catti, Help! I’m an Outlaw is set in 18th century Wales and follows the adventures of light-fingered 12-year-old Tom York, a notorious teenage highwayman. Reluctant to take over the family business (robbery, of course) but in need of some kind of income, Tom is dragged into the profession, though he’s actually a coward who prefers a non-confrontational approach to hold-ups. Tom is helped out in his adventures by his best friend Moses, a local peasant who has an affinity for things the world has yet to invent, like toilet paper and toothbrushes. Tom’s love interest – the beautiful Lady Deveraux – happens to bear a striking resemblance to his hotheaded, tomboyish friend DeeDee, who is determined to join the gang.

Style: Live action

Format: 13 x 25 minutes

Demo: Nine to 11

Budget: US$310,000 per episode

Status: In development, commissioned by CiTV

Delivery: Q4 2004


Producer: London, England’s Millimages UK

Premise: Based on a French book series by Yves Got, Louie is set in a preschooler’s alternate reality, where he plays fantastical games with his pals. Everyday objects morph into whatever the game at hand requires – a chair becomes a flying giraffe, a tree trunk turns into a pirate’s galleon, etc. Louie’s gang is protected by Yoko the ladybird, who ensures their safe return to the real world in each episode.

Style: 2-D animation

Format: 26 x 10 minutes

Demo: Three to six

Budget: US$4.3 million

Status: In preproduction, with Millimages seeking additional financing through broadcaster support and/or co-pro partners

Delivery: December 2005


Co-producers: Madrid, Spain’s Zinkia Entertainment and London-based Carlton International

Premise: This vibrant CGI preschool show stars a curious little boy faced with figuring out the world around him. Along with sidekicks Duckie, Elefanta and puppy Lucas, he learns about love, respect and how things work. Episodes are often structured around Pocoyo stumbling upon an object like a kite or building blocks and then being taught by example how to use them. Created in-house by Zinkia, music plays a big role in this show as the episodes end with a happy dance in celebration of Pocoyo’s learning triumphs.

Style: CGI

Format: 52 x seven minutes

Demo: Two to four

Budget: US$3.8 million to

US$4.9 million

Status: In production, with a

presale to CiTV

Delivery: August 2004

P.U. Kung Fu

Producer: Vancouver, Canada’s Studio B

Premise: Chinatown has been taken over by a motley crew of monsters straight out of Asian mythology, including prank-loving Tengus and Kappas (half monkey/half turtle creatures who love cucumbers). Twelve-year-old Pinky takes out an ad looking for superheroes to get rid of the baddies, but the only applicants for the job – three kung-fu zombies and a brain in a jar – seem unlikely champions. Undaunted, Pinky and her ghouls unite and use their fighting abilities, horrid stench and ability to summon unicorns to rid the neighborhood of its monstrous plague.

Style: 2-D animation

Format: 52 x 11 minutes

Demo: Six to 12

Budget: US$250,000 to

US$275,000 per episode

Status: In development with YTV Canada

Delivery: Fall 2005

Ship of Dreams

Producer: New York’s Noodlesoup Productions

Premise: Spencer Hayden is a rambunctious four-year-old who captains a pirate ship and overcomes real-world fears in his dreams. In one episode, for example, Spencer doesn’t want to take a bath because he’s afraid of the monsters in the water. Aboard the Remy, however, he learns that the monsters are quite friendly and like to sing opera. Viewers are encouraged by the ship’s crew (including First Mate Patch, Spencer’s dog in real life) to sing and dance along.

Style: 2-D animation

Format: 13 x 22 minutes

Demo: Boys two to five

Budget: Less than US$200,000 per episode

Status: In development

Delivery: Early 2004


Producer: London, England’s Peak Entertainment

Premise: Starring a foursome of toddler-age fairies who are training to master magical powers like teleportation, morphing and invisibility, this show hits the tricky older preschool demo with a graphic sensibility that’s reminiscent of both estrogen-charged anime and classic girl toons like My Little Pony. The narrative is driven by villain Jumpalina’s plot to capture the Faireez in order to break a banishment spell and ‘Hideous Hex’ placed on her by the King’s sorcerer. The Faireez must dodge Jumpalina’s kidnap attempts and figure out a way to shut her down.

Style: 2-D animation

Format: 52 x 11 minutes

Demo: Ages four to seven

Budget: US$5.6 million

Status: In development, with Network Ten in Australia and GMTV in the U.K. signed on as broadcasters, and additional funding coming from Canada’s Funbag Animation.

Delivery: Fall 2004

This is Daniel Cook

Producer: Toronto, Canada-based marblemedia, in association with Sinking Ship Productions, also out of Toronto

Premise: This magazine-style educational show features five-year-old host Daniel Cook enthusiastically introducing the world around him. In each six-minute segment, Daniel guides his viewers through new experiences like training a puppy, making chocolate truffles and touring a fire station.

Style: Live action

Format: 13 x half hours or 65 x six minutes

Demo: Preschool

Budget: US$45,000 per half hour

Status: The educational series has attracted TVOntario as a co-producing broadcaster, with Canadian nets Knowledge Network, Access and SCN and DVD distributor Casablanca Media also on-board. Daniel has received funding from the Bell New Media and Shaw Children’s funds as well. Toronto-based distributor Picture Box hopes to secure a U.S. presale before the show starts shooting later on this spring.

Delivery: Q4 2004

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