Cool New Shows!

January 1, 2005


Producer: L.A.-based PorchLight Entertainment

Premise: Jay Stephens, the creator of Discovery Kids’ animated crown jewel Tutenstein, pays homage to classic Saturday morning toons with his latest project Cryptids. Steering clear of debunking the whys and hows of the paranormal, Stephens leaves the mystery intact and focuses instead on ratcheting up the action and comedy. Cryptids stars a group of kid adventurers who work hard each episode to stay one step ahead of Argost, a foe who aims to collect mysterious and legendary creatures such as the Loch Ness monster and the Abominable Snowman to do his evil bidding. But once the beasts are rescued by these freedom-fighters of the supernatural, things often go awry. In one episode, for example, when they accidentally free a legendary butterfly-like creature called Xochiquetzal too soon, she releases unique pheromones that cause folks to fall madly in love with the first person they see. The pairings this chemical SNAFU produces are hilarious.

Style: 2-D animation

Format: 26 x half hours

Demo: Six to11

Budget: US$300,000 per ep

Status: Currently in development. PorchLight is talking to potential co-pro partners in Germany, the U.K., France and Australia.

Delivery: Fall 2006

Everybody Loves Poppy Cat

Producer: London, England’s Zenith Entertainment

Premise: Getting in touch with his feline side, Andrew Brenner (Maisy, Cramp Twins and The Koala Brothers) has penned a screen adaptation of the Poppy Cat book series that launched two years ago in a dozen countries and sold 55,000 units in December 2003 in the U.K. alone. Created by Brit illustrator Lara Jones, Poppy Cat is a little kitten with a big personality who seeks to teach wee ones about sharing and interaction through stories based around the things she likes to do, including entertaining friends, playing hide-and-seek and baking. In one episode of the series, Poppy Cat is whipping up a cupcake for tea when Mo the mouse pops by for a visit. A huge cake-lover, Mo asks to share the tiny dessert, and Poppy happily agrees to accommodate her guest. But loose-lipped Mo spreads the word about Poppy’s cupcake around town, and soon enough, everyone comes by for a nibble. When the cake comes out of the oven, it’s clearly only made for one person, and the crowd’s disappointment is evident. Poppy Cat saves the day when she suggests a potluck solution – she’ll give everyone a small sliver of the cupcake if they bring a goodie of their own to share. Everyone rushes home to bring back delectable treats like marshmallows and biscuits, and in the end there’s enough for everyone.

Style: 2-D and CGI animation, with some live action to recreate the tactile quality of the books.

Format: 26 x 10 minutes

Demo: Three to five

Budget: Roughly US$4 million

Status: In production

Delivery: Spring 2006

Kid Ninja

Producer: London, England’s Cake Entertainment

Premise: Jet Woo is living a perfectly normal life as 12-year-old suburban kid until he learns that an ancient ancestral prophesy has pegged him to become an elite ninja charged with keeping a small statue that’s been guarded by his family for centuries out of the clutches of the evil Dragonmaster. If this totem is brought together with others in the Dragonmaster’s possession, it will unleash the powers of the Dragonspirits, the otherworldly entities to whom the villain answers. But Jet’s still a kid who has to go to school, do chores around the house and pay an increasing amount of attention to girls, so how can he find time to learn the ways of a ninja? Ably schooled by Kuma, a martial arts Sensai who takes the innocuous form of a walking, talking teddy bear, Jet manages to practice his moves in between taking out the trash and washing the breakfast dishes.

Style: 2-D and CGI animation

Format: 52 x 11 minutes

Demo: Eight to 10

Budget: US$7.8 million

Status: In development

Delivery: The first 26 episodes will ready by February 2006.

Galaxy High

Producer: Paris, France’s Marathon

Premise: Galaxy High is the Harvard of space schools, but three underdogs are severely lowering its bell curve in this new action-comedy from the studio behind Totally Spies! Yoko Tsuno, a 16-year-old who wants to sing karaoke professionally, accidentally applies and gets into Galaxy High and now feels like Reese Witherspoon in Legally Blonde. But while she may not have what it takes to be a Space Marshall, she can still kick an alien to the curb with her high heels. Twelve-year-old Brett is not only too young for school; he’s also too small to reach the pedals of the fighting machines the class is being trained to operate. Still, he shows up everyday like a trooper. And finally there’s Josh, the principal’s son who doesn’t care about school. In one episode, he gets so bored he decides to visit an illegal gambling planet run by a gangster who looks like a cross between Elvis and Yoda. When Josh is discovered, it’s up to Yoko and Brett to distract the angry gambling crowd long enough to sneak him off the planet.

Style: 2-D and CGI


Format: 26 x half hours

Demo: Six to 11

Budget: Approximately

US$15 million

Status: The series is in development, with Jetix Europe, France 3 and Canada’s YTV on-board to air it.

Delivery: January 2006

A.T.O.M. (Alpha Teens On Machines)

Producers: La Garenne-Colombes, France’s SIP Animation and Jetix Europe

Premise: It takes a special kind of adrenaline junkie to test prototype versions of cutting-edge military vehicles and equipment, and five of them make up the elite op-tech team at the heart of SIP’s new boys action toon A.T.O.M. Operating out of a secret headquarters in an abandoned water park, the teens get their kicks putting the latest inventions of freelance tech development specialist Mr. Lee – including near-future quad bikes and mechanized power loaders similar to the ones in Aliens – through their paces. But off the clock, crew leader Axel uses the gear to foil the plans of his nemesis Mr. Paine, so-called because his radioactive scars allow him to transmit his pain to others by touching them. Under the direction of U.S.-based story editors Tom Pugsley and Greg Klein (whose credits include Jackie Chan Adventures and Teen Titans), the series’ scripts strike a good balance between action and comedy, and drawn to the property’s never-ending store of cool vehicles and gadgets, Hasbro has already signed on as worldwide master toy licensee.

Style: 2-D animation with some CGI background elements

Format: 26 x half hours

Demo: Boys six to 10

Budget: Roughly US$320,000 per episode

Status: In production

Delivery: Mid-July 2005

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