Everybody loves Raymond (well, mostly)
A shock of red hair atop a bulbous cranium, a sensitive heart and an underdog’s mentality all mark eight-year-old Raymond as he tries to navigate the everyday foibles of grade-school life.
Raymond, a new 26 x 6 minute series from Paris, France’s Everybody on Deck Productions, takes a sympathetic and light-hearted look at its title character and his family, classmates and friends. Aiming to capture the seven to 10 year old demo, the program focuses on the minutiae of Raymond’s life from his own self-conscious perspective.
The simple traditional animated style, from France’s 2 Minutes has a handmade feel that creates a warm gentleness clearly expressed through the tiny pupils that swim in the oversized pools of white in each character’s eyes.
Raymond becomes enamoured with his movie star idol John Travolthon in one episode, and decides to ignore his natural anxieties and try out for the school play. Although Raymond isn’t exactly a gifted performer, the teacher decides he would be perfect for one role – a pumpkin. As is often the case, Raymond turns his bad luck into good. He ends up as the star of the show when he mistakenly slides across the set and destroys the evil dragon.
The series is being co-produced by France’s Canal+ and Gulli TV and is budgeted at a shade under US$1.26 million. After a promising showing at Cartoon Forum in Pau, France in September, producers hope to have the series delivered by September or December 2007.
Time-traveling siblings discover seeds of invention
A magic word transports Bronze Age siblings Garth and Bev into the future to explore the inventions that have shaped the modern world in the new animated series Garth, produced by Dublin, Ireland-based Kavaleer Productions.
The 52 x 5 minute episode series uses a watercolor style developed in Adobe Photo Shop to create a vibrant animated feel that producers hope will hook kids four to seven.
At times irreverent, the show revolves around historical figures and visits to famous moments in history to explore the connection between nature and invention.
In the pilot, Garth and Bev visit Thomas Edison in 18th Century America and help the famous inventor discover electricity with the help of a firefly. Other planned episodes include Garth and Bev visiting the likes of William Shakespeare and Charles Darwin. Although the show has an educational bent, the underlying narrative will be full of chuckles and broad physical humor.
At a total cost of US$2.9 million, Kavaleer has been able to dip into the Broadcasting Commission of Ireland Fund and is looking to add to its presale to TG4 in Ireland with international distribution deals. The prodco’s currently in preliminary discussions with possible partners in the U.K. and France, and is hoping to deliver the first 13 eps by March 2007 and the next 13 by Q1 2008.