It’s been almost 20 years since Barcelona-based BRB Internacional has touched a preschool project, but the target demo is back on its radar for Kambu. The designs inspiring this 104 x five-minute CGI series come from a Korean studio called Chako, and they center around an expressive and naive dog who delivers airmail to the inhabitants of Mystery Island. Along with his sidekick, an affectionate but anxious little lovebird named Mayday, Kambu’s mail runs are all about spreading good news and cheer through things like greeting cards and gifts. But he’s often foiled by the backwards and upside-down nature of Mystery Island, which is inhabited by incongruous species like tiny elephants, giant ants and cowardly ghosts.
Navigating through the strange land and interacting with its quirky islanders naturally leads to a lot of slapstick comedy. In one episode, a voiceover explains that Kambu is excited that summer has finally arrived and packs a swimsuit and picnic for a day at the beach. But outside, it’s snowy and freezing. So instead of building sandcastles, Kambu and Mayday end up making a snowman on the beach, and it isn’t long before a playful snowball fight involving all the locals erupts.
BRB is co-producing this project, which is budgeted at US$7.4 million, with Chako and Barcelona’s Screen 21. BRB will handle worldwide distribution outside of Southeast Asia, which goes to Pixtrend, a regional distributor that has already made a sale to KBS in Korea. BRB has released a small line of licensed MP3 and USB devices, wallpapers, publishing, apparel and toys in Singapore and Korea as a way to test the appeal of characters. So far, this early L&M rollout has gone over well at retail, says Carlos Biern, BRB’s head of co-productions, licensing and new technologies development.