Cool New Shows!

October 1, 2002


Producer: Vancouver, Canada-based Studio B Productions

Premise: Tony the Tiger, Sugar Bear and Cap’n Crunch may have deep roots in pop culture, but what about those cereal pitchmen that never really made the grade? It turns out they all left the cereal biz for a backwater burg called Breakfastown. A tale of cerealebrity has-beens, Flakes is still in very early development so scripts haven’t been written yet, although a bible will be available at market.

Style: 2-D animation

Demo: Eight to 12 (though development is open to broadcaster input)

Format: 52 x 11 minutes

Status: In development

Budget: Around US$300,000 per half hour

Delivery: Likely January 2004

Code Warriors (working title)

Producers: Granada Kids/Granada International

Broadcaster: Commissioned by CiTV

Premise: In the not-so-distant future, the government develops a computer program which self-mutates into a being that threatens to take over every computer in the world. To pull the plug on that plan, the government employs five on-line tween/teen gamers from various cities across the globe in a seek-and-destroy mission.

Style: Live action with CGI

Demo: Tween boys

Format: 26 half hours

Status: In development. Granada is looking for co-pro partners to begin pre-production in January 2003.

Budget: US$500,000 to US$600,000 per ep

Delivery: Late 2003

Pitt & Kantrop

Producer: Millimages

Premise: This prehistoric comedy follows the misadventures of Pitt, a 13-year-old member of the Pitticus tribe. Along with the domesticated pterodactyl Kantrop (the last of his kind), Pitt tries to revolutionize the world and discover the true meaning of progress. But as Pitt learns, progress can be a bad thing when people aren’t ready for it.

Style: 2-D animation

Demo: Eight to 12

Format: 26 half hours

Status: Pre-production to begin late this year

Budget: US$350,000 per half hour

Delivery: June 2004

Jacob Two-Two

Producer: Toronto, Canada-based Nelvana

Broadcaster: Presold to Canuck kidnet YTV

Premise: Adapted from Canadian author Mordecai Richler’s Jacob Two-Two Meets the Hooded Fang, the series features Jacob, the youngest of five kids who’s nicknamed Two-Two because he has to say everything twice in order to be heard. Although full eps haven’t been developed yet, the idea is to chronicle Jacob’s run-ins with the adult world as he overcomes childhood obstacles and cultivates self-confidence.

Style: 2-D digital animation

Demo: Six to 12

Format: 26 half hours

Status: In production

Budget: Roughly US$300,000 per half hour

Delivery: May 2003


Producers/Partners: U.K.-based Tell-Tale Productions and Universal International Television

Broadcaster: BBC

Premise: Based on a hide-and-seek model, this series invites audience interaction at the beginning of each ep, as kids try to find energetic beanbag toy Boo in strange new places. Boo doesn’t speak, letting his actions and the show’s child-narrator speak for him as he explores the interesting elements and characters of new environments such as a castle, a rocket or a garden. Each ep culminates in a song that reviews all that was learned.

Style: Computer-generated 2-D animation

Demo: Preschool

Format: 52 x 10 minutes

Status: In production

Budget: Roughly US$250,000 per half hour

Delivery: September 2003

Dr. Snuggles

Producer: U.K.-based Animatrix

Premise: In this redux of the classic toon Dr. Snuggles, the globetrotting inventor travels to strange worlds in his rocket ship Dreamy Boom Boom. His goal is to save creatures great and small from the threat of some diabolical scheme hatched by Professor Emerald – like his Unbearably Itchy Potion that spreads across the globe, his Maze of Manic Monsters or his Grotto of Ghastly Ghosts. Of course, every episode sees the good doctor return in time for tea and biscuits. The original series has enjoyed global airtime for more than two decades and is still running in Canada (TVOntario), Finland (YLE) and Germany (WDR and Kindernet). Telemagination is producing the 3.5-minute pilot for MIPCOM.

Style: 2-D animation

Demo: Five to eight

Format: 13 half hours

Status: In production

Budget: US$350,000 per ep

Delivery: Fall 2003

Four Eyes!

Producers: France 3, L.A.-based Porchlight Entertainment, France-based Pictor Media, R.G. Prince Films out of Korea and Telegael Teoranta in Ireland

Broadcaster: France 3

Premise: After flunking the fifth grade, spoiled alien Emma is shipped off to private school on Earth, where she must take the form of a nerdy little girl. Emma can only return home once she’s passed the fifth grade and learned to get along with the locals, which doesn’t look like it will happen any time soon. In one ep, Emma attempts to prove how pathetic earthlings really are by creating a matter transporter for the school science fair, in lieu of the traditional baking-soda volcano. She then spends the rest of the afternoon trying to recover it after a secret government agency steals it.

Style: 2-D animation

Demo: Six to 12

Format: 52 x 11 minutes

Status: In production

Budget: US$300,000 per half hour

Delivery: Slated to air on France 3 next September

Pinky Dinky Doo

Producers: New York-based Sesame Workshop and Cartoon Pizza

Premise: Pinky Dinky Doo – which began as a web series – explores early literacy through storytelling and interactive game play. In one ep, precocious six-year-old Pinky can’t find her shoes, so she slaps two pieces of baloney on her feet. When she gets to school, she realizes that all her friends and teachers have done the same thing, and at lunchtime, boots and shoes are being served as food…what gives? That’s what the audience needs to work out, with a recap of events at the end of each ep and questions like ‘What was Pinky wearing at the beginning of the show?’ A six-book deal is underway with Random House for a 2003 launch.

Style: 2-D Flash animation over live-action backgrounds

Demo: Four to seven

Format: Currently two x 11 minutes

Status: In production

Budget: Roughly US$2,000 to US$3,000 per minute

Delivery: Sometime in 2003


Producer: Toronto’s Portfolio Entertainment and Montreal, Canada-based Zone 3

Premise: Baby white seals Snowflake and Snowball are siblings who live on an ice floe in the Arctic. They speak their own language, using gestures and sounds to engage viewers. Structured to teach preschoolers the power of imagination, creativity and friendship, each ep follows the seals as they explore their world, usually coming across a mysterious object (like a toaster, tennis racket, doll or toy truck) and trying to make sense of it.

Style: Live action and puppetry

Demo: Preschool

Format: 45 half hours

Status: The series has already had a limited run in French Canada on Tele-Quebec, with new episodes in production for next year

Budget: US$100,000 per ep

Delivery: Available now

Tomato Twins

Producers: Hong Kong’s Agogo International Limited (formerly Animation Services Hong Kong) and Singapore-based Peach Blossom Media

Broadcaster: Presold to Nickelodeon Asia

Premise: Accidentally given an experimental concoction in place of baby formula when they were infants, now seven-year-old twins Ti-yo and Ti-ann have extraordinary powers like flight and super strength that help them fight fiendish feline Kat Pest Trophy and his army of robots, who continuously attempt to take over the town of Happia.

Style: 2-D animation

Demo: Seven to 11

Format: 13 half hours

Status: Production is complete, and the toon is scheduled to air on Nick Asia in November

Budget: US$200,000 to US$250,000 per ep

Delivery: Available now

Tama & Melody

Producer: France Animation

Premise: Based on the book Peau et Vent by Marie Félicité Ebokéa, this series explores two different cultures through little girls Tama and Melody, who share a love of music. Melody moves to Tama’s African city of Kalimba and discovers African culture through the pair’s adventures.

Style: 2-D animation

Demo: Eight to 12

Format: 52 x 13 minutes

Status: In development

Budget: US$250,000 to US$300,000 per half hour

Delivery: Late 2003 or 2004

Little Red Tractor

Producer: U.K.-based The Little Entertainment Company, distributed outside the U.K. by Entertainment Rights

Broadcaster: Commissioned by the BBC

Premise: Based on a preschool book that has sold more than 500,000 copies in the U.K. over the past six years, Little Red Tractor is about an old tractor that has fallen into disrepair, but is lovingly restored by the Farmer. Unlike Thomas the Tank Engine, Little Red Tractor doesn’t feature vehicles with facial features. They are alive and operate independent of human direction, but communicate through toots, whistles and such. In one ep, the Farmer and his kids are cleaning out the barn when they find an old treasure map drawn by the Farmer’s father. The kids go in search of the prize, which ends up being a cup that their grandfather won in a tractor race against his neighbor Mr. Jones. The cup was buried on Jones’s property and when he finds out they’ve unearthed it, he suggests another race pitting the Little Red Tractor against his Big Blue. The moral of the story is that bigger isn’t necessarily better. Big Blue gets stuck between the gates and Little Red wins, proving that if he tries really hard, he can be the best.

Style: Stop-motion model animation

Demo: Two to five

Format: 26 x 10 minutes

Status: Pre-production

Budget: Just over US$3 million

Delivery: 2004

Monster in My Pocket

Producer: U.K.-based Peak Entertainment

Premise: Putting kids in control of things that go bump in the night is the hook behind this new fantasy-adventure series. Described by Peak CEO Wilf Shorrocks as Lord of the Rings meets Harry Potter meets Men in Black, Monster in My Pocket is about a quest to recapture all the world’s monsters, who escape when a young human named Jason is tricked into releasing them from their natural resting place – the mystical Cloak of Monsters. The creatures are pocket-sized initially, but all it takes is one human scream to make them shoot up to gigantic. Jason teams up with an ancient wizard and his best friend Diana to round up the stray monsters before they fall into the hands of Morlock, an evil sorcerer who’s bent on feeding off their power to control the world.

Style: CGI

Demo: Four to 11

Format: 26 x half hour

Status: Pre-production

Budget: US$8 million

Delivery: Fall 2003 or spring 2004

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