Nickelodeon is launching a new Intergalactic Shorts Program in an effort to nurture upcoming talent in animation, with a focus on comedy-driven content. The program’s target demo is six to 11s, with a secondary focus on adults 18 to 49 (in keeping with Nick’s co-viewing strategy).
Pitches will be accepted from artists, designers, writers, directors and comedians from around the world, and creators will be provided with the artistic and production support teams necessary to complete a fully animated short. Through the program, the shorts could air on a number of different platforms and potentially be developed for long-form animated series.
The program will be overseen by Ramsey Naito, Nick’s EVP of animation production and development, who was appointed to the role at the end of last year. Additionally, Conrad Vernon (Shrek 2, The Addams Family) recently joined Nickelodeon as executive producer of the shorts program while Derek Evanick (Harvey Beaks) and Diana Lafyatis (Adventure Time) will serve as part of its brain trust. Nina Hahn, Nickelodeon’s SVP of international production and development, will be in charge of bringing in global pitches for the Intergalactic Shorts Program.
While Nickelodeon is looking to cultivate animators from around the world, Disney is focused on artists much closer to home. Last month, the House of Mouse revealed its upcoming SVOD Disney+ will premiere 20 original animated shorts from its Short Circuit program. The Short Circuit program launched in 2016 and gives Disney artists at Walt Disney Animation Studios the opportunity to create original animated short films in an effort to nurture new talent and raise the bar for technical innovation. To date, 20 shorts averaging two minutes in length have been produced through the program.