Cartoon Forum celebrated its 20th anniversary in the rain in Norway; the kids event, which is being held in Stavanger in the Rogaland province of the country, continues to be one of the most exciting, and chilled out TV events, in the kids TV calendar.
The first day of the market was rocked by the news that Cartoon Network chief Finn Arnesen, one of the most high profile faces in the industry, is leaving the kids pay broadcaster.
However, this didn’t dampen the spirits of the 730 animation executives from over 25 European countries.
Kinky and Cosy, a coproduction between French producer Ellipsanime and Belgian indie Belvision, was the buzz show of the first day with a crowded room forcing many to stand. The 100x3mins series, which has a budget of Euro1.6 million, follows the adventures of two crazy young girls and is extremely rude and irreverent. The show is reminiscent of an animated version of Yo Gabba Gabba if it aired on Adult Swim and is expected to be distributed by Mediatoon. “Is it preschool? Educational? Well behaved? No,” says creator Nix.
Meanwhile, Target Entertainment’s preschool series Skybabies, HRTv’s girl skewing Pebble Bay Ponies and Cartoon One’s Crocco and Dillo were all well received, with the latter attracting interest from the BBC and Italian broadcaster RaiSat. Disney XD’s European acquisition chief Dominic Gardiner picked out The Viking Academy, which is a coproduction between SF Norge, AB Svensk Filmindustri and Juonifilmi, as his highlight of the day, with a boy skewing sense of comedy and violence.
Day two was all about Granny O’Grimm, a series from Irish producers Brown Bag Films, which forced long queues and a spirited presentation that included a stand up comedy routine from its creator Kathleen O’Rourke. The show, which has been adapted from an award winning short film into a 26x11mins series, follows Granny O’Grimm as she looks after her grandchildren and reads them fairytales with a slightly bitter twist. “Convention says that you couldn’t have a granny as the lead character in a kids TV series so we were happy when Pixar broke the mould with Up with a grandad as the main protagonist,” says Brown Bag exec Nicky Phelan. The show, which has a budget of Euro3.5 million, is supported by Irish public broadcaster RTE and is expected to close a number of deals in the coming weeks.
Meanwhile, Snapper Productions’ Q Pootle 5, a series developed by author Nick Butterworth and UK animation studio Blue Zoo, was also a breakout hit with Norwegian public broadcaster NRK and German kids channel Super RTL both registering serious interest. Other series to make a name for themselves included Roxy and The Rubens, another Irish project from Magma Films, that features a teenage rock band, and Millimages’ Me and My Robot, a Euro6 million series coproduced with Tuba Entertainment for France Televisions.
Blinklife, the only project at the forum that wasn’t aimed for kids, also drew a packed room, with Le Singe Media’s David Curry attracting interest from distributors including E1 Kids and BBC Worldwide for the Euro600,000 Modern Toss-esque adult comedy.