Eight Flemish animation projects and two co-productions with Flanders are to be presented at next month’s Cartoon Forum, Europe’s prime TV pitching event. Taking place from 23 till 26 September in Toulouse, Cartoon Forum brings together some 850 participants from 30 countries.

The BaronOver 80 TV projects were selected for Cartoon Forum’s upcoming edition, where animation producers can find cross-border partners and speed up financial arrangements. At the core of the event are the pitching sessions: each project is presented in 30 minutes to all potential partners.

Pre-school projects

Five animation projects have found their way into Cartoon Forum’s pre-school section. Animation hub Walking The Dog will present Fox and Hare, a humorous and imaginative series about a surprising mix of animals living together in a forest. The concept is based on the books by the same name, written by Flemish children’s author Sylvia Vanden Heede, and illustrated by Thé Tjong-Khing. Co-producers are Submarine (the Netherlands) and JEP-Animation (Germany).

Walking The Dog is also co-producing Huggleboo, a BosBros-Submarine production from the Netherlands, about a wayward little girl who goes out exploring her house and its surroundings, accompanied by her doll Fluffy.

Joe & Waldo, a series for three-to-five-year-olds, combines animation with live action and shows Joe, a little Inuit, and Waldo the polar bear driving around the North Pole in Waldo’s ice-cream cart. Main producer is De Hofleveranciers, joined by stop motion specialist Beast Animation and France-based Moving Puppet.

Creative Conspiracy is working on OttO’s Tall Tales about six-year-old OttO who has a very vivid imagination. When something triggers his fantasy he folds a small paper hat, puts it on his head and enters his own imaginary world. Eugene & Louise Studio created the concept of this 52-part series.

Finally, the central character of The Tall Tale Tree is master storyteller Eric who takes the little ones on a journey to Africa for a series of magnificent stories. Each of these tales is funny and chock-full of fantasy, but there’s more than meets the eye for careful listeners. Flanders’ Fabrique Fantastique produces the series, in co-production with BosBros from the Netherlands.

Children’s programming

Eyeworks Belgium is developing Dudels, a comedy adventure starring three dynamic scrapbook doodles coming to life. Much like the first explorers they enter a world full of drawn monsters, flowers, candy-landscapes or coffee stains; and they’re in for a surprise.

Roger Flambé returns to Cartoon to present Roger Flambé (animated actor), produced by Thuristar. Following his appearance in the animated short 850 meters, he still dreams of becoming a superstar and sees an opportunity in kids’ animation. A piglet, an alien, a puppet or even an alien piglet puppet – you name it, Roger plays it. Every episode follows Roger and his young co-stars, both onscreen as backstage.

The Baron, a Belgian-German co-production involving Potemkino, Camera Says No and Wonder World, tells the odyssey of the world’s smartest liar and his neurotic pony on the way back to their hometown Munchausen from where they were banished. Besides a TV series, a tablet game of The Baron is also being developed.

Walking The Dog has yet another project in the pipeline, as Flemish co-producers of Zentropa’s Vitello. Living in a suburb of a city where not much happens, Vitello is really not good at being bored. Ideas come to his mind leading him and his friends into adventure.

To round up, Beast Animation will be pitching Sex, say what? in Cartoon Forum’s young adults section. The series follows four friends in their experiences as they hop on the rollercoaster of life. On their journey they discover the secrets of human biology and sexuality, and learn everything about love and relationships.

The variety of animation projects selected for Cartoon Forum illustrates how Flanders is gradually turning into an animation hotspot. Last year Flemish animation studio Grid Animation was awarded as Producer of the Year at Cartoon Forum, while Walking The Dog was equally honoured at Cartoon Movie in March. Beast animation co-produced Stéphane Aubier and Vincent Patar’s Christmas special A Town Called Panic – The Christmas Log, which is nominated for the Cartoon d’Or, the award for best European animated short. Emma De Swaef and Marc James Roels’s Oh Willy… won this prestigious award in 2012.

Fox and Hare, OttO’s Tall Tales, Roger Flambé (animated actor), The Baron, Dudels, Joe & Waldo and The Tall Tale Tree received support from the Flanders Audiovisual Fund/Media Fund of Flemish Minister of Media Sven Gatz. The Baron also received funding from the VAF/Game Fund of Minister of Media Gatz and Minister for Education Hilde Crevits.

Published on Thursday 21 August 2014