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European Cartoon Network Pilots

Back in 2009, Cartoon Network Development Studio Europe in London created six 3-minute pilots under the creative direction of Timothy Björklund, who had previously directed American shows like Teacher’s Pet and Brandy & Mr. Whiskers. The studio finally posted them on-line yesterday. The nicest thing one can say is that there’s a lot of talent in that studio and the graphics are fun, but the uniformly obnoxious and aggressive tone of the shorts is an unpleasant reminder of the early-2000s US TV animation industry when nobody seemed able to shake off the combined Spumco/Spongebob influence.

The London studio recently produced its first original series The Amazing World of Gumball, and from the previews I’ve seen, it suffers from the same retrograde tone of these pilots. In a post-Adventure Time world that emphasizes individuality and personal style, generic wackiness doesn’t cut it anymore.

Judge the pilots for yourself:

Elliot’s Zoo by David Needham

The Furry Pals by Rikke Asbjorn

Verne on Vacation by Sylvain Marc

Pinky Malinky by Chris Garbutt

Mutant Moments by Alan Kerswell

Hamshanks and the Himalolly Mountain Railway by Tom Parkinson

(Thanks to everybody who emailed about these.)