‘Little Rikke’ by Chris Garbutt and Rikke Asbjoern

One of the saddest things about the current deconstruction of Cartoon Network is the bits and pieces of pilots and projects being leaked that point to what could have been. Animator Stephane Coedel has posted these charming opening and closing title sequences for a CN rejected pilot created by Rikke Asbjorn.

Little Rikke was co-directed by Rikke Asbjorn and Chris Garbutt
– Character design: Rikke Asbjorn
– Storyboard: Chris Garbutt
– Backgrounds: Sylvain Marc
– Character animation: Rikke Asbjorne, Sylvain Marc, Ben Marsaud
– Compositing, animation, sound supervision: Stephane Coedel.
-Development team of concept: Rikke Asbjoern, Chris Garbutt, Alan Kerswell, Dave Needham, Charlie Bean, Sylvain Marc.

  • Wow. Those opening and closing sequences are really stunning. I have no idea how the actual pilot is, obviously, but these are incredibly artful, and I like the character designs. I didn’t care much for the music in the opening, but liked the music in the end sequence. Congrats to the team of artists behind these…I’m sad shows such as these aren’t being pursued further by CN…

  • Hulk

    Looks great. I’d watch that show. One minor note, when little Rikke hugs the cat in the opening sequence, it looks like they’re dry humping each other for a second there. Seriously though, I wonder what the show would’ve been like. Will it ever air anywhere?

  • The opening and closing looks neat, but how do you know the actual pilot is any good? I can name million cartoons where the opening turned out to be better than the actual show.

    Unless you saw it.

  • Oluseyi

    The closing credits were particularly amazing! Lush, charming, and with a gentle nod to mid-to-late-70s cartoon theme songs. Loved it.

    “Little Rikke – new episode every Thursday on Brew TV”? :p

  • John A

    The background art is very nice.

  • So wonderful. So charming.

    So Sad.

    I now mourn the loss of a cartoon I never had the chance to watch. Woe is us.

  • I love the style of this cartoon

  • I particularly love the ending credits, beautiful backgrounds and colour, and the characters are cute. A shame that if these were on TV they’d probably get squashed into the corner while obnoxious adverts get in the way. Still, I’d even take that over cartoons like this not being screened at all! I hope some of these pilots can find a home else where if possible, seeing as CN clearly don’t want to be associated with cartoons anymore. Adventure Time is going to be the final Swan song, isn’t it?

  • Okay, just so everyone knows, the series was pitched to Cartoon Network UK. That is, it was to be one of those United Kingdom CN co-productions with another studio.

  • doug holverson

    BTW, was their much fan backlash against Cartoonless Network representatives at last weeks Comics Con?

  • Chris Sobieniak

    > The opening and closing looks neat, but how do you know the actual pilot is any good? I can name million cartoons where the opening turned out to be better than the actual show.

    The common stigma of TV animation in general is where the OP animation always looks far better than the expectations are for the rest of the show to be the same way.

    That OP song was used a short while ago for the “Pepsi Throwback” ad campaign (when are they going to bring that back again, another century?). The ending theme I’ve actually heard before, but not as rich as it is here. These guys must really love the KPM stuff, especially Kieth Mansfield, Syd Dale and Alan Hackshaw. Those guys wrote the best tunes!

    As someone just pointed, this was made for CN UK, which puts it in a different matter altogether as we mostly have been complaining about the CN US’s woes. Still, it’s a sorry state if it’s starting to have an impact elsewhere in the world.

  • doug holverson

    How impossible would a Brew TV cable network be? Maybe it could start off showing old public domain cartoons. When the ad money starts coming in, it could pick up some of the cheep syndication packages and low rent Worst Cartoons Ever for cultic viewing. And the programming would keep getting better as the viewership increases and the finances improve.

    I even had an idea walking back from Runza that maybe you could have VeeJays patterned after the “Kaptain Kowboy’s Kartoon Karnival”-type of local market hosted kiddie shows.

    I’ll get back to you after I win Powerball….. :b

  • mike r baker

    It’s just not fair. Just… not… fair… [sigh]

  • doug holverson

    @Chris Sobieniak: KPM stuff?

  • That is so damned appealing. I’d watch this.
    F—ing Cartoon Network.

  • a reader

    Well…that looks WAY too different and appealing to actually give it a shot on the AIR, don’t you think? Good god.

    While should see the the actual show before making judgements, these credits at least would have had me stop the remote to watch them. Something I can’t say about an awful lot of television. Who makes these calls-and how’s that been working out for the last couple of years over there?

  • Greg

    Those have got to be some of the funist sequences ever.

  • Good stuff!
    ‘Cute’ doesn’t have to lack sophistication or be undignified.

  • Chris Sobieniak

    If anything, the fact they did animated end credits is one thing you don’t see really anymore on TV period (at least in North America). Japan still does it best with their work, but we can only hope it won’t become tainted with the same decease that’s affected our productions anytime soon. If only more shows would do end credit sequences again.

    > @Chris Sobieniak: KPM stuff?

    It’s a production library music company. Their work is typical of many films and TV shows that pay a fee to use needle-drop tunes for whatever need calls.

  • DBishop

    Oddly enough if the show did make it to CN, I think we’d almost never get to see those closing credits. I believe they usually sqeeze the credits into a corner while they run a promo for one of their other shows or movies.

  • cartoon

    awe man!! Looks fun !!

  • these are fabulous!! Oh the heartbreak..

  • TheGunheart

    I’ll admit, I’m not that big a fan of the character designs (except for the cat), but good God are backgrounds and lighting gorgeous. I also love the ending credit sequence. So adorable.

  • rikke made me eat a horse biscuit kidding…beware!
    super titles..would have been a super looking show.

  • amid

    Alberto Mielgo’s backgrounds for this project are stunning. Examples of them HERE and HERE.

  • Rob T.

    Having become hooked on the closing credit sequence, especially the music (which gives it a terrific retro feel), I looked up the piece (credited as “Music to Drive By”, as “retouched by” Stephane Coedel). It’s by a studio group led by Joe Loss, an English jazz bandleader turned purveyor of “easy listening” music, some of which is favored by fans of “lounge music” today. A recording of “Music to Drive By” is available on youtube, at least until it comes to the attention of the copyright police. Assuming this is the same recording Coedel used, he
    seems to have “retouched” the piece by digitally speeding it up (retaining the same key) and editing it down to 45 seconds.

    Thanks for putting this up–a small delight, and I’d love to see the whole pilot if it ever turns up!

  • vzk

    That looks really cute, but intros and closing credits of TV cartoons tend to have better animation than the actual episodes. I hope this isn’t one of those cartoons that overuse stock music like Spongebob, Camp Lazlo, The Mighty B, etc.

  • Debbie

    Quite frankly, I can’t say that I’m impressed with it. As one person pointed out, the backgrounds are very nice, but can someone please do something other than the overdone abstract character design? Are this girl and her cat jelly beans, Weebles or Russian nesting dolls? Is this the only type of character design that anyone is willing to even look at?

  • Wow, this looks absolutely gorgeous. I love cute and this does cute beautifully.

  • Cute, beautiful & fun (=

  • Oluseyi

    @doug holverson:
    Launch it on public access tv. Have a Cartoon Brew “affiliate” in each city/state/borough as appropriate who introduces/hosts the show segments before turning over to the playback portions. Use the on-air show to drive interest in the website (, anyone?) and the website to promote the fact that the programming is available on local cable systems. From there approach a Venture Capital group and see about buying one of those underperforming station slots – is PAX/ILN still running?

  • stew

    both tracks are taken from “The Sound Gallery Vol 1” lounge compilation released a few years back

  • Dave K

    I. LOVE. THAT.

    So charming, the mix of cuteness and just the right dash of absurdity. The pairing of the simple character design and the lush, glowing bg’s unexpectedly works wonderfully. And how can you go wrong with the Herb Alpert inspired music?

  • Those backgrounds you linked to are breathtaking. Such life to them. They have a charm seldom seen in 2d animation. The colors are vibrant and unique as well. I have grown so tired of the HB/UPA/Dexter’s Lab looking copycat art. Sad it didn’t go further but you never know… CN bought Adventure Time from Nick, maybe Nick will buy this from CN?

  • Beautiful art direction. The watercolour-look goes really well with the flat characters.

    Too bad for CN(*but especially the rest of us) that this won’t come to our screens.

    Just sad.

  • The stunning backgrounds in the opening are the work of Sylvain Marc, an amazing artist. You can see his other works there:

    Thanks a lot in the name of hte whole team for all your comments!!!

  • This was just adorable! Both the opening and ending credits were mind-blowing! If the pilot was as good as these credits sequence, CN would’ve had a really charming series!

  • Mongoose Jr. III

    Yes it looks lovely, especially to other ANIMATORS.
    I think this looks/feels way too arty to be something that has legs commercially for kids. A lot of people have used the “C” word about it i.e. “charming” which, if I were an executive (which I am not) deciding what goes and what doesn’t, I would see as a BAD sign. Almost as bad as the word “nice”.
    It’s obvious that the artists on it are very talented, it just doesn’t feel like something that could deliver good gags and keep the kids entertained which, after all, is the point.

  • J

    Yes this is lovely, but what the article doesn’t point out that about 8 or so directors pitched their series ideas at CN London and 2 were chosen to actually be made and put into development and are currently being made right now. So whilst it is a shame that this wasn’t chosen – at least CN are making some new cartoon shows.

  • RacattackForce – The show was pitched to Cartoon Network in the UK but it was never intended to be a co-production. It was developed in house at the Cartoon Network European development studio (which you’ll be happy to develops animated projects only) in London, and if picked up would have been a CN original production with a new studio being formed in London for the pre-production.

    Everyone’s comments are incredibly encouraging as development can be rather demoralizing at times and I hope you all get to see more stuff coming out of the studio.

    Unfortunately we’re unable to put the main body of Little Rikke (which is in b+w super-animatic form rather than full-colour animation) on the internet at the present time due to legal reasons. So with just the title seq and end credits it may be hard to gauge the length of it’s commercial legs or it’s ability to deliver good gags to a baying audience of joke hungry kids, but hopefully in the future someone may give us a chance to do just that and take the project further.

  • “at least CN are making some new cartoon shows.”

    They are?

  • @Chris

    Okay, that puts things into perspective a bit more. But I’m still not sure if the actual cartoon itself would be any good.

  • kent osborne

    I’ve seen the pilot and it’s awesome.

  • virtual world games

    Its enchanting and lovely! The colours used and animation of the characters were great! The style and treatment were creative, looking forward to the wonderful pilot.