Pixelatl’s Ideatoon is a program that gets its fair share of coverage on Cartoon Brew, and the reason is simple: it’s a truly unique program that is helping develop an exciting animation industry in Mexico.

Pixelatl has learned from earlier missteps of Asian countries that became large animation outsource hubs in the last few decades, but have struggled when it came to establishing their own local IP. So Pixelatl’s goal isn’t just to train artists in how to create animation, but to also teach artists how to take a leadership role by learning to develop their own content using industry-standard methods. Increasingly, the group is also training young entrepreneurs on how to run an animation business.

The director and founder of the program, José Inesta, puts it best in his description of what Ideatoon is about: “Connecting Mexican creatives with the world to overcome boundaries, became our source of inspiration. We are a Mexican association passionate about the power of storytelling, the development of original IP, and the promotion of the creative industries as a lever for the development, dignification, and reconciliation for Mexico.”

“Rapper Ripiti.”

The program’s results, in just five short years, are remarkable. I’ve attended most editions of Pixelatl since 2014, and even in that short period of time, there has been noticeable evolution of how event participants think about their characters and how they design their universes. Others, too, are noticing the quality of the work: multiple projects pitched at Pixelatl’s Ideatoon over the last few years have been greenlit for production by major entertainment companies, most famously Alan Ituriel’s Villainous, which is being produced by Cartoon Network Latin America.

“Starfaring Weekly.”

The latest edition of the Ideatoon Bootcamp took place last month in Cuernavaca, Mexico. For the event, 250 applications were received from throughout Latin America, and 24 animation projects were chosen to participate. Those 24 creators worked with 9 international mentors and industry experts to develop and refine their ideas, and at the end of the event, 11 finalists were chosen to go on to the Pixelatl Festival and Ideatoon Summit, which takes place from September 4-8 in Cuernavaca, Mexico. At the Ideatoon Summit, they’ll pitch their projects to broadcasters and producers attending the summit.

“Dog Central.”

The eleven finalists for the 2018 Ideatoon are:

  • Rapper Ripiti by Gabriel Pichardo & Yasmin Islas
  • Anomallies by Diego Ramírez, Sebastián Ramírez
  • Huge by Diego Herrera León (COSTA RICA)
  • Mace and the Multiverse by Alam Gómez, Arantxa Ramos, Gabriel Rivera
  • Complaint Box by Esteban Granados, Peter Asley
  • The Apprentice of the Phoenix by Cinema Fantasma
  • Starfaring Weekly by Miguel Torres, Stefano Murillo
  • Dog Central by Demente Studio
  • Wild Cupcake by Carlos Rupit, Thalia Mendoza
  • The Arthur’s Watch by Rafael Coffee
  • Curtis & Bean by Edino Israel Ferreyra

To learn more about Ideatoon, visit the event’s website.

“Mace and the Multiverse.”

Amid Amidi

Amid Amidi is Cartoon Brew's Publisher and Editor-at-large.