The 29th edition of Cartoon Forum, the renowned European co-production platform for animated television and new media projects, starts next Monday, September 10, in Toulouse, France.
This year over 80 projects from 21 countries will be pitched over three days. The annual forum is an essential event for the European tv animation industry. It is expected to draw around 950 producers, distributors, investors, and broadcasters, as well as SVOD/VOD platforms such as Netflix, Amazon, and Hopster.
France, as usual, leads the way with 28 projects, followed by the U.K. with nine projects, Germany with eight, Belgium with seven, and Spain with six projects. Three projects apiece will be presented by Finland and Italy.
Canada is the main co-production partner this year, with five animation projects in co-production with France, Italy, Norway, and Ukraine, and a total of seven overall projects.
Almost half of the projects are aimed at children. Pre-school series represent a third of the projects and a little under 10% of the shows are aimed at young adults and adults.
Since starting in 1990, Cartoon Forum has helped over 750 animation series obtain financing to the tune of over 2.5 billion euros in budget.
We looked through all of the projects that will be presented to see what stands out visually from the pack. The following 14 projects caught our attention for their unique graphic approaches, among what is sure to be many other worthwhile projects that will be presented at the forum.
Are you a seven stone weakling who’s tired of trading his lunch for a punch? Have you always dreamed of owning an invisible fish? Have you longed for a smart phone that actually makes you smart? And is your life-long ambition to raise the dead? If so, then “390” is the show for you!
Producers: Calon (United Kingdom), Telegael (Ireland)
TV series – 52 x 3’30
Cosima and her Dad are astronauts. When they become marooned on a new but prehistoric planet, they meet an array of fun and intriguing animals, including the unique and talented Big Lizard. In this 3D CGI series with a Plasticene look, Cosima has a blast hanging out with her new-found friends. They are like one big family, with Big Lizard surprising her and Dad all the time. Inspired by the prehistoric Devonian period where the Coelacanth fish first walked on land, this funny and visually rich situation comedy for pre-schoolers shows us a completely new view on life, full of silliness and adventure!
Producer: Beakus (United Kingdom)
TV series – 52 x 7′
Danielle only likes drawing and she hates school that’s why she gets into a fight with her father that ends up in an accident. Her father is in coma in the hospital but Danielle believes that he was actually captured by the evil King Ogon and is forced to work in his Balora mines. In order to save him she has to pass through a gate that she draws on the wall. Then accompanied by Polly, a creature of her drawing, she embarks on a hazardous journey. Chased by the evil king while fighting the forces that try to pull her back to realty, Danielle has to overcome her greatest fears and eventually save an entire kingdom.
Producers: Ouo time (Spain), Letron TV (Israel)
TV series – 13 x 25′
Within the GloboZone, a huge building, at once a place of life, work and commerce, two employees are bored in their professional lives. Condemned never to leave behind closed doors of this vast complex, they are nevertheless happily united by a common passion: to make music, by means of all the objects that will fall to their hand. Like chemist apprentices in search of new sounds, heroes of the everyday struggle against boredom by creativity, they collect and combine various objects, animals or accessories allowing them sometimes to tinker with grandiose orchestras, sometimes to provoke baroque sound situations or shabby, touching or surprising.
Producer: Umanimation (France)
TV series – 10 x 2′
In Your Face
Have you heard of street harassment? Those repetitive catcalls and unsavory remarks – you’re too fat, too black, too gay, in a too short skirt – have become harder and harder to miss. But why not give them an answer? Only out of politeness, of course!
Producers: Doncvoilà productions (France), Bridges (France)
TV series – 30 x 1′
Captain Nemo, a young woman, captures the famous writer Jules Verne to make him witness of her fight for the protection of undersea worlds and to the harm that humankind is inflicting upon Nature. Aboard the Nautilus, she shows him wonderful species and unsuspected natural ecosystems, and guides him towards all-out rebellion against the industrial world. Together with the renegade harpooner Ned Land and the young Conseil, they fight Cachalot, a fishing tycoon and notorious whale killer.
Producer: Le Regard Sonore (France)
2d computer, 3d computer, cut-out, live-action
Mum is Pouring Rain
Jeanne, 8, often gazes at her navel, but that’s because she thinks it looks nice. Her mother is struggling with depression; she sends Jeanne to spend Christmas at her grandma’s in the countryside. There, Jeanne meets new friends, and a strange bum called Cloclo. He smells bad but he’s a real chef like Jeanne’s mum, although he only cooks dishes using people’s garbage. As Jeanne learns to open herself to others, she realizes that she might be the one to help her mother out of her condition. With the support from her new friends, Jeanne will get her mum out of the hospital for depressed people, and will show that her talent as a chef should not be wasted.
Producer: Laïdak Films (France)
TV special – 26′
Since his parents’ frequent arguments Noah, 10, suffers from anxiety which is often accompanied by a painful vision of a growing tree rooted in his chest. On a snowy day Noah finds out that his parents are going to divorce and they won’t spend Christmas together. Noah’s anxiety grows into a panic attack and he loses consciousness. When waking up he finds himself in a forest with hundreds of trees. Lost and confused he meets three little creatures: two elves and a boy bat. They tell Noah that all of the trees once were humans who couldn’t sort out their relationships. His new friends start to teach Noah how to express his feelings so that he can get rid of his anxiety and the ’chest-tree’.
Producer: Filmfabriq (Hungary)
TV special – 25′
Odo follows the adventures of a little owl who can’t sleep when he is supposed to. All the other owls, including Odo’s parents, are nocturnal and sleep during the day. But Odo is different. He’s the only daytime owl in the forest. To keep Odo busy while they sleep, his parents send him to the Forest Summer Camp where he mixes with young birds of all types and learns all about life in the woods. Odo, as the sole representative of owl-kind at this time of day, is determined to prove that owls are every bit as capable as all the other birds and that, even though he is little in size, he can make a big impact. “Odo” is a show about a little owl’s refusal to be what society expects him to be.
Producers: Letko (Poland), Sixteen South (United Kingdom)
TV series – 26 x 7′
2d computer, cut-out
Patapwal is a little prehistoric girl who suffers from inventionitis – an irrepressible need to help others by creating solutions to their problems. All their problems that is, even non-existent ones! Since she landed in the 21st century, the bubbly Cretaceous has one goal: using her prehistoric equipment to solve the problems of her hyper-connected new friends. All their problems that is, especially non-existent ones! Accustomed to manage the nightmares of the Dinosaur era (eating, protecting themselves…), she does not always grasp the complexity of modern habits and problematic. And let’s not even get started on new technologies! No worries: only inventions matter!
Producer: Take Five (Belgium)
TV series – 52 x 13′
2D computer, drawn
Gisèle, Raymond, Lucy, and Maurice are inhabitants of the hyper-connected megalopolis, Clamville, which is at the bottom of the Atlantic Ocean. These four fish have nothing at all in common: age, gender, social status, political orientation, pastimes… Nothing, apart from their Shellphones, that they clinch onto like clams on a rock. In real life, they don’t know each other, but their paths cross and they spy on each other on social media: Crabpot, Flipper and SashiMe. Has their social life any chance of survival faced with the invasion of Shellphones? Who’s really hiding behind those fisheyes?
Producer: Kazak Productions (France)
TV series – 30 x 2’30
2D computer, drawn
Tufo is the true story of a Sicilian builder who became a target of the Mafia. For years, his company was damaged and his family was threatened, yet he never gave in to their will. Thanks to his fight, the criminals have been incarcerated and judged. He and his family still live in Sicily today.
Producer: Les Contes Modernes (France), ShowLab (Italy)
TV special – 55′
2d computer, live action
1963 – True story! Few humans build an experimental submarine city and try to live under the sea for few weeks… and then go home. But… what if they secretly stayed in? Centuries after, how would their offsprings look like? How would they survive, if the old submarine city would be destroyed by the big sea-cleaning started by the humans of the surface? To know it… you’ll have to do like Erika, 10-years-old: clandestinely invite yourself on their how-so-little-yellow submarine! Get on board! Boring times are over, let your adventure begin!
Producer: La Chouette Compagnie (France)
TV series – 26 x 22’30
Welcome to Woolly Woolly, a small, soft, cozy world! Woolly Woolly is a cuddly universe populated by a happy tribe of small multicoloured gnomes: the Woollies. Life is comfy and bright here, and friendliness and imaginative playing are the values that bring the Woolly Woolly community together. Woolly Woolly, the first TV series that’s entirely hand-knitted.
Producer: Normaal (France), Groupe PVP (Canada)
TV series – 52 x 11′