Zany aliens romp through Earth in search of the perfect beat when Beat Monsters, Turner Broadcasting’s largest animation project in South Korea, touches down across Asia, Europe, the Middle East, and Africa next year.
It’s an important development, as Korea transitions from service work and subcontracting jobs from Western companies into locally created ideas. As Cartoon Brew reported earlier this year, South Korea’s Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism is investing well over $300 million through 2019 into its domestic animation industry.
Turner’s team-up with Korea’s Synergy Media and Studio Goindol on Beat Monsters is a formative step in that direction. The international co-production will create 52 two-minute shorts (plus additional micro-shorts) that blend CGI with live-action elements. Scheduled to begin airing in late 2016, Beat Monsters will appear on Turner’s kids’ channels across Asia Pacific, including Cartoon Network, Boomerang, and Toonami, as well as Cartoon Network in Europe, the Middle East, and Africa.
“To partner with Turner and have exposure for our IP across millions of households is a real boon for us,” said Synergy Media president Eugene Kang in a press release. “I am really happy to see humorous Asian ideas go global, and hope that this is just the first of many projects and co-productions that Turner and Synergy will be able to work on together.”
“These fun and fresh shorts are exactly what we’re looking for as part of our International Shorts Program,” added Mark Eyers, Turner’s chief content officer for kids’ networks in Asia. Turner Asia Pacific’s shorts program is currently focused on producing content to fulfill demand not only on broadcast, but also for its multi-platform services and apps such as Cartoon Network Anything and Cartoon Network Watch and Play. The network is also working with studios and artists in Singapore, Taiwan, India, Australia, the United States, and Japan.
Directed by Studio Goindol president Jeong-soo Hur, the Beat Monsters has been in development since at least 2012 when this trailer was posted online:
A more refined pilot episode was posted on Vimeo last year, with a hyperactive style that borrows generously from vinyl toy aesthetics and Pixar’s Monsters Inc. Sound plays a big role in the dialogue-less pilot with the characters themselves generating plenty of noise as they contest for the front seat of their limo rides, enjoy high-end dinners, and take triumphant selfies. At a couple minutes apiece, the series looks like it’ll rely on broad physical comedy more than anything else.