Animationweek a global creative hub Wed, 21 Mar 2018 09:35:21 +0000 en-GB hourly 1 Cartoon Movie 2018 at a glance Thu, 15 Mar 2018 14:31:54 +0000

Cartoon Movie 2018, organized by CARTOON (from 7th to 9th March), ended successfully at Palais des Congrès in Bordeaux, France. It was the 20th edition of Cartoon Movie and gathered more than 900 participants from 41 different countries. 257 buyers, including 126 distributors and sales agents, got together for the professional pitch forum, which has lead the European animated film industry.

Cartoon Movie 2018 Statistics

1. Projects

The selected 60 projects of animated feature films from 22 countries were pitched.

2. Number of projects by country

France 20 Netherlands 2 Norway 1
Germany 7 South Korea 2 Portugal 1
Spain 5 Canada 1 Romania 1
Denmark 3 Estonia 1 Sweden 1
Poland 3 Finland 1 Ukraine 1
Belgium 2 Ireland 1 United Kingdom 1
Czech Republic 2 Latvia 1
Italy 2 Luxembourg 1

3. Number of projects by status

Completed films (sneak previews) 7
Films in production 6
Projects in development 26
Projects in concept 21

4. Number of projects by target audience

Young adults/adults 14
Family 36
Children 8
Pre-school 2

Trailers for pitched projects

The top 10 projects attracting the most interest

The 60 pitched projects showed a great diversity of genres and graphics, portraying the richness of the European animated film industry. The top 10 projects, which attracted the largest number of audiences, are below.

The Bears’ Famous Invasion of  Sicily
Producer: Prima Linea Productions (France) / Indigo Film (Italy) / France 3 Cinéma (France)

Unicorn Wars
Producers: Autour de Minuit (France) / UniKo  (Spain) / SCHMUBY PRODUCTIONS (France) / Abano Productions (Spain)

Producer: Dragoia Media (Spain)

The Sea Wolf
Producers: Elda productions (France) / Je Suis Bien Content (France) / Mélusine (Luxembourg)

Terra Willy
Producers: TAT productions (France) / BAC Films

Producers: Mozaic Productions (France) / Letko (Poland)

Lulu & Nelson
Producer: Les Armateurs (France)

Another Day of Life
Producers: Platige Films (Poland) / Kanaki Films (Spain) / Walking The Dog (Belgium) / Wüste Film (Germany) / Animationsfabrik (Germany) / Puppetworks (Hungary)

White Plastic SKy
Producers:  Paprika Films (France) / SALTO FILM (Hungary) /Artichoke (Slovakia)

Allah is not Obliged
Producers: Special Touch Studios (France) / Paul Thiltges Distributions (Luxembourg)

Cartoon Movie Tributes 2018

The Cartoon Movie Tributes 2018, one of the most prestigious prizes for outstanding contribution to the development of European animation over the last year, were decided by the votes of participants.

The winners are:

Director of the Year: Dorota Kobiela (Poland) & Hugh Welchman (UK) for Loving Vincent

Distributor of the Year: Latido Films (Spain)

Producers of the Year: Platige Films (Poland) / Kanaki Films (Spain) / Walking the Dog (Belgium) / Wüste Film (Germany) / Animationsfabrik (Germany) / Puppetworks (Hungary) for Another Day of Life

The first Eurimages Co-production Development Award

The Council of Europe’s Eurimages Fund has joined forces with Cartoon Movie in order to award “The Eurimages Co-production Development Award” to promote the Fund’s role in encouraging international animated co-production from the initial stages of a project. This new award gives the winner a cash prize of €20,000, which must be used by the producers to cover development expenses of the animation project. The project KARA by Sinem Sakaoglu, co-produced by Visual Distractions (Germany) and Beast Animation (Belgium), became the first winner of the award.

Cartoon Movie Tributes 2018

The Eurimages Co-production Development Award 2018

Spotlight on Animation from Spain

Cartoon Movie 2018 put the spotlight on Spain and Spanish animation, 9 projects (including co-productions) appeared as a constant thread throughout Cartoon Movie 2018. The spotlight on Spain was supported by ICAA (The Institute of Cinematography and Audiovisual Arts, an autonomous body overseen by the Ministry of Education, Culture and Sports of Spain), Diboos, the Spanish Federation of Animation Producers’ Associations (the umbrella body of the sector’s principal association), and Animation from Spain.

The next Cartoon Movie will take place from 6th to 8th March 2019 in Bordeaux, France.

“Sol & Liv” Wed, 14 Mar 2018 14:57:21 +0000 Sol & Liv

(Status: in development)

Sol & Liv
Director: Piotr Szczepanowicz
Authors: Małgorzata Giec, Małgorzata Więckowicz-Żyła, Piotr Szczepanowicz
Producer: Jakub Karwowski (Letko, Poland), Grzegorz Wacławek (Animoon, Poland)
Co-Producer: Animoon, Poland
Format: 13 x 10’
Target audience: Children (6-11 years)
Technique: 2D digital / Cut-out


Sol & Liv is a children’s story, inspired by the Slavic and Scandinavian myths, that takes place in a small village. Sol – an eleven years old boy who is longing for adventures – is about to become a “man” by going through a ritual of cutting his hair short. Suddenly, this long-awaited moment is being postponed by his parents. Sol, who is an insubordinate child, riots and proceeds with the ritual by himself. It turns out that by this act he steps on a path of his destiny and becomes the Chosen One, on whom the fate of the Sintborg land and the rest of the Earth depends. Mysterious Liv becomes Sol’s guide in the mythical world of spells, magical nature and unique creatures. While the couple of teenagers experience adventures and face dangers, they’re helping each other in overcoming their own weaknesses. The friendship that flourishes between them allows the Chosen One to control the great power of ruling over the elements that is within him, and upon which the future of the world depends.

Cartoon Forum 2017 spotlighted Polish animation, including their five selected projects. We would like to introduce Sol & Liv among the five projects presented. The sceneries of a shore, a forest, animals, and a black mysterious creature in the short pilot film, which was aired during their pitch, set our expectations of seeing a good fantasy animation series. It is a story of a boy and a girl, Sol and Liv, in a parallel universe where a magical tree connects a magical world with our real world, inspired by Slavic and Scandinavian myths. I heard the producer Jakub Karwowski from Letko about the project.

Interview with Jakub Karwowski

Hideki Nagaishi (HN): How did this project start?

Jakub Karwowski (JK): It started for a couple of reasons. One of them is due to the very long relationship between two friends, who are the two screenwriters of this project. They grew up together and had a lot of experiences. They wanted to work with and tell about those experiences. They wanted to express emotions that they acquired through their experiences in a fine and aesthetic way. That was the beginning.

Later on, we made the fundamental characters of the story, Sol and Liv, and the rebellion as the starting point of the adventure. At the same time there is the return of black force in the valley that only Sol can stop, but he can’t do it alone. He needs Liv.

We also wanted to work with myths from Scandinavia and the Slavic region. In a way, we compose a mixture of them and they will present an emotional state here. That was also the idea of the whole structure, not only just putting some characters in the magic environment, but also uses it as the tool to tell the story about emotions.

HN: Could you please let us know a little bit more about the myths?

JK: The myths are the mixture. First of all, there is the tree, which is the symbol of the balance of light and dark forces. The creatures that we have, that you can find in both Scandinavian and Slavic myths. The idea of a parallel worlds – the magic world and the daily, real life – they intersect in the special way that only some of the characters can see.

In beliefs and everyday life of Slavs nature played a major role. Today, we struggle with problems of ecological disasters and over-exploitation of natural resources by people. By fighting for the world, Sol battles for the survival of the nature that creates him. He discovers the magic side of nature that he was unaware of. Through an emotional connection with the characters the young audience will understand the characters’ motivations and will learn respect for nature.

HN: I feel the visuals fit the story well. How are you developing the visuals?

JK: We’ve made research about ornaments, clothes, and drawings on tribal arts in Scandinavia and the Slavic region. We use some elements of that. It is the source of the visual style – the ornaments and the symbols that they represent.

HN: Could you please let us know your favorite part of the story or favorite character at the moment?

JK: Favorite one is the moment when they meet for the first time, Sol and Liv, in the pilot. At the moment, they don’t yet know what will happen, even though they can feel something will. Sol discovered that there is a whale on the shore that they need to push back to the sea. Liv is already there, and he sees and approaches her. That is the first moment that they make acquaintance.

HN: What kind of support are you looking for?

JK: We’re looking for financing for production and for co-producer. We will be applying for our financing in Poland but definitely won’t be enough. So, we are looking for co-finance because we can handle the visual side.

Pixel Challenge: Create a short animation in only 48 hours Mon, 12 Mar 2018 09:50:42 +0000 The third edition of Quebec Digital Week (Original French title: La Semaine Numérique de Québec) will be held in Québec City, Canada from 5th to 15th April, 2018.

It is recognized as one of the most influential events, which focuses on a wide range of digital knowledge (video game, animation, web, artificial intelligence, augmented reality, healthcare, education, insurance and more) among Francophone countries. More than 100 activities and over 200 conferences are planned to be taken place at the venues all over Québec City during this week. This year, over 25,000 international attendees are expected from countries like Canada, France, United States, Belgium, Senegal, and Guadeloupe.

You can have opportunities to discover and experience all forms of digital products and events in the planned programs during the week. We picked up three major events which attracted our attention:

  • Catapulte: Five independent game studios will present their game project as the selected finalist in front of the jury composed of four industry experts. The winner will get a prize valued at about $100,000 in cash and services.
  • Pixel Challenge: The largest digital creation competition in Canada. Planned contestants from Québec, Mexico, Belgium, and France will form teams and compete for prizes by creating a video game, a short animation, or a sound design project in 48 hours. This year, screenwriting professionals will help the teams refine their stories during the competition.
  • Web à Québec (WAQ): The largest French speaking digital event in North America, where professionals can meet and discuss various digital topics such as programming, web development, digital communication, design, marketing and also the most advanced innovative topics.

As we are one of the animation-focused media, we interviewed Louis Leclerc, the CEO of Pixel Québec (the organizer of the Pixel Challenge), about the short animation competition in the Pixel Challenge.

Interview with Louis Leclerc

Animationweek: Could you please give us an overview of the Pixel Challenge? And what are the unique points of the program?

Louis Leclerc: The Pixel Challenge is an international competition for creators of video games, short animations, music, sound design and storyboarding held in Québec City. Teams of participants have 48 hours to design an original work based only on a theme and to showcase their full talent.

The high points of the competition are the announcement of the theme at the start of the race and the prize ceremony, which naturally takes place after the judges’ deliberations. The competition itself is an exciting moment in the lives of the participants, but also a tiring one. They don’t get much sleep, but they’ll always remember their unique experience.

I call it a “competition”, but I really should call it a “co-opetition”, because the teams help each other. In fact, creating relationships is one of the goals of the Pixel Challenge. And it works!

Animationweek: How did the Pixel Challenge start and what outcome are you expecting?

Louis Leclerc: It’s an interesting story. It began when the video game industry in Québec City wanted to show people that it was possible to work in the industry. An event was created to demystify to the general public that this industry that could actually lead to a career. The name of the event, which I organized in collaboration with the video game industry, was “Ma Carrière en Jeux”.

The event was repeated in the subsequent years, and four years later its content and form changed. It became an outdoor game jam that we called “Bivouac Urbain”. Then a few years later, the idea of creating an event to bring together animation, video games, music and sound design sprouted. That’s how we got to the Pixel Challenge, the largest digital creation competition in Canada!

What’s unique about the Pixel Challenge is how we combine elements to allow participants to concentrate intensely:  meals, chair massages, dormitories, etc. We’ve thought of everything so that competitors will be free to give it their all. We expect them to work in a friendly atmosphere that fosters mental exertion and lets their creativity flourish.

In practical terms, we expect the event to at least partly fill the labour market needs of employers in the digital entertainment industry. We also want the networking to bear fruit and establish and cultivate strong relationships, particularly internationally. That’s what we are focusing on this year.

Competition hall (Pixel Challenge 2017)

Lounge (Pixel Challenge 2017)

Animationweek: In relation to question 2, what outcome has the Pixel Challenge gotten so far?

Louis Leclerc: The Pixel Challenge has come a long way since the first competition. Participation increased 280% from 2013 to 2017, and we expect around 400 participants this year. The “Music and Sound Design” category, which had few entries in 2013, is soaring! Our work to enhance appreciation of this sector seems to be bearing fruit.

More and more people are coming out, both creators and digital entertainment companies. The latter are becoming more and more involved. We are happy with their commitment, and also with the Pixel Challenge’s growing reputation here and around the world. The winners from the past few years have made places for themselves in attractive companies or founded their own. Some have even sold their video game or games abroad and their firms are growing! It’s a very important factor in our pride.

BKOM Studios, the winner of the Video Game PRO category (Pixel Challenge 2017)

Animationweek: What kind of feedback or professional connections can attendees expect to develop by attending this event?

Louis Leclerc: The HR departments of a number of studios use the Pixel Challenge as a place to ferret out talent, so that participants can make connections with future employers and find partners for a project in particular. The participants in the Video Game – Student category can take advantage of the mentoring offered to them. They will meet experienced mentors who will teach them so much. It’s a truly enriching experience!

Animationweek: In terms of the short animation competition, who do you think should attend and what kind of participants are you looking for?

Louis Leclerc: The competition is getting more popular every year. The teams are better prepared than before. Their production pipeline is all ready, and they are only waiting for the theme!

We’re looking for creative participants who aren’t afraid to jump into the abyss and to be daring! We love it when they want to excel and to explore a new way to create. You have to admit that it’s rather unusual to create a short animation in 48 hours!

Animationweek: Could you please let us know your future vision of the event?

Louis Leclerc: We plan to add challenges to those already in the program. We’ve been thinking of a Pixel Special Effects Challenge, a Pixel Concept Art Challenge and a Pixel Digital Comics Challenge, for example!

We also are looking for digital creators from around the world to come here and work together. We will be working hard to attract a larger number of countries to participate and to allow them all to use their own cultures in order to bring to life their shared passion for storytelling.

Work as Character desinger: Tsukasa Kotobuki talks about the character design for “Mobile Suit Gundam: The Origin” Tue, 06 Mar 2018 21:27:38 +0000

Mobile Suit Gundam: THE ORIGIN is an animation series, which is a prequel to Mobile Suit Gundam, a very famous TV animation series in Japan. In the early 1980s, Mobile Suit Gundam became a huge social phenomenon in Japan and has set a gold standard in Japanese robot animations. THE ORIGIN is based on the same-titled comic series written by Yoshikazu Yasuhiko, who is the general director of the animation series as well.

The Animationweek editorial team has delivered to you an interview article with Osamu Taniguchi, the producer of THE ORIGIN and Mika Akitaka, one of the main mechanical designers of THE ORIGIN, in 2016*. This time, we could get the opportunity to hear about the character design for THE ORIGIN from Tsukasa Kotobuki, who has the role of character design and lead animator, and Atsuhiko Sekiguchi, the setting coordinator of the animation series.

*Event report and interview: “Gundam The Origin” – The secret of appealing mechanical design:

left: Tsukasa Kotobuki, right: Atsuhiko Sekiguchi

Joining the project

Animationweek: What was your reaction when you were asked to design characters for The ORIGIN?

Tsukasa Kotobuki: It was a project to make a new start on the Gundam franchise for promoting the story and universe of Mobile Suit Gundam by making a new animation title based on Mr. Yasuhiko’s original comic series with new visual designs when the project was just started.

At that time, I had been working for an animation project for about one to two years. It was a robot animation project, which aims to fit the demand of the American market, and one of the producers was a big name in Hollywood. I was responsible for the character design and mechanical concept of the project. It was a good opportunity for me to learn that it is by no means easy to attract and satisfy foreign markets with robot animation, which is popular in Japan. Just after the American project, from which I could learn the differences of market demands between Japan and America, was frozen for a number of reasons, as it happens, I received a suggestion from Mr. Yasuhiko to re-design the characters in his original comics for the animation project to catch the heart of current young Japanese audience and also can be accepted international market.

Actually, at first, Mr. Yasuhiko planned to delegate the entire work of making his comics into an animation series within Sunrise’s discretion**, but he wanted Sunrise to reflect his opinion only on character design. So, he called me to the project as the character designer.

However, for a number of reasons, Mr. Yasuhiko decided to take the role of the general director and draw all the storyboards himself about half a year after I joined the project. It made some changes in the direction of the project. In terms of its visual design, emphasis shifted on the reproduction of the visual of original comics in a very high level, so it came to Mr. Yasuhiko designing the main characters and I design other characters with the same visual design of Mr. Yasuhiko’s original comics for the animation series.

**Sunrise is one of the big animation studio which has been developing all animations of the Gundam franchise

The workflow of the character design from THE ORIGIN

Animationweek: Could you please let us know the process of designing characters in the animation project, THE ORIGIN?

Atsuhiko Sekiguchi: I would like to tell you about the design process of the characters designed by Mr. Kotobuki.

  1. I check the storyboard of each episode and make a list of characters that might need to be newly designed for each episode.
  1. Mr. Yasuhiko, the general director, and the layout/animation director of each episode, have a discussion to decide which characters in the list I made should have a fresh character design for each episode.
  1. I allocate the characters to Mr. Yasuhiko and Mr. Kotobuki for design. If the character requesting the design is a soldier, the details of the character, such as the rank, are decided at this time.
  1. Mr. Kotobuki makes the rough design of the whole picture of the characters he is in charge of.
  1. The layout/animation director of each episode checks the rough designs.
  1. Yasuhiko, the general director, see the rough designs, which passes the layout/animation director’s assessment of Mr. Kotobuki’s character design for the first time.
  1. Mr. Kotobuki cleans up the rough designs (in line drawing).
  1. The layout/animation director check the cleaned up design illustrations.
  1. Yasuhiko, the general director, makes the final check of the designs.
  1. Hiroyuki Nishimura, the supervising animator, designates shadows to the final character design illustrations drawn by Mr. Kotobuki.
  1. At the very end of the character design process, the color stylist, Nagisa Abe, makes all the color settings for each character.

Then, we get the completed character design sheets to animate.

A rough design of Lino Fernandez by Tsukasa Kotobuki.

Design illustrations of Lino Fernandez, cleaned up by Tsukasa Kotobuki.

Hiroyuki Nishimura designates shadows to the final character design illustrations.

Nagisa Abe decides on all the color settings.

Tsukasa Kotobuki: In the case of a character appearing in the original comics, I receive a request to design the character like, “Please make the design of this person who appears in this frame on this page of the original comic book”, and I draw the character design illustrations of the person by imagine his/her full-length figure and facial expression from that one cut.

In my case, I serve as a lead animator concurrently, so that I check the characters I designed when I check keyframes and in-betweens, such as whether the features of each characters I designed intentionally and the points of the designs I want to be illustrated were drawn properly. If these are not good enough, I would make corrections, such as adding lacking parts of the design.

THE ORIGIN‘s unique design process

Animationweek: THE ORIGIN is based on the comics of the same title written by Mr. Yoshikazu Yasuhiko, the general director of the animation series. Are there any differences or difficulties in designing animation characters which have original visual designs in the original comics, compared to your experiences in designing original characters for animation from zero?

Tsukasa Kotobuki: In the case of designing characters from scratch by myself, I tend to get an order with no limitations in design. If I design new characters without constraint, it could be too flexible for me and it will make me work slower, on the contrary. So, to clarify and understand the client’s needs, I tend to ask them like, “I’d like you to tell me what you would like to have in design a little bit more concretely.”. On the other hand, in the case of THE ORIGIN, what I could design freely at my discretion for the characters was defined and what I was requested was clear, so that there was nothing to worry about in the direction of the design.

Actually, there was no clear line between Mr. Yasuhiko and me in the assignation of the main characters in THE ORIGIN. Basically, Mr. Yasuhiko designed the characters he has strong feelings for, and I followed his works by designing all other characters, including some of the main characters. In terms of my design of the non-main characters, there was almost no requests I’ve received to change the character designs later.

Regarding the design of the main characters, there are some main characters which I was assigned to design because Mr. Yasuhiko has too much personal attachment to the characters to design them by himself. For example, a character named M’Quve, who is one of the main characters. Mr. Yasuhiko had been able to draw the character without too much thinking, but afterwards, he started to think, “Oh, M’Quve might possibly be a cooler character than I’ve thought.”, he has not been able to draw M’Quve smoothly like before. Then, I was in charge of designing M’Quve.

Nevertheless, Mr. Yasuhiko has a firm image of M’Quve, even if it is a sort-of sensuous image. So, I thought that Mr. Yasuhiko could develop the image of M’Quve in his brain from a sensory thing to a more concrete image by watching the illustration of M’Quve designed and visualized by me, a third person. Hence, to make my illustration of M’Quve the same design as the concrete image he got in his head, he asked me to make a number of corrections.

Facial expressions of M’Quve designed by Tsukasa Kotobuki.

Full picture of M’Quve designed by Tsukasa Kotobuki.

Color settings for M’Quve.

M’Quve in the completed animation.

Tsukasa Kotobuki: I think that this is because Mr. Yasuhiko’s personal style for designing characters is not just blindly basing the animation on the original comics, but rather he thinks that the atmosphere of the character is more important than the design of the character itself. For instance, he requested me to fix up the ways of dressing military uniforms, such as the position to fasten the belt and the posture of the character like having it better to make a round-shouldered posture, or straightening the spine, because those kinds of things embody the personality of the character as its unique atmosphere.

On the other hand, Mr. Nishimura, the supervising animator, told me: “the illustrations of character sheets are for sharing the visuals of each character in details among all the animators, so please do not include directive elements in character sheets and instruct those kinds of elements when we work on keyframes”. It is only a category of my imagination, but it seemed like Mr. Yasuhiko was thinking that character setting includes such information. So, maybe, as once it was. Then it was changed to the system, which by Mr. Nishimura taught me after many years.

Costume designing by Takuhito Kusanagi

Animationweek: As you mentioned a little bit about the way of dressing a character with military uniform now, I think that one of the features of the Gundam franchise is the elaborate settings of every kind, which are very realistic. How did you gather materials for designing such things as each character’s clothes and space suit, named “normal suit” in the story? Also, could you please let us know about what you took care of and what you specifically focused on in designing them?

Tsukasa Kotobuki: Takuhito Kusanagi is participating in this project as a military equipment designer and doing costume design. It can be said that a character setting picture is completed by putting the clothes, which Mr. Kusanagi designed, on the character I designed. Mr. Kusanagi is good at designing realistic military equipment, but Mr. Yasuhiko’s characters have a variety of body types, including unusual body types as a soldier, such as a person with narrow shoulders and an obese person. So, there are some cases where details of Mr. Kusanagi’s design can not fall into place satisfactorily. For example, he made a very detailed design on the shoulder of the Principality of Zeon’s military uniform, but there is not enough space to draw the design on the uniform for a character with narrow shoulders. And also, that kind of his fine design is too complicated to draw on a number of in-betweens. Therefore, I did some minor adjustments of the designs to the extent which will not affect his design, and reduced the number of lines in his designs to make it more animate-able by repeating consultation with Ms. Nishimura. However, the detailed design is one of the characteristics of Mr. Kusanagi’s art works and also one of the reasons why this project asked him to join. So, we needed to understand his designs deeply to keep the characteristics and intention of them. It was a very difficult challenge.

As I said, my title in this project was only a character designer at the beginning of my participation in this project. But I have started to work as a lead animator as well from the 2nd or 3rd episode. And then, it was really hard for me to check keyframes one by one details of the characters’ visual, which I designed. So, I thought that I should have made the designs simpler by talking with Mr. Kusanagi (laughs).

One of Takuhito Kusanagi’s original military equipment designs.

One of Takuhito Kusanagi’s original military equipment designs.

Hiroyuki Nishimura’s final design (the number of lines were reduced).

Hiroyuki Nishimura’s final design (the number of lines were reduced).

Military equipment in the completed animation.

Military equipment in the completed animation.

Animationweek: Could you please let us know your favorite one in your designed characters?

Tsukasa Kotobuki: In the animated version of Mobile Suit Gundam: THE ORIGIN, there are some original scenes that are not depicted in the original comics. And Lino Fernandez, a man who knows the identity of Char Aznable, only appears in the third episode of the animation as an original character. He is my favorite character. I drew a rough design of him on the spot when I received the offer to design him, and I got the okay on the first design. Actually, I had a request of a few more different patterns of design later, just in case, so I drew a couple of new designs of him. But we decided to go with the first design, which left a strong impact, after all.

Persistence in “Mobs”*

Animationweek: What was the real charm of the character design in this work?

Tsukasa Kotobuki: I am the only one staff who was invited by Yasuhiko General Director individually among the whole members of this project, and thanks to that, I am in the credit as character designer in parallel with Mr. Yasuhiko in good faith. However, as I have talked so far, my work in this project is a bit unusual as a role of character design in animation. I am originally supposed to be a sub character design or a support designer of Mr. Yasuhiko’s character design works in the end role credits of this animation, I think. So, like the pleasure or fulfillment I feel from designing character of THE ORIGIN is slightly different from the real thrill of doing character designs in ordinary animation.

Anyway, I think it would be that I can make the universe of the story more realistic by giving life to the characters, which support the story of the main characters drawn by Professor Yasuhiko, while paying attention not make them too conspicuous in the story.

Animationweek: Thank you. Then, is it one of the reasons why this science fiction title has a strong realism, due to the staff’s huge amount of creative energy they put into, with not only the main characters, but also other side characters?

Tsukasa Kotobuki: It may be so. I think that there are some animation works in which only the main characters are rich in personality and other characters are not sharing the same world with them. On the other hand, I think that Mr. Yasuhiko does not want to show characters that disagree with the universe of the story in the back of the main characters on the same scene in this animation. I feel that his direction has the intention in making audience watch all the characters appearing on the whole screen, rather than spotting on a few specific characters.

For example, in terms of designing many other military characters behind the main characters, which we call “mobs”, Mr. Yasuhiko requested to me, “Please don’t think of them as the rest of the crowd. Every individual character in this animation has a life. I’d like to have a difference in each person as much as possible, irrespective of whether the character have lines or not”. So, I design the “mobs” to have different shapes of eyes, eyebrows, nose, mouth, and so on, among them as much as possible. However, there are some animators who draw all “mobs” with the same face, so that I try to correct such pictures according to character settings.

*Mob: A specific word in Japanese animation industry. It means background characters or extra in animation.

Atsuhiko Sekiguchi: As he said, in regard to THE ORIGIN, basically we draw and move many other characters behind the main characters with individuality and definition, even though we draw a crowd, a very huge number of people, in digital. For instance, we animated “mobs” well in the scenes of a victory celebration party in episode six.

In regard to “mobs” in the fifth episode, we made the character settings of patients in a hospital around Sayla Mass and the villagers who appear across scenes, and we shared them with all the animators in order to make each “mob” character be drawn as the same character design in all the different scenes. I selected some villagers in the original comics to be drawn as “mobs” at the meeting with the layout/animation director of episode five and we asked Mr. Kotobuki to design about 14 villagers in the end.

Designs of the 14 villagers by Tsukasa Kotobuki.

Designs of the 14 villagers by Tsukasa Kotobuki.

Designs of the 14 villagers by Tsukasa Kotobuki.

The 14 villagers in the completed animation.

The 14 villagers in the completed animation.

The 14 villagers in the completed animation.

Tsukasa Kotobuki: Those are characters that appear in only one or two cuts, but I designed detailed settings for them. I keep a lot of comics, which Mr. Yasuhiko drawn in the past, close at hand. When I design a character, which doesn’t appear in the original comics, I look for a character, which is close to the characteristics of the character I was requested to design, among the comics. And I make it the base of the design, in order to make the character match the visual style and atmosphere of the characters drawn by Mr. Yasuhiko.

Mr. Kotobuki at his working desk. There are a lot of Mr. Yasuhiko’s comics on the shelves.

Atsuhiko Sekiguchi: Actually, there are quite a few key animators who devise ideas for “mob’s” acting performance by themselves. Mr. Yasuhiko seems to prefer to receive those kinds of suggestions and he adopts some of them after modifying the “mob’s” actions. “If you suggest me an idea, let’s do it that way!”

My Life as a Courgette: interview with Claude Barras and Elie Chapuis Mon, 05 Mar 2018 16:28:17 +0000

Why can My Life as a Courgette grab the hearts of an amazing amount of people?

My Life as a Courgette is the animated film in which I sympathized with the characters and I was touched by the most in 2016. I believe that you would be pleasantly surprised by how much you can understand and share the emotions of the children in the film.

I think that the first reason for this is that this film is spoken from the point of view of orphans themselves, not from adults or a third person, which enable us to feel exactly what the children are feeling. It successfully depicts the various emotions of children: innocence, pure-heartedness, naïvety, generosity, and justice. We can immerse ourselves into the world of a story by being deeply connected with the characters.

Secondly, the visual is an essential aspect which contributes to captivating the audience. At first, you may find its visuals to be a bit offbeat but, in the end, you will be feeling a deep love towards every character, including their appearances. Every aspect of this film is carefully designed and well matched to the story.

I talked to the director, Claude Barras, and Elie Chapuis, one of the animators.

Hideki Nagaishi (HN): Could you please share with us about your journey in the animation industry? How did you start with stop-motion animation?

Claude Barras (CB): I started as an illustrator. Then, I met very determined people. First is Georges Schwizgebel, who has been making films by animated painting and it gave me the idea to go from illustration to moving images. Then I met Cedric Louis, with whom I co-directed 5 short films.  And then there were the brothers Frédéric Guillaume and Samuel Guillaume, who were doing stop-motion animation in Switzerland. I was hired by them to do the modeling of the characters of their feature film Max & Co.

Elie Chapuis (EC): That’s where I met Claude. I was an animator in Max & Co, and then we were together until My Life as a Courgette.

HN: What part of stop-motion animation attracted you the most to use that to officially tell those stories?

CB: I think that, compared to other animation techniques, stop-motion animation is something that is more science-fiction. It is a mix between animation and live-action film, because we really have a relationship to the real world. You have a direct grasp of reality through real objects like the puppets and the sets.

Stop-motion animating has 2 meanings, moving the real objects frame-by-frame, and giving them life. And you have a nearly magical relationship with them.

EC: That magical relationship is the reason why I’m a puppet animator.

CB: My role is a mediator between staff and puppets to have them meet and have magical relationships. We manufacture everything. There is the fabrication as the main step of the making, which is very important and tactile. Then there is the framing that you do with the camera, you choose your frame like you do in live-action and lighting. And there is all the animation processes, which you do per hands. It is a real process. If we want, we can develop animations as animators.

Puppets used for the dance scene

Animating Simon

[Continued to page 2]

Animation Production Day 2018: 48 selected projects Mon, 05 Mar 2018 15:35:16 +0000 For the 12th edition of Animation Production Day (APD) in Stuttgart, 48 projects from 19 different countries* were selected from 71 submitted projects. Among selected 48 projects, 17 of them come from Germany, 28 of them are from other European countries and 3 of them are from countries outside of Europe. On 26th and 27th April 2018, the producers of the selected projects will have opportunities to discuss co-production and financing with potential partners in a series of pre-planned one to one meetings in Stuttgart’s L-Bank.

*: Germany, France, Belgium, Spain, Hungary, Denmark, the United Kingdom, Ireland, Iceland, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, the Czech Republic, Serbia, Turkey, Ukraine, Russia, Israel and Brazil.

The trend of this year is seen not only in the increase of participating courtiers but also that the range of the projects expanded. The selected projects are in different formats such as TV series, films and games for children and comedy and science fiction projects for teenagers and adults. A total of 11 projects are in form of cross-media, which shows the great potential of animation programs to meet an increasingly diversifying market.

Another thing to note is the APD Talent Programme, which introduces innovative projects. Creative Europe MEDIA funding supports APD to offer 16 up-and-coming producers to participate in the event for free. They can discuss their ideas with experienced industry experts, establish contact with important decision-makers and develop their career perspectives in Europe after graduating from their universities. One of the examples of this initiative is the series concept Dimitri & Kim from Serbia which qualified for the APD Talent Programme as part of APD’s cooperation with the European Animation Sans Frontières training programme.

An overview of all the selected projects can be found on our website at the following link:

Would you like to see the projects in person? If you are interested in seeing and meet these projects in person you still have time. You can still register until 6th March 2018 from the link below.

Why not apply for the Trickstar Business Award?

Do you have innovative business model? In 2018, the 7,500 Euro prize is being presented for the second time at APD by the Stuttgart International Festival of Animated Film (ITFS). All projects selected for APD are invited to apply for the award but companies with an innovative business model can also apply for the award irrespective of their participation in APD. The deadline is 15th March. Application form and detailed terms and conditions can be found on the ITFS website ( ).

Some special features right before Cartoon Movie 2018 Sat, 03 Mar 2018 22:15:18 +0000 For prospective attendees, we would like to share some short interviews with the producers of some of the projects we picked. We hope that their words will help you to make the best use of the event!

Short interviews

A Greyhound of a Girl

Producers: Paul Thiltges Distributions (Luxembourg) / The Illuminated Film Company (United Kingdom) / Aliante (Italy)
Technique: 2D Computer / Drawing / Painting

Question 1: Could you please let us know the key points of your animated film project which you would like to appeal to the prospective audience?

The team of A Greyhound of a Girl (Paul Thiltges, Enzo d’Alò, Adrien Chef and Iain Harvey): Animation is growing up – with the success and recognition of films like My Life as a Courgette (Zucchini), The Breadwinner and Loving Vincent, we feel confident that this beautiful tale, based on a novel by Roddy Doyle, is both timely and timeless. The film tells how our young heroine comes to terms with the imminent death of her Grandmother. Key to this are family relationships: four generations of women from the same family working together. The theme is not one of darkness, rather Enzo D’Alo’s interpretation is light, loving and full of comedy, with animation being the ideal way of handling the  magical elements of the story.

Question 2: Who do you want to come to your pitch especially?

The team of A Greyhound of a Girl: The film is targeting family audiences, so we naturally hope that distributors and sales agents will be intrigued by how we approach this subject so beautifully and – let’s be realistic – commercially.


Producers: Dragoia Media (Spain)
Technique: 3D Computer

Question 1: Could you please let us know the key points of your animated film project which you would like to appeal to the prospective audience?

Manuel Cristóbal: Dragonkeeper is a CGI animation family film based on the first of the award-winning novels by Carole Wilkinson that have sold over 500.000 copies worldwide. Set in a magic, epic and classic China during follows the adventures of a slave girl that becomes a true Dragonkeeper helping the last imperial dragon in its quest to bring a dragon egg to the coast, to the only place it can hatch. It is a film for a wide audience with moving characters and  Dragonkeeper aims to become an international brand and film franchise.

Question 2: Who do you want to come to your pitch especially?

Manuel Cristóbal: We are interested in closing a sales agent and long term partners for this franchise.


Producer: Mozaic Productions (France) / Letko (Poland)
Technique: 2D Computer / 3D Computer / Drawing

Question 1: Could you please let us know the key points of your animated film project which you would like to appeal to the prospective audience?

Fabrice Ziolkowski: Hoodoo is a family film (starting at age 10) for audiences everywhere. It’s rooted in the experience of a little African-American girl and in the blues, but it’s a universal story that touches on basic emotions and the overwhelming power of music to change and better our lives, wherever we come from. This is not unlike the screenplay I wrote for The Secret of Kells in which a 9th Century Irish boy wants to become an artist. Hoodoo is a musical film which will put various techniques forward in order to explore all that animation can do. Luanne has a journey to the land of the blues, full of magic and wonder. Musical direction will be assured by 4-time Grammy award winner Keb’Mo’.

Question 2: Who do you want to come to your pitch especially?

Fabrice Ziolkowski: We’re looking for another European partner (right now it’s France and Poland) to join us. Also an international sales agent.

The Boy Who Switched off the Sun

Producers: Fourth Wall Creative (United Kingdom)
Technique: 3D Computer

Question 1: Could you please let us know the key points of your animated film project which you would like to appeal to the prospective audience?

Joe Moroney: Ours is a fun and entertaining movie which touches on the universal subjects of grief, loss and healing. We hope the audience sees something of themselves in the main characters and that the story’s emotional hook both resonates and delights.

Question 2: Who do you want to come to your pitch especially?

Joe Moroney: We’re looking for like-minded partners who can help us realise the ambition of telling this great universal story.

The Last Whale Singer

Producers: Telescope Animation (Germany)
Technique: 3D Computer / Stereoscopic 3D

Question 1: Could you please let us know the key points of your animated film project which you would like to appeal to the prospective audience?

Maite Woköck: The Last Whale Singer is an epic and touching story with a good portion of humor that will appeal to an international audience. We aim to make true family entertainment. The magic of whales and a rich underwater world will give us plenty of opportunities to create a larger-than-life experience for the big screen. Humans have always been fascinated by whales and their song which is also the “brand” we are creating. In our story, the teenage humpback whale Vincent has to discover the true powers of his song, and on this journey he finds himself. The writer and director Reza Memari has just proven with Richard the Stork that he tells stories that attract broad audiences.

Question 2: Who do you want to come to your pitch especially?

Maite Woköck: We are at the very beginning of script development. In Bordeaux we are looking for co-producers, distributors and broadcasters to set up a financing structure. We are also looking for game and VR developers because we plan to create a cross-media experience.

Unicorn Wars

Producers: Autour de Minuit (France) / UniKo (Spain) / SCHMUBY PRODUCTIONS (France) / Abano Productions (Spain)
Technique: 2D Computer

Question 1: Could you please let us know the key points of your animated film project which you would like to appeal to the prospective audience?

Autour de Minuit: Teddy bears and unicorns have been at war for as long as anyone can remember. A teddy bear regiment leaves the training camp for a mission that will end in a brutal and disastrous final battle.

Unicorn Wars is set to become an action story, a type of parody in the war genre involving warfare, but it hides a profoundly psychological and human story. Its strong points are its universality and timelessness; the story is an allegory about the human race and its conflicting relationship with nature, a biting and acerbic criticism on issues such as war, religion, pollution and power.

Alberto Vázquez, the director, seeks to combine and balance a solid narrative without relinquishing artistic and script content. The use of expressive colour and textures covering the illustration or the picture and traditional 2D animation with great attention to detail, separates this project from the flat mechanical appearance of television series. It looks like a contemporary animated commercial product that fits in with productions that have become international successes.

Unicorn Wars is a feature film targeting teenage and adult audiences. Irrespective of whether it is an animation project, there is a clear auteur perspective although the film attempts to reach a more general audience than Alberto’s previous feature, Psiconautas (Goya 2017 for Best Animated Feature Film). Unicorn Wars will be an ambitious, original and universal project with a clear international calling, as it combines the war genre with a humorist and psychological story: a cross between “Apocalypse Now” and “Bambi”.

Question 2: Who do you want to come to your pitch especially?

Autour de Minuit: The film is a co-production between Spain, France and Belgium. We are looking for Regional partners in France to make the animation, a studio in Belgium to possibly do the compositing, and in terms of financing we are looking for a french distributor and a ales agent.

To learn more about all projects, you can find them on the Cartoon Movie website (

MoPA: Turning out highly-qualified CG animation creators to the world Mon, 26 Feb 2018 13:40:46 +0000

The animation education in France consists of many world-renowned animation schools and courses, delivering talents to the global animation industry. It has a strong new brand, Ecole MoPA, from 2015.

The history of MoPA started in 2000 when Supinfocom, one of the top CG animation schools in France and the world, established their new school in Arles, France. Since then, over 500 graduates from the school turned out to be top-level professionals in the global animation industry in over more than a decade of its history as part of Supinfocom. In 2015, the prestigious school, which is entirely dedicated to CG imaging, became MoPA, a new independent world-class CG animation school.

The 2016 student graduation film Garden Party is currently nominated for the 2018 Oscars in the category of Best Animated Short Film. And the 2017 student graduation film Hybrids has just won the prestigious Visual Effects Society award for Outstanding VFX in a student project during the VES awards ceremony 13th February 2018 in Los Angeles.

We had a special opportunity to have an email interview with Anne Brotot, the director of MoPA. Hopefully you can find out what you can expect by learning at MoPA and can help your decision of your future learning.

Interview with Anne Brotot

Animationweek: Why was Supinfocom Arles renamed to MoPA? What and how did the school change after becoming MoPA?

Anne Brotot: Supinfocom Arles was created in 2000 as a sister school to Supinfocom Valenciennes. After some years, the Arles campus really began to spread its wings, winning an increasing number of international festival nominations and prizes (Siggraph, Oscars, etc.) In 2015, Arles made a mark with its growing autonomy and its specific teaching approach by changing its name to MoPA (Motion Pictures in Arles). MoPA was able to optimize and continue its focus on animated filmmaking, rather than on design or gaming.

Animationweek: What do you think are the unique characteristics of MoPA?

Anne Brotot: MoPA is characterized by a unique combination of creativity and technical know-how. Rather than training students to be skilled on isolated technical tasks, MoPA offers really comprehensive training in all aspects of CG filmmaking all the way through the production pipeline, from story development to the final post production stages. One very important asset we have is our dynamic teaching staff who, for the most part, share their time between teaching and working professionally. The students benefit from hands-on, real-world feedback and guidance from professionals in their fields.

High standards and a strong school spirit of cooperation and innovation also drive our students to reach for their full creative potential.

Animationweek: Could you please give us an overview of the curriculum of the courses in MoPA?

Anne Brotot: Our students enter MoPA after obtaining a high-school diploma, and we offer a five-year state-accredited course in CG animated filmmaking (a level 1 advanced diploma). Study Cycle 1 is made up of three years’ study, giving students solid skills in the areas of artistic practice (drawing, anatomy, painting, sculpture), cinema & art studies (art history, film analysis, creative writing, storyboarding), technical skills (Photoshop, After Effects) and animation (3DSMax, 2D stop-motion and 3D animated projects). Importantly, in the 3rd Year, all our students have to work on a solo one-minute film, which gives them the work skills and maturity they’ll need to tackle the crucial two-year Study Cycle 2.

In Study Cycle 2, students really enter a phase of becoming professionals and honing their skills. In the 4th Year, they train in aspects of character animation and image work, like character design, rigging, acting, human and animal walk cycles, facial expressions, posing and blocking, as well as training in concept art, modeling, texturing, surfacing, matte-painting, lighting, compositing, hair & fur, clothing, and particles, etc.

The 5th and final year of Study Cycle 2 is dedicated to the team graduation film, which really serves as their CV for their future careers. Each student plays a particular role and has a set of responsibilities depending on their specialization. Through the years, these films have won numerous national and international awards (notably nominations and awards from the Oscars, VES, Siggraph, etc.) and are popular on the festival circuit, assuring our students get a great amount of exposure and allowing them to launch truly ambitious careers.

We also have an International Class taught in English, which opens up the Advanced Study Cycle to transferring candidates who wish to take their skills further.

Animationweek: How are you developing your students’ creativity?

Anne Brotot: On several levels. Firstly, through technical exercises in all subjects (drawing, sculpture, creative writing, storyboard) that stimulate that creativity, obliging them to position themselves, make the decisions that make them real creators.

We also give them a work methodology; a solid tool for being able to complete a creative project from start to finish. This enables them to have a real foundation in which to structure their projects and find real creative fulfillment, and express their artistic and technical potential.

Animationweek: Could you please let us know what is the career vision, that prospective students can expect by learning at MoPA?

Anne Brotot: The market for talent in animation is booming at the moment, particularly in France but also internationally. MoPA graduates enjoy a near-100% recruitment rate. This is of course because of their excellent artistic and technical level, but also because of the reputation of the school which every year attracts recruiters from major studios like Double Negative, Mikros, MPC, DreamWorks, and Aardman, who come to the school and our recruitment events that we organize here in Arles and Annecy. There’s also an extensive network of alumni working all over the world and this helps graduates transition into the professional world.

What’s most important to note however is that our graduates have a fast-track into truly ambitious careers.

Animationweek: What are you looking for in prospective students? What kind of characteristics or skills do you want your prospective students to have when they apply?

Anne Brotot: We’re looking for profiles that are quite specific; firstly, we’re looking for young people that are passionate about the field because it’s a sector that demands a lot of commitment and drive. There’s also the need to have creative talent and an interest in developing that. Prospective students also need to enjoy using technical tools, and also to be able to work together in a team. All of which they’ll need later in their professional careers!

Animationweek: Could you please let us know the benefits of learning CG animation at MoPA for international students?

Anne Brotot: MoPA students gain a unique combination of creative and technical skill sets that are difficult to find in other schools. Our candidates often approach us because they’ve graduated from a degree or diploma in animation but can’t find a teaching institution that can take them further in their ambitions in their home countries. On a global level, the school fees are very competitive, and students get to enjoy the unique setting here in Arles which is not only one of the world’s top tourist destinations, but has a lively cultural life and is more affordable than many other European cities. In 2018 we’re ranked Number 3 of International Animation Schools (AnimationCareerReview). This reputation, developed over the last 17 years, gives us strong visibility among international CG studios who come directly to us to recruit our graduating talents.

Animationweek: If possible, could you please share your future vision of MoPA with us?

Anne Brotot: There’s an exciting future for the French animation market and also of course for our graduates. Building on the long history of excellence at the school and our close industry contacts, we’re able to adapt to changing tools and studio needs. We’re a certified Houdini training partner, and we’re able to provide Unity Realtime training. We also wish to continue the strong storytelling aspect to our approach that makes our films stand out. We’re attracting more and more international candidates, and are increasing our international academic outreach via partnerships for student and faculty exchange.

Animationweek: If you have any, could you please give us a message to prospective students?

Anne Brotot: It’s important to have a curious, open mind, and explore all the wealth of cultural and artistic content available via new medias and technologies, but also explore the rich history of cinema, art and animation. Keep learning, develop a good portfolio of personal works and show us your curious open mind, creative spirit, and your passion for a career in animation.

“Shooom’s Odyssey” Tue, 20 Feb 2018 13:33:53 +0000 Shooom’s Odyssey

(Status: in development)

Shooom’s Odyssey
Director: Julien Bisaro
Authors: Claire Paoletti and Julien Bisaro
Graphic Design: Julien Bisaro
Producers: Claire Paoletti and Julien Bisaro (Picolo Pictures
, France)
Format: 26’ TV special
Target audience: Pre-school (4-6 years)
Technique: 2D digital


Shooom, a baby owl, hatches just as a storm turns the bayou surrounding her tree upside down. No sooner has she fallen from her nest, then the little fledgling totters off into the mangrove, pushing a second egg from the brood along with her. Come hell or high water, she’s determined to find a mother… even if that mom turns out to be an alligator or a raccoon!

Shooom’s poster / Julien Bisaro / ©PICOLO PICTURES

Shooom’s Odyssey is a 26-minutes TV animation special project, which was pitched at Cartoon Forum 2017. It is an adventure story of owlets told with beautiful visuals as you can see in the trailer. In particular, the expressions of light and light reflections are fantastic and give us a soft and kind impression, which match the Shooom’s lovely adventure story in nature. We could hear about the attractive animation project from Julien Bisaro and Claire Paoletti.

Concept Art / Julien Bisaro / ©PICOLO PICTURES

Concept Art / Julien Bisaro / ©PICOLO PICTURES

Interview with Julien Bisaro and Claire Paoletti

Animationweek: Where did the initial idea of the project come from?

Julien Bisaro: At the beginning, the project was different. It was a very short film for VR in which a little owl and the second egg of the brood were lost in the bayou and meet a hunter. In the end, the project did not happen.

Claire Paoletti: We decided to take over the project to a 26’ format in order to have time to develop the characters, their strong brotherly relationship, and an original story and world in an adventure for young children.

Animationweek: How did you come up with attractive characters for the animation?

Julien Bisaro: My previous short film titled BANG BANG! is for adults and there is a lot of non-speaking realistic animals in it. We keep that in mind for Shooom’s adventure.  We wanted to continue in this way in a story where the main characters are animals. We can understand them without them talking. Their expressions (grunts, squeaks, etc.) become a real language that children could easily understand. For this creation, we are working with a fantastic sound designer who did a great job on the teaser: Gurwal Coïc-Gallas.

Shooom and Squeek character design / Julien Bisaro / ©PICOLO PICTURES

Squirrel character design / Julien Bisaro / ©PICOLO PICTURES

Raccoon character design / Julien Bisaro / ©PICOLO PICTURES

Walter and Rosie character design / Julien Bisaro / ©PICOLO PICTURES

Claire Paoletti: The story itself is not anthropomorphic, but when the situation needs it, the characters may have some human reactions.

Julien Bisaro: For example, the squirrel, who drives us to Shooom’s nest at the very beginning of the film, have some human reactions in his acting in front of the owlet, but it is only to explain the situation. We are taking the same direction with the beginning of the story; there is a storm, and we are putting human beings and animals on the same level.

Animationweek: Could you please let us know what is your favorite part of the story or character at the moment?

Julien Bisaro: What a tough question! I love all the film as I wrote the script with Claire, did the storyboard and the animatic as well. It’s maybe the scene at the end. The two children send the two owlets back to nature and in their way to say goodbye, I try to find a mirror effect between them. I want to put the emphasis on their affectionate link. The human brother and sister are very careful with each other like the little owl brother and sister. I want to show that brotherly love could transcend species.

Animationweek: How are you developing the visuals of the beautiful universe of the film? The kind, soft and warm lighting throughout the trailer is very impressive.

Julien Bisaro: I make the visuals more like painting or gouache. I work with light in black and white at the beginning on the animatic. I draw light, shape and shade to find a composition at the layout background process. After that, I work in color and keep the touch of a paintbrush on the final visuals. The paintbrush touch is a little bit rough, because I would like to give relief to the picture in a less realistic style.

Layout background / Julien Bisaro / ©PICOLO PICTURES

Color background / Nadya Mira / ©PICOLO PICTURES

Claire Paoletti: The backgrounds are inspired by the Bayou and the Louisiana coast in America. It is a place where some very typical landscapes as wetlands and interesting animals like alligators can be found.

Animationweek: What message or experience do you want to deliver through this animation?

Claire Paoletti: The main theme of Shooom’s story is that one can survive a difficult situation and find a new family at the end of the journey, even if the path is not easy. Even if you are alone in your life and having your little brother to care of, you could find a new home, a new mom… A female raccoon could become your mother, which is the case for Shooom and her brother! Adoption is at stake here.

Julien Bisaro: To us, it’s a way to speak about step families on an animal level. A simple story about finding maternal love beyond species and convention.

Concept Art / Julien Bisaro / ©PICOLO PICTURES

Concept Art / Julien Bisaro / ©PICOLO PICTURES

The 20th edition of Cartoon Movie Mon, 22 Jan 2018 17:28:37 +0000 From 7th to 9th March 2018, the 20th edition of Cartoon Movie will be held in Bordeaux, France. More than 800 producers, creators, investors, distributors and sales agents of animated feature films, video games, and new media are expected to be present from all of Europe. Cartoon Movie facilitates the creation of long-lasting partnerships and co-productions, allowing the funding of around 20 animated feature films per year in Europe.

Projects selected

60 projects from 22 countries have been selected to be pitched at Cartoon Movie 2018.

Number of projects by status

  • In concept: 21 projects
  • In development: 26 projects
  • In production: 6 projects
  • Sneak preview: 7 projects

Number of projects by target audience

  • Preschool: 2 projects
  • Children: 8 projects
  • Family: 36 projects
  • Young adults/adults: 14 projects

From Cartoon Connection and Cartoon Springboard

Three projects from Cartoon Connection will be presented at Cartoon Movie 2018.

From Cartoon Connection Canada: Brad, the Pomerleaus’ Genie (10th Ave Productions – Canada)

From Cartoon Connection Korea: Millionaire Woody (Studio Gale – South Korea) and Make The Princess Laugh (Anitoart – South Korea)

From Cartoon Springboard 2017: The Precious Gift (Lenka Ivancikova – Czech Republic)

The Spotlight

For the second time, Cartoon Movie will be putting the spotlight on Spain. The spotlight on Spain is supported by ICAA (The Institute of Cinematography and Audiovisual Arts, an autonomous body overseen by the Ministry of Education, Culture and Sports of Spain) and Diboos, the Spanish Federation of Animation Producers’ Associations (the umbrella body of the sector’s principal association).

You can see Spanish animation at the pitches of eight selected projects (including 3 in co-production) listed below throughout Cartoon Movie 2018:

  • Dragonkeeper (Dragoia Media – in development)
  • Another Day of Life (Kanaki Films – in sneak preview)
  • Elcano & Magellan, The First Voyage Around the World (Dibulitoon Studio – in production)
  • Buñuel in the Labyrinth of the Turtles (by Salvador Simó – in production)
  • Unicorn Wars (Abanos Productions & UniKo – in development)
  • Gabo – Memoirs of a Magic Life (by Salvador Simó – in concept)
  • The Impossible Journey (El Viaje Imposible – in concept)
  • Trip to Teulada (12 Pinguinos – in concept)

Our picks

We picked projects which caught our attention (we omitted projects that we’ve introduced before).

For preschool/children

Blue Elf Kingdom

Jacob, Mimmi and the Talking Dogs

  • Producers: Atom Art (Latvia) / Letko (Poland)
  • 2D Computer / Cut-out

For families

A Greyhound of a Girl


Elli and the Ghostly Ghost Train


The Bears’ Famous Invasion of  Sicily

The Last Whale Singer

The Boy Who Switched off the Sun

For young adults/adults

Folio d’Alba

Unicorn Wars

To learn more about all projects, you can find them on the Cartoon Movie website (