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Mush-Mush & the Mushables

(Status: in development)

Left: Joeri Christiaen (CEO of Thuristar) Right: Perrine Gauthier (CEO of La Cabane Productions)

Mush-Mush & the Mushables
Creator: Elfriede de Rooster
Literary Bible: Elfriede de Rooster / Benjamin Richard
Graphic Bible: Elfriede de Rooster
Producer: Perrine Gauthier
Production Companies: La Cabane Productions (France) / Thuristar (Belgium)
Format: 52×11’
Target Audience: Upper preschool (4 to 7 years old)
Technique: 3D digital

Mush-Mush & the Mushables is an upper preschool series project developed by La Cabane Productions (France) and Thuristar (Belgium). It is a cute and fun concept featuring lovable characters in the unique universe of mushrooms. The series centers around a character named Mush-Mush, who goes on adventures and explores his beautiful home forest together with his unique friends, while they all discover themselves as well in the process.

We talked to Perrine Gauthier, the producer of the series, via an email interview. She shares how this aspiring project has started and how it’s being developed.

Animationweek (AW): Where did the initial idea of the story and characters come from?

Perrine Gauthier (PG): Mush-Mush & the Mushables was created by Flemish artist Elfriede de Rooster. Initially, Elfriede created this world and community without really knowing what it would become. We proposed her to develop this property into an animated series and she was very excited about the idea. Since then, we’ve been working together on the development of the TV series concept and bibles. The literary bible is co-written between Elfriede de Rooster and Benjamin Richard, a seasoned French writer.

Mush-Mush and Luis, sculpted in ZBrush by Elfriede de Rooster, creator of Mush-Mush & the Mushables.

Still from the first teaser of Mush-Mush & the Mushables.

AW: How did you develop the visuals of the cute characters and the fantasy universe? Do you have a key artist for the visuals?

PG: All the designs are created by Elfriede de Rooster, as the author of the graphic bible. Her work is inspired by the growing technology of 3D printing: the character of Mush-Mush was a hand-drawn sketch at first, but it soon became a little figurine printed in 3D. Elfriede also does a lot of visual research on real-life mushrooms – as there are a lot of different species, including some really incredible specimen out there!

In the summer of 2016, La Cabane and Thuristar coproduced a first teaser to transpose this style into actual CG animation – which has triggered enthusiastic feedback and firm interests.

Still from the first teaser of Mush-Mush & the Mushables.

Still from the first teaser of Mush-Mush & the Mushables.

AW: What do you like most about this TV series?

PG: We instantly fell in love with the unique visual style of the project – it really has the power to create love at first sight! Next to that, we love the idea of developing a series about a peculiar community, with its very own way of life and habits. Finding one’s place in a society, from a child’s point of view, is a fascinating topic, which we want to convey through comedy and adventure.

AW: What kind of message would you like to deliver to the audience through your animation series?

PG: The intention isn’t to deliver a message per se – as this isn’t an educational series – but Elfriede likes the idea of inviting kids to be curious about themselves, and about the world around them, and so do we. We believe this can be done by telling fun stories and bonding with strong characters.

AW: Could you please tell us what stage your project is at now? And what kind of support are you looking for?

PG: The series is currently in development – both from a creative and from a financing point of view. Current discussions include European broadcasters, international distributors and book publishers. Those are the first key pieces of the financing puzzle.

The next few months will be spent working on the bibles, scripts and an animatic of a first full episode. Once the development will be completed, we are hoping to start production by the end of 2017.

AW: Do you have anything else that you would like to mention about your project or share with our global audience?

PG: Mush-Mush & the Mushables is a beautiful and unique property, and it’s nice to see today that our “crush” for the project is shared by many others.

We very much value creator-driven content; developing and producing an animated series is a long and challenging process, and the vision of an author really helps keep the ship sailing!

Concept art for Mush-Mush & the Mushables by Romain Jouandeau.

Concept art for Mush-Mush & the Mushables by Romain Jouandeau.

Synopsis

In a world that is both familiar and fantastic, Mush-Mush & the Mushables tells the extraordinary adventure of self-discovery, from the children’s point of view.

In the Mushables’ peculiar little community, huddled in the midst of the forest, everyone seems to have chosen his or her role. Everyone that is, except our hero Mush-Mush, who likes to do so many different things that he prefers to let adventure do the choosing for him!

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