'Anton' leads the way in Dutch toons
AMSTERDAM — Holland, Norway, Sweden and Finland have been trading homegrown children’s fare for many years, and this trend continues to influence what these countries bring to market. Here are some of the hot new shows bowing at Mipcom Junior from these territories:
Dutch-based Telescreen Distribution and Licensing’s “Anton,” an animated 26-episode series of five minutes each aimed at the 5- to 8-year-old crowd. Series was produced by Kratky Film in Prague with Oscar-winning producer Gene Deitsch, and concept and original idea by Oscar winner Borge Ring.
“Anton is unique in that it has no language, and the illustrations are more like pencil drawings rather than bright colors, more in keeping with the theme of this animation. Anton is a boy who lives between dream and reality, not unlike a lot of children,” says Sjoerd Raemakers, director of distribution for Telescreen Distribution and Licensing.
Also being brought from Holland’s NOS Sales, which represents the works of the Dutch public broadcasters, is “Puppety,” an 13-episode five-minute-long animated series, from VPRO Television, as well as “Tales on Tails,” the pilot of a new program shot in Kruger Park in South Africa, which offers both wildlife education and entertainment to the 4- to 9-year-old crowd.
NRK Aktivum will be at Mipcom with “Life at Langedrag,” a 24-episode 26-minute live-action family docu drama shot by noted Norwegian nature photographer Arne Navra. Langedrag is a farm as well as a wildlife sanctuary in Norway.
And hanging out on the edge of the Frozen North, Finnish broadcaster YLE will bring “Daughters of Siam,” a six-episode live-action produced by TV1, aimed at 13-plus teeners. Series is about young people in a theater group who mix reality and fiction offstage as well.
The daily menu of children’s programming in the above territories continues to rely in part on popular American and Japanese imports: “Pokemon,” “Digimon,” “Sesame Street” Brit clay model animation series “Hilltop Hospital” as well as Hit Entertainment’s “Bob the Builder,” Jim Henson Co.’s “The Bear in the Big Blue House,” Nelvana’s “George Shrinks” and Cinar’s “Arthur” continue to grab the attention of those young Nordic viewers.