Sci-fi comedy represents toon house's feature film debut
ANNECY — Chile’s Zumbastico Studios, one of Latin America’s fastest-rising animation houses, has joined forces with Santiago-based Punkrobot Studio Audiovisual to co-produce its first feature film, sci-fi animated comedy “The Mango Brothers.”
Pitched Tuesday as part of the Feature Film Pitches Program at the Annecy Festival’s MIFA market, project is co-directed by Zumbastico co-founder Alvaro Ceppi, who also produces alongside partner Gabriel Noe.
Penned by Zumbastico’s head scriptwriter Carlos Bleycher, the pic’s other co-director, “The Mango Brothers” follows two aliens who try to conquer Vegonia, a planet inhabited by fruits and vegetables. They occupy the bodies of two Vegonians, believing that they are planet’s mind controllers. But they are actually joyous, live-loving salsa dance instructors.
In initial contact with potential buyers and distributors at Annecy, “The Mango Brothers” already won last year a grant from Chilean economic development agency Corfo to develop the feature project’s screenplay and a teaser.
Formerly known as Solo Por Las Ninas Audiovisual, Zumbastico Studios broke through internationally in 2011 with pre-school TV series “Zumbastico Fantastico,” a co-production with Chilean broadcaster TVN acquired by Cartoon Network for Latin America.
Mixing stop-motion and live-action, Zumbastico’s flagship show “Horatio and The Plasticines” became in 2013 the company’s first international co-production, teaming with Argentina’s TV channel Paka Paka, and then its first European co-production, after it inked with Barcelona-based Imira Ent. to co-produce the TV series of 52 new episodes.
An recent Annecy regular, Zumbastico won the Disney Channel Award at MIFA’s TV Series Pitches in 2013 with comedy series project “Cagemates,” a co-production with the U.K.
Launched 2007, Punkrobot Studio Audiovisual has focused on the creation and production of children’s TV shows and 3D CG shorts. “The Mango Brothers” also marks Punkrobot’s first feature film project.
A “Mango Brothers” teaser was screened by promotion board Cinemachile, which has a booth for the first time at Annecy, among a showcase of TV series, shorts and long-features in development at a Brazil/Chile Territory Focus Thursday at Annecy.
“The fact that ‘Cagemates’ won the TV series pitch last year and ‘The Mango Brothers’ has been selected for MIFA’s feature film pitches this year says something about Chilean animation,” said Cinemachile exec director Constanza Arena.
Chilean animation has focused on TV production, Chile making five toon pics in the past, but it now has 10 feature films in development, she added.