Irish toon production keeps growing
“Wulfie,” a 2D toon TV skein, will be carrying the Irish flag at this year’s Cartoon Forum, the Toulouse-set three-day confab.
Produced by Ireland’s Wulfie Animation, the series is one of nine Irish projects pitched at the mini-mart.
“Wulfie” turns on the relationship between the 10-year-old Libby and her new best friend. “It’s a comedy series about the ultimate friendship that grew from a bedtime story,” explained Lindsay J. Sedgwick, producer at Wulfie Animation.
Sedgwick is also an Irish writer and toon author, creator of the first mainstream toon skein, featuring a lead character with Down Syndrome, “Punky” –two seasons of 20 x 7 minutes–, which sold worldwide.
Dublin-based co-producer Monster Entertainment is a brand management shingle that produces and distributes worldwide mainly children’s mainstream animation but also handles documentaries and musicals aimed to kids. Its catalogue includes “The Travels of a Young Marco Polo” and “Planet Rock Profiles” –sold to more than 180 countries.
“In ‘Wulfie’ the ordinary becomes chaotic and the fun is in trying to make everything ‘normal’ again – which it can never be, not when your best friend is a pathologically nosy, purple shape-changing, talking, wolf-like creature from another world,” added Sedgwick.
Series, which targets kids aged 6-11, is budgeted at €5.4 million($6.6 million). Production is scheduled to kick off by June 2015.
Ireland is highly attractive for its support schemes. “We are in a uniquely strong position with funding available from the Section 481 tax shelter, the support of the Irish Film Board, and Irish broadcasters, the Broadcast Authority of Ireland and MEDIA, as well as having especially good relationships with the U.K. and European broadcasters. Our last series, ‘Rocka-Bye Island,’ was financed 100% out of Ireland,” pointed out Andrew Fitzpatrick, Monster’s CEO.
Alongside Jam Media, Monster won the investor-distributor and producer prize at Cartoon Forum in 2012. Monster has recently picked up Belgium’s “Luchien” (26 x 1 minute), Finland’s “Pikkuli” (26 x 5 minute), and Indonesia’s “FlipFlap” (25 x 4 minute), three comedies to debut next month at MIP Junior, part of Cannes’ Mipcom trade fair.
The 25th Cartoon Forum runs Sept 23-26 in Toulouse.