Sony Pictures Animation and Fred Seibert’s Frederator Networks have launched a contest to find new toon talent, with the winner to be granted a deal for a series that will run on Frederator’s Cartoon Hangover channel on YouTube.
Under the companies’ new Go! Cartoons incubator project, Sony Pictures Animation will fund 12 five-minute animated shorts, one premiering every month on Cartoon Hangover’s YouTube channel starting in the fall of 2015. One of those shorts will then be picked to become a limited series for the channel, which has more than 1.3 million subscribers.
“This is a great opportunity for Sony Pictures Animation to find new talent that might not emerge from more traditional platforms,” said Bob Osher, president of Sony Pictures Digital Prods.
Osher called Fred Seibert “a force of nature in animation,” noting that Seibert has developed multiple series from similar incubator projects including “The Powerpuff Girls,” “The Fairly OddParents” and “Adventure Time.” In addition, Genndy Tartakovsky, director of Sony’s “Hotel Transylvania,” was also discovered through one of Seibert’s incubator initiatives, when Tartakovsky pitched the idea for series “Dexter’s Laboratory.”
With Go! Cartoons, Sony Pictures Animation and Frederator said they’re looking for character-driven comedy toons between four and five minutes, appealing primarily to a family audience. Entries should be stand-alone shorts, not a series or pilot. Go! Cartoons is a “great way to shake the trees for new talent thanks to the involvement of a major animation studio like Sony Pictures Animation — and we’ll continue to fund and produce content our own unique way,” Seibert said.
Seibert, who has a film-development deal with Sony Pictures Animation, is an industry vet who helped launch MTV in 1981 (creating the network’s mutating logo) and later ran Hanna-Barbera. Frederator Networks, Seibert’s media division, launched Cartoon Hangover in October 2012 and the channel’s “Bravest Warriors” series became one of the most-watched scripted series out of the YouTube funded-channels project.
Cartoon Hangover’s most recent incubator lab, Too Cool! Cartoons, resulted in new series including “Bee & PuppyCat” from Natasha Allegri, which has more than 4 million views. Frederator Studios launched a Kickstarter campaign for the series and 18,209 fans contributed $872,000 to bankroll the animated series.
Sony Pictures Animation’s movies franchises include “Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs” and “The Smurfs.” The studio will be releasing “Hotel Transylvania 2” next fall, once again directed by Tartakovsky, and a fully animated, yet-untitled Smurfs feature in August 2016.