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MipJunior: Potential Toon Heroes Knock at Market’s Door

Five properties compete Sunday at 'Pitch Your IP for Animated Series!' first edition

Five properties, featuring a motley crew of heroes for children, compete Sunday Oct. 15 at the first edition of MipJunior‘s ‘Pitch Your IP for Animated Series!,’ a new live pitch session for intellectual properties willing to be transformed into toon series.

A jury of experts from the licensing industry chose the five most promising concepts from MipJunior’s Screenings Library. The finalists will pitch on stage at MipJunior in front of international experts,producers, broadcasters, distributors and investors.

Among them, U.K. creative director Hurn Roger and illustrator-animator Peter Richardson, whose company, Spook Squad Productions, is turning the concept “Spook Squad – Adventures Too Scary for Boys” into an animated series and a videogame, among other options.

According to Roger, “’The Spook Squad’” turns on four ordinary girls who exemplify the maxim: Real heroes don’t have super powers – that’s what makes them heroes.”

“They have fun adventures using their wits, imagination and resourcefulness to protect the world against an assortment of spooky monsters from a parallel dimension.

They show that all problems, no matter how scary, can be solved by working together as a team. So, on dark and stormy nights, when the vampires are being a pain in the neck and hairy horrors are on the prowl, the Spook Squad spring into action,” he said.

The show is aimed at girls between the ages of 6-9, but the appeal of ‘Spook Squad’ is much broader in terms of age and gender —we like to think of it having as much appeal to the cool Goth elder sister or the older brother away at university,” he added.

As a TV show project, “The Spook Squad” would have a 52 episode, 11 minute series structure.

”My Little Heroes,” teaming Spain’s Peekaboo Animation and EMSE Publishing companies, is based on a collection of illustrated biographies of persons who made great contributions to the history of mankind.

“All the stories begin with the figure themselves narrating their life, from their childhood to an adult age. We represent, in a lively and cheerful way, with warm colors and always smiling figures such as Mozart, Einstein or Darwin, when they were children, explaining their achievements,” says Peekaboo Animation CEO Iván Agenjo, whose credits include animation shows such as “I Elvis Riboldi” and “Mironins.”

In parallel, the Barcelona-based partners are working on the early stage of a 2D animated 60 episode series adaptation. “Trigo,” a pre-school 3D CGI series project focused on a tiger, India’s national animal, is set up at Lattu Kids, the first OTT streaming service dedicated to kids edutainment in India. The platform was launched in December by Vivek Bhutyani, a former head of contentsyndication business at Fox’s Star India, who will attend the pitch at MipJunior.

The 26-episode, seven-minute series follows a playful and adorable young tiger cub who loves to explore just about everything, often landing in trouble. Thanks to the patience and understanding of his parents and well-wishers, Trigo emerges unscathed, a little wiser, though no less naughty.

At the inaugural edition of Pitch Your IP, Auzou, a major French kids publishing company, will pitch the books about its upper-pre-school brand “Simon The Raccoon.” The project focuses on a very cute raccoon, living in the forest, discovering his emotions, his world and the strength of being surrounded by his friends.

“Our aim is to find partners to develop an animation work,” said Adélaïde Quiblier, audiovisual & consumer product manager at Auzou Publishing.

“The full concept of the animation would then have to be discussed deeper with the final team we will have on board,” she added.

Auzou has hugely expanded its business in the kids’ world since 2009, boosted by properties such as “Le Loup” series, about a multi-cultural wolf hero, present in 20 publishing markets.

Big Bad Boo Studios, the production arm of New York, L.A. and Vancouver-based company Big Bad Boo Entertainment, has previously boarded projects such as “Lili & Lola,” “16 Hudson” and “1001 Nights,” and is also responsible for the multi-language SVOD online channel Oznoz.com.

At MipJunior, Big Bad Boo Studios will pitch “The Bravest Knight,” a comedy adventure series in development which has been already pre-acquired by Hulu.

Targeting 6-11s and families, with first season designed as a 13 11-minute episodes, “The Bravest Knight” is the story of a young pumpkin farmer, named Cedric, as he attempts to become the greatest knight ever known. Once grown and married, Sir Cedric recounts his fairytale adventures to his adopted daughter Nia, showing her the paths and pitfalls that await her on the way to knighthood.

Big Bad Boo Studios provides services for both Big Bad Boo properties and as a co-producer for partners around the world, bringing to the co-financing table access to Canadian tax credits.

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