Mipcom: ‘Wriggles,’ ‘Patchwork Kingdom’ among Polish TV Animation Projects At Mipcom

Country received a spotlight at recent Toulouse Cartoon Forum

'Wriggles,' Patchwork Kingdom' Among Mipcom Polish
Courtesy: Badi Badi

Badi Badi’s “The Wriggles” and “Bianca & Albert’s Patchwork Kingdom,” a production of Warsaw’s Serafiński in co-production with Studio Miniatur Filmowych, are some of Polish animation series projects to be offered to buyers and potential partners at Mipcom.

Alongside TV Studio Filmów Animowanych’s “A Great Worry” and “Leo Da Vinci” – produced by Italy’s Gruppo Alcuni with Warsaw Movie Home–- all these projects were selected in a spotlight devoted to Polish animation at Toulouse’s Cartoon Forum this year.

“The Wriggles” is a 26-part, 11-minute adventure-fantasy fable series following squirrel-like creatures and their friends.

Based in Warsaw, Badi Badi has just pre-licensed the third season of “Agi Bagi,” about the adventures of the dwellers of a two-sided plane, to Discovery MENA, the Ukraine (Kids TV), Vietnam (Viet Content) and Iran (Irib).

Badi Badi is now producing the third season of “Agi Bagi,” offered at Mipcom. The first season has been sold to more than sixty-four countries, according to Badi Badi sources.

In “Patchwork Kingdom”, Princess Bianca and Hamster Albert try to get to know the world and other peolple in their kingdom. reminding viewers of the importance of outdoors learning. The show targets pre-school 3-5 kids.

Other Polish projects offered at Mipcom are the Animoon-produced “I Love This,” a 13-seg short-format show featuring the undertakings of a cat, a monkey and an elephant in Lovely Town; and “Sol & Liv,” a 13-episode 10-minute show produced by Warsaw’s Letko and inspired by Slavic and Scandinavian myths.

Poland animation is experiencing a upbeat period, especially after its recent milestone, Dorota Kobiela and Hugh Welchman’s “Loving Vincent,” proved an Audience Award winner at France’s Annecy Intl. Animation Film Festival this year.

Poland currently boasts more than 30 animation studios, funded by government aid, a chief source of financing. Most of them are backed by the Polish Film Institute (PFI), whose total annual budget for film development and production reaches $26 million. Animated productions rep $5.5 million of that.

That’s a significant change, Wlodek Matuszewski, a producer at SMF, pointed out.

A decade ago, “production depended either on broadcasters’ commissions, mostly from TVP, or sub-contracting work,” Matuszewski told Variety adding: “Now, the PFI and independent producers’ ability to tap different financing sources drive much industry growth.”

“The PFI has supported animation for years. Since 2016, it earmarks a special sum for projects for young viewers and family audiences. As a result, we can develop more productions not only short artistic films and TV series but also feature films,” Badi Badi’s Dominika Osak told Variety.

The Polish government has announced it will create a 25% cash rebate for film production in the country. That has still to happen, but is expected to take effect in 2018.

“Over the last couple of years, you can see women on many animation awards winners lists,” noted AnetA Ozorek coordinator of the Polish Animation Producers Assn.

“Animators like Brożyńska, Bruszewska, Gąsiorowska, Borysewicz, Kwiatkowska-Naqvi, Pajek, Sowa are known to animation fans,” she added saying that they aim to build a world of intimate bitter -sweet stories of life, its disappointments, chaos, difficult memories from home, love stories told with rough, drawn, painted frames.”

The origins of Polish animation date back to pioneer Władysław Starewicz an entomologist and caricaturist who made the first puppet animation films “The Ant and the Grasshopper” (1912) and “The Tale of the Fox” (1930), reportedly the firs puppet animation feature.

Polish animation experienced a golden age during the 1960s with the works of Witold Giersz (“Little Western,” 1961), Mirosław Kijowicz (“Smile”), and Mirosław Kijowicz (“Arlekin,” 1960).