You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Copa Studio’s Zé Brandão Discusses Annecy TV Competition Player ‘Jorel’s Brother’

With clear influences spanning over the past three decades, ‘Jorel’s Brother’ boasts audience-spanning generations of animation fans

ANNECY, France — Brazil is the guest country of honor at this year’s Annecy Festival, and is well represented in all of the festival’s competitions. In TV, two series made the cut, stop-motion “Angeli the Killer” and, for younger and older audiences alike, “Jorel’s Brother” will represent the South American nation.

“Jorel’s Brother” features the episode “Special Eject” as its competition entry. In it, a giant birthday cake, a puppet of William Shakespeare and a team of Japanese heroes with microwave bodies invade Japan after Jorel’s brother uses the Special Eject button on the family’s VCR. Jorel’s brother is whisked away to Japan in a race against time to save the island nation.

Copa Studio produced along with Cartoon Network Latin America; Copa’s Zé Brandão talked to Variety about the series, creator Juliano Enrico’s influences and the possibilities for further distribution.

What were some of the major influences for “Jorel’s Brother”? I get a very “Marvelous Misadventures of Flapjack” vibe, and the episode in competition shows off some anime.

You got it right. Juliano Enrico, “Jorel’s Brother” creator, came up with the main characters using his own family as an inspiration. So it makes sense that his childhood and everything he loved as a kid plays a major role on the show’s universe and aesthetics. “Flapjack” is one of Juliano’s favorite cartoons, alongside with “The Cow and the Chicken” and “Dexter’s Lab.”

On the other hand, we Brazilians were heavily exposed to anime, especially in the late ‘80s, early ‘90s, when all of the show’s writers, storyboarders, designers and animators were kids. In this particular episode, “Special Eject,” the story happens in Japan, so the team took it as an opportunity to pay homage to everything we love about anime.

The themes in this series are geared towards younger audiences, but the humor works for adults too. What kind of success has Jorel had with older audiences?

There’s no doubt that “Jorel’s Brother” is a kid’s show, but I think that the first child we try to please is the one that still lives inside Juliano and the rest of the team. So our themes, stories and situations usually have two layers: One for the kids, and one for the grownups. To put the two audiences together we use superglue, non-sense humor. So, yes, “Jorel’s Brother” has a lot of faithful fans in their 20s, 30s and 40s. They love the little references and Easter-eggs we put in the background, like vintage toys and ’80s movies parodies. They watch the show together with their children, transforming an episode premiere into a family event.

How is the show’s production structured?

“Jorel’s Brother” is a Copa Studio and Cartoon Network Latin America co-production. Almost everything – from animatics to final deliveries, including art and animation – is produced in house, in Copa Studio HQ in Rio de Janeiro. The exception is sound (voice recording, music, sound effects, final mix…) which is made in Ultrassom Music Ideas. The scripts are handled by a creative collective called “TV Quase”, a group of writers, actors and comedians founded by Juliano Enrico and four of his most talented friends, back in the early 2000’s in his hometown, Vitoria.

Where is the show broadcast now, and are there plans for international?

Right now it’s only on pay TV – Cartoon Network Latin America. But we should announce the landing of “Jorel’s Brother” on VOD platforms very soon. For now, we are in all of Latin America, but so far the rest of the world is uncharted territory. But I have to say: Not for long.

CREDIT: Copa Studio

More Film

  • Spider-Man: Far From Home trailer

    Film News Roundup: 'Spider-Man: Far From Home' Trailer Sets Sony Pictures Record

    In today’s film news roundup, “Spider-Man: Far From Home” sets a studio record, Chris Meledandri and Glenn Close are honored, an art-house streaming service is unveiled, and “Cliffs of Freedom” gets a release. TRAILER STATS The first “Spider-Man: Far From Home” trailer has set a record as the biggest digital launch in Sony Pictures history [...]

  • Frank Grillo Hell on the Border

    Frank Grillo to Star in the Thriller 'Hell on the Border'

    Frank Grillo is set to star in the action-thriller “Hell on the Border” with Wes Miller directing. Miller also penned the script with Curtis Nichouls, Henry Penzi, and Sasha Yelaun producing. Ron Perlman is also on board to co-star. Plot details are unknown at this time. Production is currently underway in Birmingham, Ala. Grillo has [...]

  • Lee Unkrich Variety Oscars Nominees Lunch

    'Toy Story 3,' 'Coco' Director Lee Unkrich to Exit Pixar After 25 Years

    Lee Unkrich, who won Academy Awards for “Toy Story 3” and “Coco,” is departing Pixar Animation Studios after 25 years to spend more time with his family. Unkrich joined Pixar in 1994 after working as an assistant editor in television on “Silk Stalkings” and “Renegade.” He served as editor on Pixar’s first feature, 1995’s “Toy [...]

  • Velvet Buzzsaw trailer

    Netflix Original Movies: What to Look Forward To in 2019

    Following the biggest fourth-quarter worldwide subscriber gain ever and some controversy around increased prices in the U.S., Netflix looks to keep its momentum going into 2019. From Jan. 18 through March, the streaming site will release 10 original films, including action-packed thrillers, a post-apocalyptic sci-fi, quirky comedies, inspirational dramas, an artistic horror movie and a viral [...]

  • Third 'Fantastic Beasts' Production Start Pushed

    Third 'Fantastic Beasts' Production Start Pushed Back Several Months

    Warner Bros. is pushing back the production start date of its third “Fantastic Beasts” movie several months from July to the late fall, a spokesperson said Friday. Actors have been notified about the change in dates. The untitled third “Fantastic Beasts” movie has not yet set a release date. “Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find [...]

  • The Beatles Eight Days a Week

    Imagine's Documentary Arm Sets First-Look Pact With Apple (EXCLUSIVE)

    Brian Grazer and Ron Howard’s Imagine Documentaries has set a first-look pact with Apple to develop non-fiction features and series. The deal comes as Imagine is investing heavily in the premium non-fiction arena. The company in June recruited RadicalMedia veteran Justin Wilkes to head Imagine Documentaries as president. The deal suggests that Apple sees docu [...]

  • Walt Disney HQ LA

    Disney Unveils Financial Data for DTC Unit, Sets April 11 for Investor Presentation

    Disney has rejiggered its business segments for earnings reporting to make room for the new unit housing its global streaming operations. Disney on Friday released restated earnings for fiscal 2018, 2017 and 2016 to give investors and financial analysts better visibility into its spending on the launch of the Disney Plus, ESPN Plus and other [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content