For the first time in Canada, kids will help determine the next hit show in a new animated shorts showcase, FUNPAK, premiering on YTV Feb. 3, 2005, at 7:30 pm. FUNPAK is a 13x30 assortment of animated shorts created entirely in-house at YTVs sister company, Nelvana Ltd..
Throughout FUNPAKs 13-week run, viewers can log on to www.ytv.com to vote for their favorite cartoon. The viewers choice for best FUNPAK short will be crowned Toon Idol in a special 14th episode slated for broadcast on May 5 at 7:30 pm, Nelvana will consider greenlighting the winner for its own series.
In 2003, Nelvana put out an open call throughout the studio for pitches that yielded 200 in-house submissions. Narrowed down to 10 concepts, the series of shorts showcases a variety of animation techniques including 2D traditional, 2D digital, CGI and mixed media as well as different styles of humor.
" FUNPAK is an opportunity for us to really allow our own Nelvana talent to bring their creative, wacky ideas to the small screen, said Jocelyn Hamilton, Nelvana's vp of creative production. Its difficult in todays market to take a chance on an unknown creator, but risk taking is what generates original ideas that can flourish into so much more (SPONGEBOB SQUAREPANTS and THE SIMPSONS both began as shorts) and that's what FUNPAK is all about."
YTV has always encouraged audience feedback, and this new series goes one step further by giving viewers the opportunity to get directly involved in creating a hit, empowering them in a way that has never been done before in Canadian animation, said Phil Piazza, vp, programming, children's television. This unique mix of animation styles and humor provides something for every demographic, and we look forward to our viewers response to this series.
GRUESOMESTEINS MONSTERS, created by Mark Ackland and Ricardo Durante, is a 2D digital collection of monster stories with a twist. The first episode in the series finds Witchy, a recovering child-eating witch, beginning a new life in the suburbs only to find that her new dream gingerbread house is infested with pesky kids.
MARTINI & MEATBALLS, created by Mike Csunyoscka, features two expressive friends who travel throughout a borderless mixed-media world, experiencing everyday and extraordinary situations while communicating through incomprehensible dialogue.
SIDEKICK, created by Todd Kauffman and Joey So, recounts the story of Eric Neddles, a stranded sidekick who struggles with his search for his missing superhero while dealing with the trials and tribulations of adolescence.
COOLMAN!, created by John van Bruggen and Arna Selznick, is the story of Lester B. Coolman, a lowly office worker whos lost in the hustle and bustle of everyday life, and prefers to daydream his time away as Coolman, a super cool hipster,
MIRACLE KOALA, created by Mark Cappello, follows Joe Koala and Nero the Emperor Penguin after they escape from the governments top secret animal research laboratory, and their attempt to find their way back to Australia, home of the eucalyptus.
HAROLD ROSENBAUM CHARTERED ACCOUNTANT EXTREME, created by Matt Ferguson, is an action-adventure parody about accountant Harold Rosenbaum who uses his accounting skills to track down crooks and capture criminals.
ROTTING HILLS, created by Glen Wyand, follows the adventures of 10-year-old Clark McWeeble, his zombie friend Zoe and her undead dog Buster in a town populated by the living dead.
THE 9TH LIFE OF SHERMAN PHELPS, created by Mark Thornton and Todd Kauffman, follows the cat Sherman, whos on his ninth life but is haunted by the spiritual remains of his previous eight lives.
THE MANLY BEE, created by Steve Daye, is the story of a legendary superhero returning to save his fair city after a 50-year hiatus. The only problem is that he has no recollection of ever being a celebrated crimefighter.
THE WILD WILD CIRCUS COMPANY, created by Jean-Christian Knaff and Claude Miceli, follows unique circus characters on their adventures as they travel from town to town.
Viewers voting for their favorite short to go to series has worked out for Cartoon Network in the U.S. Time to see what kind of programmers Canadian kids turn out to be.
Nelvana Ltd. is one of the worlds leading international producers and distributors of childrens programming and products. Its current stable of franchise properties includes Emmy Award-winning and globally renowned brands, such as ROLIE POLIE OLIE, BABAR, FRANKLIN and BEYBLADE.
YTV, Canadas #1 youth network, is seen in more than eight million homes across Canada. As a major force in Canadian kids entertainment, YTV has triggered some $870 million in Canadian independent production; developed a Website that averages more than 9 million page views each week; published a successful kids magazine, WHOA!; and conducts a highly respected annual survey, The YTV Tween Report.
YTV and Nelvana are owned by Corus Ent. (www.corusentertainment.com), a Canadian-based media and entertainment company. Corus is a market leader in both specialty TV and radio with interests include music, television broadcasting and advertising services. A publicly traded company, Corus is listed on the Toronto (CJR.NV.B) and New York (CJR) Exchanges.