Cartoon Forum Celebrates 20th Anniversary
The 52x7 Boo Boo Dolls, presented by Gerhard Hahn in his habitual wry and self-deprecating style, is based around the concept of special dolls whose appointed role is to eat the fears of children before their concerns can turn into nightmares. This clever conceit not only offers a hopeful psychological balm for troubled kids, but also has great merchandising potential.
Aimed at preschoolers, Dustbunnies (26x10) features the adventures of Snuffle and Fluff and a collection of other friendly creatures who live amidst a cornucopia of lost items under Granny’s sofa. The three first-time presenters, dressed as grannies (complete with knitting), completely won over their audience and were able to benefit from the many supportive and empathetic suggestions for ways to improve their early-stage project.
Other notable projects:
The Bus Company (26x10, Norway), which was represented by an incredibly dynamic trailer, is the work of director and producer Edmund Austigard. Whatever happens with this project, he and co-creator Elise Wedde should keep making films and keep presenting.
Girls’ Things (Spain), a tween sitcom that deals with issues associated with puberty, featured a very appealing graphic style. Like Dustbunnies, this 26x11 series benefited from its Cartoon Forum screening in garnering much valuable feedback to help the creators make it an even better product.
Finally, The Arctic Ring (13x7, UK/Estonia/Finland), one of the most interesting projects at Cartoon Forum, is also one that’s likely to have the most trouble getting funded due to its regional character. Conceived as a collection of stories that “will take you into nomads’ tents, to mountains, forests and seas, to meet bears, shamans and reindeer,” the highly imaginative production is a series that deserves to be made, and hopefully it will find the support it needs.
Next year’s edition of Cartoon Forum will take place in historic Sopron, one of the most picturesque towns in Hungary.
Ron Diamond is the president of AWN and the owner of animation production house Acme Filmworks.
Jon Hofferman is senior editor of AWN Press and a former editor of Animation World Magazine.