VinTaTa Animation Studio just released its first animated series, Monta in the Odd Galaxy
VinTaTa Animation Studio has just released its first animated series, Monta in the Odd Galaxy, on its VinTaTa YouTube Channel.
VinTaTa was established in 2016, with a mission to “bring laughter to children”. The studio now has over 100 employees in two modern offices in Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City, equipped with the latest hardware and software used throughout the animation world.
But VinTaTa didn’t come up with its new series the old way. They tried something different—and risky. They held a nationwide competition throughout Vietnam to seek ideas for a series based on the character Monta, a Delacour’s langur who is the mascot of VinTaTa’s parent company, Vingroup. In May, it was announced that a four-member creative collective known as The Whale Hunters beat 800 competitors to win the top prize of VND 1 billion ($42,500 USD) with their Monta in the Odd Galaxy concept.
Though The Whale Hunters’ series concept had whacky creative brilliance at its core, it was too culturally specific and complex to translate to the global market. Fortunately, VinTaTa Studio’s young executive director, Nguyen Phi Phi Anh, was savvy enough to understand that if the series was to work for both the Vietnamese and global markets, he needed someone with global producing, developing and writing experience.
So, Phi Anh asked me to redevelop, simplify and globalize The Whale Hunters’ concept and write the scripts for Monta in the Odd Galaxy. But that wasn’t as easy as it sounded.
Phi Anh gave me a mandate to create a uniquely structured series. Each 20-minute episode was to be made up of four 5-minute segments. So far, so good. But the segments had to be self-contained stories that could play alone and still be understood. Writing five-minute episodes isn’t particularly difficult if you’re doing Warner Bros. style visual slapstick comedy, thin on plot and heavy on gags. But it’s not so easy when you have to have a clear beginning, middle and end that not only resolves in five minutes but hooks up with the other three installments to make a coherent whole—and convey a positive theme as well!
Fortunately, with the help of Phi Anh’s skilled creative team we managed to pull it off. Here is a synopsis of the series as ultimately developed:
It all began in the heavenly Cosmic Kitchen where Monta was assistant to the Supreme Chef, helping him whip up planets and stars in his awesome celestial oven. But when Monta tried to make his own planet before he was ready he caused the oven to explode with a “Big Bang” that flung hundreds of odd planets across the galaxy.
Filled with wrath, the Supreme Chef banished Monta to Earth where he found himself making cheeseburgers in a fast food restaurant. But the Supreme Chef had a forgiving heart, so he created an artificially intelligent banana named Banana and sent her to help Monta redeem himself.
There was just one catch: Monta first had to clean up his cosmic mess by resolving the problems on all of the odd planets he had created—Planet Noodle, Planet Garbage, Planet Cell Phone, Planet Teeth and a gazillion other odd planets.
With renewed determination, Monta gathered his fast-food friends—Maika the waitress, Sharkira the busboy and Wood the dishwasher—got into Starship Banana and blasted off for untold adventure and comedy with…Monta in the Odd Galaxy!
And here is my favorite episode so far…
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