Future of Toons in the West

The Future of Toons in the West is the section of Future Film Festival dedicated to the most interesting news about Tv series coming from USA and Europe.
These are the series presented:

South Park. Recently broadcast on MTV and Comedy Central in Italy, South Park is now in its eleventh season, wit the episode “Make Love, Not Warcraft”, and it won, in 2007, an Emmy Awards as the best Outstanding Animated Program. Firmly anchored to reality, South Park episodes have increasingly become a timeless place, whose characters stay forever in fourth grade, and whose references to contemporary life are expanded and become the common element of collective madness.

The Boondocks, now in its second season, is interesting for its start as a bad comics and its “adult” target as animated series. Its new version features animated cut-ins by the famous Japanese studio MadHouse. As a result, animation has become more detailed, even as far as character design is concerned.

Drawn Together, created by Dave Jeser and Matt Silverstein and broadcast on Comedy Central, is a sort of funny American reality show whose eight leading characters parody celebrities and TV stereotypes, sharing the same house, in a sort of surreal life. This extremely interesting animated series from the States, was launched from the channel in this way: “find out what happens when cartoon characters give up being kind…”.

Aqua Teen Hunger Force, a series currently aired on Adult Swim, has become an extremely successful late-night show in the US, and will be televised in Italy in a few months. Created by Dave Willis and Matt Maiellaro, Aqua Teen Hunger Force tells the story of three characters, whose appearance is a mix between human and fast food. Their mai goal is to use irony and sarcasm. Since the most of the dialogues are real impovisations, animation is built in order to complete it.

Lili’s Island, produced by the canadian Tele Images and by Je Suis Bien Content, is a series for teenagers about the adventures of three kids landed in a parallel dimension. In the new world, everything is possible, and the tree, without parental care, have to wriggle out of dangers and misterious characters. The quick and thin drawing style makes the animation aggressive and enjoyable even for an adult audience.

The Widely Travelled Little Mouse is produced by the Hungarian production company Kecskemétfilm Kft. and is a beautiful traditional animated cartoon series, which tells the adventures of a small mouse that has to face an excessively big world.

Mondokàk is a series of extremely short episodes, with a funny and simple style, inspired by popular nursery rhymes, produced in Hungary by Studio Baestarts.

The Moffels, another series for teenagers, in 3D animation, is produced by the German Digitrick Films. The project, still to be financed, is the story of three maladroit galactic spirits who are awakened by a little girl, and try to live with her.But, as they are only half-magic, often put themeselves in trouble.

Animal Report series in Flash starring various animals, including Laika, the dog launched into space by the Russians. The series’ short episodes, produced by the French company Destination 2005, are drawn in a heavy black-and-white trait, while their spundtraks are taken from famous classic music pieces.

Banja, directed by Ethan Murray and Ezra Weisz for the French production company Maybe Movies, is the series which tells the story of a rebel musician who, after signing a contract with a label, ends up imprisoned on an island called Hitland. The island is inhabited by other musicians, and the only way to freedom seems to be composing great hits for the record company which keeps them in captivity. This series has recently obteined its première on Canal+, and is building a real virtual community all aroud the web.

Hairy Scary is a new series from Alphanim, French production company, which has produced, thanks to this one, its first complete series in 3D animation, whic was launched in 2003 as a pilot project at the Cartoon Forum in Varese, Italy. Recently acquired by Disney Channel for Italy, it has a style in between that of Monsters Inc. and Sponge Bob.

Purple & Brown and Shaun the Sheep are two plasticine animated series that Aardman Animations, known for its stop-motion animations, has recently worked on the production of. Purple & Brown is a series of hilarious shorts directed by Richard Webber, with two curious friends as its main characters. The duo has a typical laugh, which have become the show theme song. Shaun the sheep is a Wallace&Gromit spin-off, and tells the story of a wayward sheep who does not like to follow his herd. Because of his enthusiasm and curiosity, Shaun always put himself into funny troubles.

The Stressful adventures of Boxhead and Roundhead was created by Elliot Cowan, anEnglish artist who chooses a TV format for his serial shorts. The series is in black-and -white and is about the misadventures of two funny characters: the one is round-headed, the other is square-haded. The simple animations and effective soundtrack lead the audience through the macabre irony of the characters.

Alex Gallego, Spanish animator, is worth mentioning too: he created the Flash series Cheeseman, about a Gruyère-man dealing with everyday life, Wan Monstaz, short ironical episodes on zombies and ghosts and Corsairs, on the life of a clumsy pirate.

Grip Wrench, by Rex Crowle, is an animated series produced by Rexbox Animation Design Illustration and coproduced and distributed by Qoob Factory. It tells the story of a Vietnam veteran who, back home, starts a new career as a stuntman. Although he is very good at his job, every time he is in the middle of action his bad memories come back to haunt him.

Sturmtruppen, is the animated series taken from famous Bonvi’s strips, entirely produced in Italy, by Casta Diva Pictures/Chiaroscuro/Paganoni. It comprises 30” episodes full of Bonvi-style gags and action. The production group chose 3D animation for the series, in order to enhance the stage presence of the famous soldiers. The absurd condition of these troopers, always ready for battle but invariably confronted by cuckoo tanks and boring trenches, appears surprisingly modern.