The French city of Toulouse will host the 27th edition of Cartoon Forum, the coproduction platform for European animation series that will present 80 new projects from across Europe from 13-16 September 2016. This year is especially important for the Irish animation industry as for the first time the Forum will have a Spotlight on Ireland.

Ireland, very active and very creative in animation, has offered its candidature for being the first country to go under the full glare of the media. On the strength of its eight selected projects this year, Irish animation will appear as a constant thread throughout Cartoon Forum: presentations of Irish studios during Croissant Shows, Irish Farewell Dinner & Party, … and many more surprises!

Ireland has always been a hub of creativity and artistic talent, and nowhere is this clearer to see than in the Irish animation industry. This flourishing sector now accounts for one-third of the country’s audio-visual industry, and production activity is increasing every year. Irish animation studios are working with some of the biggest names in global broadcasting—including Disney, Nickelodeon, Cartoon Network and the BBC—making animated series that are shown to millions of children all over the world every week. Award-winning features and shorts, animated programming for adults, apps and games are made here by our dynamic, technically advanced—and entirely indigenous—2D and 3D studios.

In recent years’ Irish animation has been nominated for every major international award, including Academy Awards, BAFTAs, Emmys and Annies. Underpinning the sector’s competitiveness in a global landscape is the Irish tax incentive for film and television, Section 481, which was recently improved by the government.

The eight projects chosen from Ireland are as follows:

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Alva and the Trolls

From Kavaleer Productions comes Alva and the Trolls, a 2D computer-animated TV series aimed at pre-school children. Once upon a time there was a little girl called Alva Doon who found a magical trollbead bracelet at the bottom of a well. Trouble was, each of the seven pretty beads was an actual petrified troll, each with the single goal of causing Alva strife. But Alva’s no pushover- headstrong, gutsy and tough as nails, she must skill up to defend herself against the seven duplicitous dunderheads while teaching them a thing or two about nice behaviour at the same time! “Alva and the Trolls” aims to be the first kids show that links preschool social and emotional development with transferable media literacy skills though a classical fairy tale format, essentially training wheels for social interaction.

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Creepers

From Giant Animation comes Creepers, a 2D and 3D computer-animated TV series aimed at children between 6 and 8. Creepers follows the exploits of three lifelong friends on their journey to investigate and document the eeriest mysteries of their city. Unlike most young kids, these three best friends spent most of their childhood creeping around graveyards and abandoned warehouses, investigating “monsters” with their homemade gadgets and old Polaroid cameras. Now in their teens they work out of an old abandoned cinema, where they run a monster mystery blog. With Gwen’s research skills, Harry’s unlimited knowledge of all things creepy, and Coop’s bad-ass leather jacket, the trio forged on into the unknown to bring their audience exactly what they wanted: the creepiest mysteries the world has never seen…

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I’ve got a Time Traveling Monkey on my Back

From Treehouse Republic comes I’ve got a Time Traveling Monkey on my Back, a 2-D computer-animated TV series aimed at children aged 9 to 11. When Burt Burchester invents a time machine in the distant future, his highly evolved monkey lab assistant, Archibald, is up first for a test run. Travelling back to the present, he is stuck when the time machine breaks. Archie seeks out the only guy he knows who can fix it, Burt. At 12 years old, he hasn’t yet gained the knowledge to fix a time machine and after attempting to rebuild it, they’re left with the ability to time travel, but there’s a catch. It sends them either back or forth, but they can’t set a date. With Big Chrono, the warden of the nexus they try to use time to their advantage with one harebrained scheme after the other.

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Peek Zoo

From Igloo Films comes Peek Zoo, a 3-D computer animated TV series aimed at pre-school children. The hilarious adventures of zookeeper Mr. Peek and his two children, Jimmy and Violet, as they look after the loud and colourful animals of Peek Zoo. Mr. Peek is the proprietor and zookeeper. He doesn’t need an alarm clock; he is awoken every morning in his home on the zoo grounds at the crack of dawn by the many loud animal noises. Despite his good intentions Mr. Peek is a bumbling zookeeper and whether he admits it or not, or even notices, he relies on his son Jimmy to remedy his blunders. Although Violet, Jimmy’s younger sister, isn’t yet old enough to speak, at times she has a telepathic connection to the animals. There will be problems, sometimes engendered by Mr. Peek himself and ones that arise naturally, that they will need to solve.

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Snoozeville

From JAM Media comes Snoozeville, a 2D and 3D computer-animated TV series aimed at children between 6 and 8. This comedic, nonsensical series follows three best friends. Kip is a goofy, carefree 10-year-old kid who with his buddies, Pillow and Tick, just wants to… live the dream. Pillow is a laid back memory foam pillow, who always provides laughter, not to mention luxurious comfort and support. Tick, on the other hand, is an easily wound up alarm clock, who is a stickler for time and gets frustrated by the ever changing rules of the world. These likely bedfellows chase the dream of one day climbing the social ladder in the surreal world of Snoozeville. However, can they dodge Scary Mary and her shady shapeshifting brothers who are hell bent on turning this dream into a Nightmare?

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The Mooneys

From Salty Dog Pictures comes The Mooneys, a 2D and 3D computer-animated TV series aimed at young adults and adults. It’s the year 2090 and the world’s fossil fuels have run dry. The earth is plagued by war, mass migrations and the lack of a good prime time animated series; but all is not lost. Scientists have discovered vast amounts of Helium-3 on the moon. This rare element is the key to a limitless power supply and world domination. Before World War 3 broke out the UN came up with a solution: why not have a reality-TV competition? In order to win, each country gets to have one family represent it. They must live on the moon for 24 months without: 1 Breaking the rules, 2 Quitting, 3 Going insane and/or 4 Getting killed. Few families will last 24 months. Unfortunately for Ireland, their chances of winning begin with one miscreant family: The Mooneys.

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Urban Tails

From Pink Kong Studios comes Urban Tails, a 2D computer-animated TV series aimed at chikdren aged 6 to 8.The Animal Music Artists ooze attitude as their videos play in the Urban Tails Music Chart show. Filled with funny character driven content the series is energetic, unpredictable and upbeat, presenting the viewers with an unique take on Urban Wildlife. Each episode is a music video that educates us about what life is really like for the creatures living among us in our cities. With strong lyrics and a visual style that emulates 1990’s Videos, Urban Tails will have children and their nostalgic parents engaged in co-viewing. These seriously catchy tunes will stick in your head for days. Whether it’s Salt ‘N’ Pepa style Foxes from Dublin or Beastie Boys inspired Boars from Berlin these lively short episodes will have audiences tuning in daily.

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Zombabies

From Keg Kartoonz comes Zombabies, a 2D computer-animated TV series aimed at children between the ages of 6 and 8. The Fitzgeralds are an aristocratic family who have lived on a vast estate for generations. Some time ago they had fallen on hard times and had been forced to sell off much of their land. Their old mansion has been condemned and the family moves into one of the many new generic houses built on their former land while they try to prevent their old family home from being raised to the ground. But this family is a family of zombied and life, or should I say ‘death’, is made very difficult for them as they try to fit in with their new living neighbours. But with the zombie kids’ (‘Zombabies’ as their mother calls them) intervention they always manage to muddle through.

Created in 1990 to boost the co-production and distribution of European animation for television and new media platforms, Cartoon Forum has helped 680 animation series obtain financing to the tune of over €2.3 billion.

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