Teletoon Detour Pilot Program: News and Reviews, part I
One of the highlights so far of the 2009 Ottawa International Animation Festival was last night’s screening of Angora Napkin, the pilot by Troy Little and Nick Cross. It was commissioned as part of Teletoon’s Detour Pilot Project and will finally be available for viewing shortly. Teletoon is rolling the pilots out at the festival during late night screenings. Last night was the first, with additional screenings tonight and Saturday. I’d seen the show previously, some months ago in a private viewing, and it was great to get to watch it with an audience. People laughed. A lot. Also on the bill were Nerdland, from Cuppa Coffee, which I found entertaining and serviceable, and The Wireless Family.
I’m not sure how to discuss this show properly. As enjoyable as Angora Napkin was, the Wireless Family sunk my damn heart to my toes. Production-wise, it’s a joke. That’s the intention I’m sure, using dolls and action figures clearly being moved around by someone’s hands, the manipulations visible onscreen for all to see. It’s barely cute, and actually pretty insulting to the craft exhibited by the other two shows whose company it shared. Teletoon gave someone money to make this, and that makes me a little sad. But beyond that, the content itself is racist and insulting. The only sound heard in the theatre was the shuffling of chairs and feet while easily half the crowd made their exit mid-screening.
I’m shocked that this garbage ever made it through production, and I’ll be more shocked when Teletoon actually airs it. There is nothing hip or edgy about this show. It’s just bad.
Here’s a press release that arrived yesterday while I was at the Television Animation Conference regarding the online rollout of the shows. I’m told an announcement regarding TV airdates is forthcoming.
ONLINE LAUNCH FOR TELETOON DETOUR PILOT PROJECTS
Straddling a wide range of topics, style of animation and comedy sensibilities, the ten pilot episodes created through the TELETOON Detour Pilot Project are set to roll out on Sympatico.ca and thedetour.ca from October 23. Aimed at adults aged 18 to 34, the ten pilots were selected from over 200 submissions for the TELETOON Detour Pilot Project initiative that launched in fall 2007 in an effort to encourage new comedic voices in the Canadian animation community and possibly find new programming for TELETOON’s evening and night time line-up.
“The audience for the style of comedy found in these shows is online. To be able to interact with them and learn what kind of content they want to see is a unique opportunity for both us and the show producers,” said Athena Georgaklis, Manager, Original productions, TELETOON. “To launch the Pilot Projects through a medium where fans can comment, vote and leave feedback is an exciting prospect and I can’t wait to see what the reaction will be.”
Beginning Friday, October 23, one pilot title will premiere each week across the online platforms. The English language versions of the pilots will be available for WebHD streaming on Teletoon.Sympatico.ca as well as SD streaming on thedetour.ca. The French language pilots will be available for WebHD streaming on Detour.Sympatico.ca as well as SD streaming on ledetour.ca. The ten pilots come from established producers, some that have worked with TELETOON before, as well as companies just starting in the industry. TELETOON invested nearly one and a half million dollars across the ten pilots with additional funding available to many of the pilots from the Canadian Television Fund Production Incentive Pilot Program. The TELETOON Detour Pilot Project has helped producers to create a finished pilot they can take to the international marketplace.
In addition to the online airings, the TELETOON Detour Pilot Project titles will also screen at the Ottawa International Animation Festival. Animation fans can catch the showcase of surreal and irreverent comedy on the nights of Thursday October 15, Friday October 16 and Saturday October 17 beginning at 11:30 pm at the Arts Court Theatre.
The TELETOON Detour Pilot Project Premiere Schedule
Production Company: Lenz Entertainment
Director: Cal Brunker
With a cutting edge graphic look and a creative team made up of hot new comedians and musicians, Ninjamaica melds animated action adventure with biting comedy and a bumping musical soundtrack. An amnesiac Rasta with extraordinary fighting powers and an insatiable appetite sets out to rebuild his memory and reclaim his life, all while dodging bullets from his many enemies and possibly making time for a Twinkie. OIAF Screening Friday, October 16.
Production Company: Mugisha Enterprises
Directors: Troy Little and Nick Cross
A unique musical bubble-gum pop trio, Angora Napkin is a band unlike any other composed of three sexy girls Beatrice, Molly, Mallory. Attracting trouble along with the macabre, the girls always seem to come out on top with the help of their impromptu peppy songs and inability to see the dark side of any situation, no matter how menacing. OIAF Screening Thursday, October 15.
Production Company: A Nunchucks Pilot Inc. Production for Fresh TV Inc.
Director: George Elliott
Dunce Bucket is a half hour adult sketch comedy show featuring Canada’s hottest new sketch troop. Comedy geniuses Lori Elliot, Terry McGurrin, Christian Potenza, Adam Reid and Renee Percy join forces to create some of animation’s most memorable and insanely funny characters including Fifi & Bobo, politically incorrect chess pieces and neurotic talking stick figures. A wide of animation styles and break-neck pacing make Dunce Bucket a guaranteed gigglefest. OIAF Screening Friday, October 16.
Production Company: Cuppa Coffee
Director: Nev Bezaire
Full of sharp pop culture references and with a scathing sense of humour, Nerdland follows the misanthropic adventures of a group of obsessive nerds as they try to achieve pwnage and survive in a decidedly nerd-unfriendly society. OIAF Screening Thursday, October 15.
Drop Dead Gorgeous
Production Company: CINEMARIA
Director: Caroline R. Maria
Animated in a distinctive anime-inspired style, Drop Dead Gorgeous is fast-paced morality tale with a bloody, absurdist twist as four luscious, sex-hungry, fashion-gorged college girls moonlight as an elite troop of hired assassins. Into fashion, music, hot guys and tabloid gossip, the girls are as ruthlessly selective about who is in, as they are about who is taken out. OIAF Screening Saturday, October 17.
The Wireless Family
Production Company: Encore Television
Director: Michel Courtemanche
The Wireless Family is your typical dysfunctional and crisis prone suburban family. Ordinary challenges soon develop into extraordinary situations however, as they become unintentional participants in the Middle East peace process, an assassination attempt on the Pope and a character assassination in the NHL. OIAF Screening Thursday, October 15.
Production Company: Nelvana
Director: Dean Outschoorn & Darin Bristow
Celebutard Nation places the undeserved spotlight on the scandalous exploits of four over-exposed 20-something celebrities as they stumble headfirst into the pitfalls of unwarranted fame and unearned fortune. Budding movie-star Paisley, heiress Terra, rock star spawn Kimberly and billionaire Baron, are blissfully unaware that the whole world mocks them, pities them and occasionally, in their darkest moments, wonders what it is like to be them. OIAF Screening Friday, October 16.
Production Company: Fatkat Animation
Directors: Andy Coyle and Gene Fowler
Space Knights is a parody of super hero cartoons of the late 90’s. A group of slightly outdated superheroes who drive Honda Accords that when linked together, can transform into a variety of giant robots, from a pterodactyl, to a giant T-Rex, to a saber tooth tiger, the Space Knights use these and other powers to stop a never ending stream of bizarre creatures and insane villains. The irreverent comedy follows the misshapen adventures of the crime fighting team who must battle bickering and in-fighting almost as much as the external foes they face. OIAF Screening Saturday, October 17.
Production Company: Portfolio Entertainment
Directors: Howie Shia and David Wolfe
A crime wave has hit Chinatown, enshrouding everything from the mom and pop laundromat to the giant dim sum restaurant in a dangerous veil of crime and corruption. Sadly, nobody cares but Officer Jay Walker and his partner Rick Xia: sexy, sensitive super cops of the Chinatown beat. They will brave any danger and suffer any humiliation to inflict their specialized brand of Ginseng Justice in order to save their home from the talons of mysterious new crime queen-pin, Honey Moon. OIAF Screening Saturday, October 17.
Fugget About It
Production Company: 9 Story Entertainment Inc
Director: Vadim Kapridov
It’s hard for a quick-tempered goodfella who’s used to always getting his way to settle for suburban life in Canada. Powerful New York under-boss, Jimmy Falcone and his family try unsuccessfully to fit in the suburban life in the witness protection program in sleepy Oakville Ontario. OIAF Screening Saturday, October 17.
TELETOON is where cartoons live – all day, every day. Available in both English and French in 7.7 million Canadian homes, TELETOON brings kids, youth and adults the best in animated entertainment. Too hot for daytime, from 9 pm ET/PT TELETOON airs fearless and irreverent cartoons aimed at teen and adult audiences. TELETOON is also available on teletoon.com as well as On Demand, on Mobile TV and iTunes. Founded in 1997, TELETOON Canada inc. is owned by Astral Media Inc. (50%), and Corus Entertainment Inc. (50%)