India-based Toonz Animation, part of the Toonz Entertainment Group that’s set to launch a UK distribution arm at MipTV, is developing a series based around the sport of cricket.
The 13x22′ animated action series, Howzzat!, was developed in-house and comes from the phrase bowlers use to appeal to the umpire when they believe they’ve got the opposing batsman out. The toon is based around, but not on, the sport and will focus more on those playing it, Toonz’s chief creative officer Hari Varma told C21.
International broadcasters active in the Indian children’s television market, such as Cartoon Network, Nickelodeon and Disney, are tracking the series, said Varma, who added it could be packaged as either a telemovie or a TV series.
Animated action-adventure toon programming based on sport has come back to the fore in recent years. It is understood another Indian toon house has a similar concept in the works and French producers such as Tele Images have been making sport-related toons to growing success.
The news comes as Toonz’s Singapore-based parent Toonz Entertainment gears up to launch a UK-based sales arm at MipTV, as C21 previously unveiled. At the Cartoons on the Bay event in Italy this week this week, it emerged the unit would worked under the name Magpie.
The division is close to opening with final details currently being ironed out. Toonz Animation CEO P Jayakumar previously said it would be a “fully fledged office” and that he had found an executive to helm the operation.
Toon Animation Global, the company’s Canada-based production arm, meanwhile, will benefit from US$200m in feature film investment over the next three years as it attempts to use the Canadian tax credit system to reduce costs.