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The Owl swoops on Italian award

French toon The Owl & Co won the Pulcinella gong for kids’ series of the year at Italy’s Cartoons on the Bay festival over the weekend, while Irish and Argentinean toons were also recognised.

The Owl & Co

The Owl & Co

Coproduced by Paris-based Studio Hari and French public television channel France 3, the 78×7′ series beat off competition from toons including Pumpkin Reports, from Motion Pictures in Spain, Disney’s Boyster and Australian series Get Ace in Venice on Saturday.

The Owl & Co follows a little pink owl who is faced with the daily challenge of trying to stay in one piece while living in a forest filled with merciless animals.

Aimed at kids aged six and above, it was recently acquired by Turner for its children’s channels Cartoon Network, Boing and Boomerang in Europe, the Middle East and Africa.

Elsewhere, Friends, from Argentinean studio Yoquer 3D, beat Masha and the Bear to win best preschool series; Hungarian producer Kecskemét film was victorious in the teen category with Gypsy Tales; and Dublin-based Wiggleywoo Animation took home the award for best European work for The Day Henry Met.

The latter series follows a charming, inquisitive boy who meets something new in each episode. It is due to air on RTÉ Jr in Ireland and Nick Jr in the UK, while broadcasters in Canada, Finland and Sweden are also attached.

Thunderbirds Are Go! coproducer ITV Studios and DreamWorks Animation were both recognised as International Studios of the Year, with Graphilm Entertainment named Italian Studio of the Year.

Meanwhile, the career of Israel-based animator Albert Hanan Kaminski was celebrated, alongside Thunderbirds co-creator Sylvia Anderson, composer, audio director and sound designer Marty O’Donnell and visual and special effects artist Anthony LaMolinara.

Cartoons on the Bay and the Pulcinella Awards are organised by Italian distributor Rai Trade in collaboration with public broadcaster Rai and its production division Rai Fiction.

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