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Jo Daris

Jo Daris
Chief creative officer
Pitching: Showtime

What is the biggest issue facing the animation industry?
Overall, the animation industry is in pretty good shape. Unlike many other industries, we managed to keep working during the pandemic and even saw an increase in content demand. There has been some consolidation on the broadcaster side which could potentially lead to issues in the future, but so far we’re all managing well. The main challenge is to keep providing amazing characters and compelling stories. There is a tendency to cram too much stuff into a show and try to tick all the boxes. Although the intentions are good, we must never forget that character and story are what makes kids love our shows in the first place.

What is Toon2Tango doing in response to this?
We are focusing on two things. First, we’re trying to direct our development to all possible target groups, from preschool to even adult animation. Such a broad spectrum allows us to be a relevant partner to almost any possible channel or platform. Second, we are very careful in selecting our talent. We work with a very diverse group of creatives, all of whom are top in their field. We also provide opportunities to exceptional young talent, often pairing them with top-of-the-crop experienced creatives.

Are physical animation studios essential or is working from home the future of the industry?
The pandemic made people realise they could do something as complicated as animation from home, as far as their bandwidth allowed it. It was amazing to see how fast the industry adapted to the situation. In the future, there will be more opportunities for artists to work from home, at least partially. There will still be a need to come in from time to time for a brief, a review or a group discussion. But studios will definitely need less space and work from a hybrid model.

How do you feel about Disney’s decision to close many of its TV channels around the world?
I am sure the people at Disney have done their homework, so there is not much to say about this without a deeper insight into the strategy and the numbers.

Tell us about the project you are pitching at Cartoon Forum.
Showtime (52×11′) is a preschool comedy for three- to six-year-olds starring a theatrical six-year-old girl who proves that any problem can be solved, if you’re willing to get your hands dirty. The protagonist, Glitz, aims to make everyone who watches feel special and does so through the power of the stage. We want to give kids the takeaway that everyone can be a star and everyone has something about them that’s unique. We’ve all sat through shows or plays that little kids put on, and we’re hoping that this show will feed their inspiration and creativity.


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