Disney returned to the Annecy Intl. Animation Festival this year, and announced a reboot of one of its classic animated series, shared updates on several others and continued to state its commitment to quality content creation in Europe, Middle East and Africa.
The presentation began with Monsters at Work, the upcoming series based on the popular Monsters, Inc. franchise, followed by Disney annual Mifa Press Conference, led this year by Hélène Etzi, country manager at The Walt Disney Company France, with Orion Ross, VP of animation, digital and acquisitions for Disney Europe & Africa, and Caterina Gonnelli, director of acquisitions and productions for Disney Europe & Africa.
The Monsters at Work presentation showcased a first look at the highly anticipated Disney+ series coming out in 2020. The series is produced by Disney Television Animation, with animation production by Montpellier-based Dwarf Animation. It was developed and is executive produced by Disney’s Bob Gannaway with Ferrell Barron who will also produce.
Billy Crystal and John Goodman reprise their rolls as Mike and Sulley for the series, which picks up six months after the first film ended. Following the discovery that laughter is more powerful than scaring, a new generation of workers who fancy themselves as funny look to shine, led by Tylor Tuskmon (Ben Feldman), a mechanic at the factory.
Disney then announced that the latest classic Disney characters that will see a new light is Chip ‘n’ Dale. Disney+ will once again play host. 39, seven-minute episodes will be produced using traditional animation styles and feature contemporary slap-stick narratives as the furry pair struggle with life in the big city. The show is being developed by the company’s London-based team in co-production with Marc du Pontavice’s Paris’-based Xilam.
Hélène Etzi, country manager at The Walt Disney Company France, then took the mic to discuss the power of Disney’s storytelling:
“Animation continues to be one of the cornerstones of Disney magic and story-telling, across Disney Channels and excitedly, now on the new streaming platform, Disney Plus,” said Etzi in an accompanying press release. “As a company, we are privileged to work with so many creative masterminds, both here in France and across Europe, who are first in class when it comes to relaying timeless stories for all members of the family.”
Orion Ross, VP of animation, digital and acquisitions for Disney Europe & Africa, echoed her statment:
“This is a hugely busy and exciting year and there’s no better time to be working in animation, which continues to be at the heart of what we do at Disney. We are proud to announce this exciting slate, working with phenomenally talented international creatives to deliver stories that are full of fun, creating characters that are extremely loveable, and showcasing a breadth of animation styles.”
Next up was the Disney acquisition of BBC Studio’s Bluey, a series which follows a highly imaginative Blue Heeler dog and his canine pals. The series will play on both Disney+ and Disney Channel Junior, and is for pre-school audiences. Disney stated though that the series addresses its viewers in a refreshingly respectful way, never talking down to its young audience.
Following this was Ghose Force, from Paris-based Zagtoon, the studio behind Miraculous: Tales of Ladybug & Cat Noir. The series chronicles a group of junior high friends who team to form a secret superhero team dedicated to protecting New York City. The series is aimed at kids six and up.
Two trailers were then screened for Amphibia from Gravity Falls’ Matt Braly, and The Owl House from Dana Terrace.
Amphibia is described as 13-year-old Anne who gets transplanted to an frog-filled world called Amphibia where she becomes a local hero. Terrace’s The Owl House, is a magic-filled fantasy series about a teenage girl who similarly finds herself in another world, one ruled by magic.
A musical clip from 101 Dalmatian Street was screened, which featured the famous family of dogs on a road trip in a classic London double-decker bus.
Continuing with the animal theme, Disney announced T.O.T.S. an animal-themed pre-school show. The showcased a clip of the song “L.O.V.E.” which teaches kids that all you need to have a family is love.
Finally, Mira, Royal Detective, from Wild Canary and Disney Junior was featured. The series will be a mystery/adventure, and is inspired by Indian culture and customs. The show is scheduled to release in 2020.