On Monday, 11 December 2017, Cartoon Network Africa will reveal the first ever, wholly produced in Africa, animated shorts. In the weeks to follow, local audiences will be able to take delight in three more locally produced animated shorts to be broadcast every Monday until 1 January 2018.
The television premiere of the four Cartoon Network Imagination Studios' locally produced animated shorts comes hot off the heels of the recent FupiToons Film Festival hosted in conjunction with African Animation Network (AAN) and Ster- Kinekor.
Cartoon Network's Imagination Studios, a drawing contest run in April 2017, was created to inspire, motivate and celebrate the wild imaginations of children between the ages of 6 and twelve years old, allowing them to conceptualise and create their very own Cartoon Network friendly character duo, similar to the ones found on Cartoon Network.
The groundbreaking shorts are a first in Cartoon Network's aim to collaborate with local African talent to bring to life authentically African stories and characters.
The four winning drawings have come to life through the infusion of style, motion and sound from local animation experts and will hit the screen just in time for the festive season.
Dida Bafor from Nigeria (8), Katlego Khambule (10), Maia Janse (11) and nine-year- old Zoyo-Jane Mans from South Africa, all had an exciting peek into the world of animation and a rare opportunity to add their personal touch to Cartoon Network Africa's animated duos.
"I am so happy knowing that my drawing has been turned into a cartoon on Cartoon Network," says 8-year-old Dida Bafor from Nigeria whose tale Adventures of the Talking Pizza - The Great Escape, is a story of siblings John and Lizzy who happen to be pizza slices.
"Seeing my creation coming to life is a dream come true!" says Katlego Khambule creator of The Doodling Duo - Attack of the Slug Monster a short animated film about a giant slug monster that moves into Dash and Diana's city.
Llama Drama creator, eleven year old Maia Janse says, "This year was actually the third time that I have won the Cartoon Network Imagination Studios competition, but the first time that I have won the actual animation of my drawings - I am very proud and excited!"
If you've ever wondered whether banana peels are really that slippery, watch Robo and Tekna journey to the source code to find the truth and settle their bet before Dad finds out in Smarter Phones- Appside Town. "I am so happy and in awe of the way that my creation has been taken to a whole other level," explains Zoe-Jane Mans.
Creative director at Mind's Eye Creative, Ryan van Eyk got to see the excited looks on the children's faces. "The really cool thing about this initiative is getting kids involved in understanding animation production and the whole process of animating their drawings locally has shown them that their imaginations can come to life," he says.
"We're excited about showing the winning four animated shorts across Africa on Cartoon Network. We have been extremely impressed by the creativity and collaborative efforts from all our partners in making this possible. It has been amazing to walk this journey with the Imagination Studios winners and see their imaginative entries coming alive right before their eyes," says Jaime Ondarza, senior vice president for Turner Southern Europe & Africa.