Report on Cartoon Movie 2016


European animated cinema has, once again, captured the interest of industry professionals at the 18th annual Cartoon Movie, where potential buyers and investors are introduced to a wide selection of projects in concept, development, and production stages. From 2 to 4 March, the over 750 professionals present in the Centre de Congrès de Lyon explored more than 50 upcoming titles, many scheduled for release in the coming months. Representing nearly one third of selected films, animation projects targeting young adult and adult audiences continued gaining ground in Europe, showing the maturity of an animation industry that is increasingly garnering interest both within Europe and beyond its borders.

A screening of the state-of-the-art 3D animation film “Robinson Crusoe” - a new family comedy from Belgium’s nWave, directed by Vincent Kesteloot and produced by Ben Stassen - opened the 18th edition of this industry forum, celebrated in the French city of Lyon for an eighth consecutive year.

Over 750 participants - a record for the event - were welcomed on the morning of 3 March by Marc Vanderweyer, CEO of CARTOON, who highlighted the quality of the films selected and the growth of projects aimed at more mature audiences. During the welcoming Croissant Show, Myriam Bardinet - director of the Imaginove moving image sector cluster - also addressed participants to stress the importance of the digital content industry in the Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes region.

Distributed over four categories -- concept, development, production and completed -- the 56 selected projects were presented over two day-long sessions to potential investors, buyers, and co-producers, including new players in the field such as aggregators and VoD platforms.

With 18 projects at the event, France bolstered its leadership role in animation production, followed by Denmark and Germany, each presenting five films. Another 15 European countries participated in Cartoon Movie and, for the first time, a Canadian project was featured as an international invitee in order to expand the collaboration established at Cartoon Connection Canada. "Amoeba" (House of Cool) has been selected by several European broadcasters present in October 2015: CBBC-BBC Children's UK, France Télévisions, Walt Disney UK, YLE Finland, Channel 5 - milkshake! UK and Canal+ France.
Close to 40% of projects were co-productions between two or more European countries, reaffirming the importance of this financing mode in Europe.

European productions continue to focus primarily on child and family audiences, while films targeting young adults and adults - usually addressing political, historical, and social topics - register continued growth and accounted for 32% of selected works at the event. The line-up also included two projects for pre-schoolers, demonstrating the breadth of European producers’ vision.

All together, the projects represent 76 hours of new animation and a combined budget of 366.2 million Euros, with an average production cost of 6.5 million Euros per film.

Regarding animation techniques, 3D and combined 2D-3D approaches continue to dominate European production, whilst the number of films conceived for Stereoscopic 3D declined once again.


On full display during the pitchings in the Centre de Congrés de Lyon’s two studios, European animation keeps pushing the limits, both in terms of subject matter and animation techniques.

The projects in concept stage, presented over four collective sessions, attracted special interest amongst participants, with a line-up including works by established directors and upcoming talent. "Canaan" by Jan Bultheel (Tondo Films), "A Childhood of Martha Jane Canary" by Rémi Chayé (Maybe Movies, Sacrebleu Productions), "The Siren" by Sepideh Farsi (Les Films d’Ici), "A Skeleton Story" by Alessandro Rak (MAD Entertainment, Ellipsanime), "Ada & Alex" by Esben Toft Jacobsen (Copenhagen Bombay), and “Little Bastards” by Manuel Sicilia (Rokyn Animation) were amongst the titles launched at the 2016 edition of Cartoon Movie.

Noteworthy projects in the development stage included "Tulip", a new work from the directors Alain Gagnol and Jean-Loup Felicioli (Folimage); "Moustique, Cigale & Cambriole" by Cédric Babouche (Dandelooo); "The Journey of the Elephant Soliman" by Sandor Jesse (Studio88 Werbe und Trickfilm, FFL); "The Boy in the Bubble" by Kealan O'Rourke (Igloo Films); "Tistou of the Green Thumbs" by Amandine Taffin and David Berthier (FINALEMENT, Walking The Dog); "Even Mice Belong in Heaven" by Jan Bubeniček and Denisa Grimmová (Fresh Films, Les Films du Cygne); "Next Door Spy" by Karla von Bengtson (Copenhagen Bombay); "Second Generation" directed by Xavier Picard and Vera Belmont (Stephan Films, PMMP), and an adaptation of Joseph Conrad’s “Heart of Darkness” by Rogério Nunes (Les Films d'Ici).

The ten films already in production presented at the forum also drew from diverse sources of inspiration, including everything from literary adaptations like “Another Day of Life”, a film based on a novel by the same title by Polish war reporter Ryszard Kapuściński and directed by Raúl de la Fuente and Damian Nenow (Platige Image, Kanaki Films, Walking The Dog), to an adaptation of the “pre-apocalyptic” comic book “Mutafukaz” directed by RUN y Shojiro Nishimi (Ankama Animation). Films in production also included “Louise in the Winter", a new film by Jean-François Laguionie (JPL Films); “Cinderella, the Cat”, a retelling of the classic story co-directed by Ivan Cappiello, Marino Guarnieri, Alessandro Rak, and Dario Sansone (Mad Entertainment, RAI Cinema); and “Loving Vincent”, which brings the paintings of Vincent Van Gogh to life and is directed by Dorota Kobiela and Hugh Welchman (BreakThru Productions, Trademark Films). Politically-engaged film claimed a space for itself at the event with “Funan, the New People” by Denis Do, a film produced by the Parisian Les Films d’Ici company, which came to the event with two additional projects. The family film “Richard the Stork” by Toby Genkel and Reza Memari (Knudsen & Streuber Medienmanufaktur, Ulysses Filmproduktion); the fantasy tale “I Lost My Body” by Jérémy Clapin (Xilam Animation); and the stop-motion films “Morten on the Ship of Fools” by Kaspar Jancis (Nukufilm, Telegael) and “Night of the Trampires” by Mike Mort (Trampires, Blue Dolphin Films) rounded out the list of films in production.

Along with “Robinson Crusoe”, two other completed films were shown at Cartoon Movie: “Extraordinary Tales”, directed by Raúl Garcia and based on five short stories by Edgar Allan Poe (Melusine Productions, R&R Communications, The Big Farm), and “Ted Sieger's Molly Monster - The Movie”, a film for pre-schoolers based on Ted Sieger's popular characters (Alexandra Schatz Filmproduktion, Peacock Film, Senator Film München). Both films had been previously at Cartoon Movie as works in progress.


Although project presentations were at the centre of Cartoon Movie, the forum also included parallel activities designed to develop and enrich the animation industry, such as Cartoon Games, a program aimed at developing synergies between animation and the video game industry that scheduled close to 300 one-to-one meetings between animation producers and gaming professionals.

Fifty animation students from the Auvergne–Rhône-Alpes region enjoyed a unique opportunity to explore the industry through Cartoon Movie’s Coaching Programme, receiving master classes from directors such as Yoshimichi Tamura (“Dofus: Book 1 - Julith”) and Rémi Chayé (“Long Way North”).

European animated film also took to the streets of Lyon in the sixth edition of “On Cartoon dans le Grand Lyon!”, a festival of sixteen recent European films presented by their directors at theatres throughout the region.

As in previous editions, participants voted for the director, distributor, and producer of the year in the traditional Cartoon Tributes. This year’s winners were:

  • Director of the Year: Rémi Chayé (France) for "Long Way North" 
  • Distributor of the Year: SF Film (Denmark) 
  • Producers of the Year: Ulysses Filmproduktion (Germany), Fabrique d’images (Luxembourg), Grid Animation (Belgium), and Moetion Films (Ireland) for "Ooops! Noah is gone..." 

The 18th edition of Cartoon Movie was organised with the support of Creative Europe - MEDIA, CNC (Centre national du cinéma et de l’image animée), Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes Region, Greater Lyon Metropole and in collaboration with the Imaginove cluster.

Next Cartoon Movie will take place from 8 to 10 March 2017.