Leading Latin American animation studio Ánima has launched a division dedicated to adults and young adults and has announced that it will begin production of “El Santos”, a serial version of the feature film later this year. inspired by the company’s 2012 comic book “El Santos vs la Tetona Mendoza.”
The flagship, star-studded film made Ánima not only a regional powerhouse in Mexican animation, but also a leading creator of cartoon content internationally, and was the company’s first production to be screened at the prestigious Annecy Animation Festival in France.
2022 will mark Ánima’s 20th anniversary. After nearly two decades of producing content almost exclusively for the child and family market, Ánima co-founders Fernando De Fuentes Sainz, CEO, and José C. García de Letona, COO, knew the time was right. to reach a new demographic.
“We have seen so much appetite from platforms and networks for animated content for adults and young adults,” García de Letona explained to Variety. “Today there are new shows coming out every two weeks, and I think that shows that there is a new generation more willing to embrace the medium, and not just in comedy either. Adult animation is produced for all genres. For us, this has enormous potential for storytelling.
Although made in Mexico and built on a foundation of content for children and family, Ánima has grown into a truly international company with bases in Mexico City, Buenos Aires and the burgeoning animation home of the Canary Islands in Spain. Ánima has also established a strong track record for successful international co-production. In total, the company has produced or co-produced 22 animated feature films, nine television series totaling over 572 half-hour episodes and has a digital network of over 24 million subscribers.
“Our history shows that we can and have worked with companies all over the world, from Australia to Russia, Ukraine, the UK and of course the US. de Letona explained.
For his first production, the right project was obvious, at least for the producers of Ánima. “’El Santos’ has a huge integrated audience internationally. In addition, the designers’ sense of humor is a perfect match for what is produced today. I think they were ahead of their time, ”said García de Letona.
“El Santos vs la Tetna Mendoza” was released in 2012 and was a hit among fans of the original comic, created by Mexican illustrators José Trinidad Camacho (Trino) and José Ignacio Solórzano (Jis) – both of whom will be producers. executives on the animated series. The film starred a stellar cast of Latin American talent, directed by Daniel Giménez Cacho (“Zama”), José María Yazpik (“Narcos: Mexico”), Héctor Jiménez (“Nacho Libre”) and Regina Orozco (“Deep Crimson ”), with appearances by Guillermo del Toro, Cheech Marin and the Demián brothers (“ The Hateful Eight ”), Bruno (“ Midaq Alley ”) and Odiseo Bichir (“ Dark City ”).
“The film was a love letter to ‘El Santos’, and what we did in that film was for IP fans. With the series, we want to change focus to touch more on the news. and reach a new generation, or generations, in a slightly different way, “explained García de Letona.” In a series, the narrative should be faster and more current, so we make a concerted effort there. “
As was the case with the feature film, “El Santos” will be action-packed, brightly colored and animated in 2D, with a twisted sense of humor that parodies many aspects of contemporary culture. And, while García de Letona explained that no vocal talent has yet been contacted for the series, several of the feature film’s creative staff will be working on the series adaptation.
While “El Santos” is native Mexican intellectual property, the CEO insists the company will continue its tradition of working on productions in other languages and cultures.
“We see ourselves dividing our efforts in two ways: regional stuff that goes all into local and global stuff, which we’ve been doing for a long time now. We really want to differentiate ourselves from each other, ”he explained, adding that the new division will be working on two to three serial productions each year. “For us, it’s about spending time and research to put together a list of projects for an older audience.”
At the moment, Ánima is only ready to announce “El Santos”, but García de Letona teased that several other projects are already in development, both existing IPs and entirely new stories of promising new creative talent.
“We want to engage with existing properties and work with emerging creators to whom we can transfer a property, who will bring a new vision by adapting the shows to adult audiences,” García de Letona said of the company’s two projects. . shuttered plan. “We will also be looking for new designers who have their own complete vision of what they want to show the world.”
How the company will approach the two opportunities will be determined on a case-by-case basis, but García de Letona explained that, based on two decades of experience, when adapting an already well-known property, Ánima is likely to get involved. much earlier in the development process. For new properties, the company will carefully review the projects to validate their recovery.
Release dates and broadcast deals have yet to be announced, but García de Letona has indicated that “El Santos” would be perfect for a global streaming platform and would likely get linear broadcast in the territories. where intellectual property is already established.
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