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Eliane Gordeeff picks up two animation projects from the WEIRD Market 2020. 

Despite the COVID situation, WEIRD MARKET 2020 reinforces its role as one of the most significant events of the domian in Europe.

This year it shows us a select catalogueg with 16 feature films, 39 shorts, 28 series, 35 videogames, 27 web series, 14 transmedia projects, 25 comics, and 19 board games. Among them, 59 projects had the opportunity to be presented by their authors online, looking for funding, distribution, and/ or co-production.

And I will share with Zippy Frames readers my expectations about two of these projects .

The first is the Portuguese feature film project The Devil’s Little Couple, by Jerónimo Rocha and João Miguel. This film is the second joint work of both directors after the award-winning short film of 2015: Macabre.

The story shows us a Portugal from 1932, a very hard time for the Portuguese people - because of the dictatorship.

Sebastian is a young boy fascinated with the tale of the Devil’s Little Couple: two shadowy creatures that come for those who refuse to go to bed. The death of an elder in the village sets him on a hunt for the odd pair on an adventure filled with myths from the Portuguese folklore -Weird Catalogue, 2020, p. 39

The project's presentation brings the union of mystery, adventure, family love, and also a moral ending about responsibility and belonging felling for the kids and the whole family. The design seems to be friendly but, at the same time, terrify - as is the story asks for.

The authors's objectives are to present the internal countryside, stories, legends, and myths which make the national identity. I think that is good for any children. And enjoyably, through the language and the Animation aesthetic. Of course, it is the best way to achieve the minds and hearts of everybody :).

Weird the WEIRD Market 2020 Presentation

The Devil’s Little Couple (original title, O Casalinho do Diabo), 90’, 2d, cell, and digital animation
Directors: Jerónimo Rocha, João Miguel Real
Production company: Take It Easy - Produções Audiovisuais
Target: De 10 a 12 años / from 10 to 12 years
Production countries: Portugal - In pre-production

The second project which grabbed my attention was Jimmy & The Magic Key by Lluís Viciana and Xavier Carmona. This animation series “aims to share with children the world of classical music, the great universal works and the most famous composers” (Weird Catalogue, 2020, p. 53). To get that, the stories run around of James Rhodes (a concert musician), and specifically his animated alter ego, Jimmy. Through his piano, which is also a time machine, Jimmy will travel to all the capital cities in the past, where he will meet the great names in classical music and interact with them as they help him solve the conflict posed in each episode.

Trying to teach a little of the history and at the same time, music, and outside of the European axis, respecting and showing to the children the cultural differences (in other words, being veritably democratic) it is a very good and required idea in our times. Its visual presents a traditional animation style, but I think it is coherent with the series propose.

Watch the WEIRD Market 2020 Presentation

Jimmy & The Magic Key - 52 x 7’, 2d
Directors: Lluís Viciana, Xavier Carmona
Production company: IMAGIC TV
Target: from 6 to 9 years
Production: Spain - In pre-production

There are many other amazing stories and project in this Weird edition, but these two really opened my eyes. Mostly due to the good initiatives to bring to the big -and not so big screens- teachings and messages through the animated stories for children -and not only for chidlren.

All the winners of Weird Market

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