MIPJunior Hot Pick: Pirate Express

Pirate-Express-3The Pirate Express is a ship captained by Poseidon’s son Newt who oversees an unruly crew on its seafaring adventures. Pitched at a core audience of 7-to-11s, the series was ordered by Teletoon and Australian free-to-air broadcaster Nine Network.

The Canada-Australia connection is borne out in the production credits with Sydney-based Sticky Pictures (Dennis & Gnasher) and Vancouver’s Atomic Cartoons (Atomic Betty) coproducing. Breakthrough Entertainment is selling the 52x11mins series and will give it its international launch in Cannes in October.

Pirate Express is not the obvious pirate series that one might expect,” says Breakthrough’s president of distribution Nat Abraham. “It has lots of pirates, which kids love, but our crew is extra motley, doing things out of typical character, putting character-driven comedy and the on-it’s-head situation into sitcom. The cartoon is chock-a-block with strange creatures, gods, demigods and assorted pirate weirdos.”

The series will launch next year and there will be finished episodes for MIPJunior and MIPCOM. Breakthrough will begin the presales push at the market.

“We anticipate that our brand will sell well being that the pirate crew and their world are both so diverse that there will be something for people everywhere to enjoy,” Breakthrough’s Abraham says.

The show: Pirate Express
The producers: Atomic Cartoons, Sticky Pictures
The distributor:  Breakthrough Entertainment
The broadcasters: Teletoon (Canada), Nine Network (Australia)
The concept: Animated series about the madcap and unruly crew of a pirate ship