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South African Studio Releases Animation

By Kevin Kriedemann

Triggerfish Story Lab logoA South African short animation licensed by The Walt Disney Company has been released.

A DOG SHOW WITH CAT is the first animation to come from Triggerfish Story Lab, established by Triggerfish with the support of South Africa’s Department of Trade and Industry and The Walt Disney Company in 2015.

The Story Lab’s continent-wide search for animated African stories received nearly 1400 entries from 30 countries across the continent. Triggerfish selected four features and four TV series for development, after input from Disney and the likes of Aardman’s Oscar-nominated co-founder Peter Lord and The Lion King writer Jonathan Roberts.

A DOG SHOW WITH CAT is a teaser for South African Mike Scott’s series of the same name, which is set in the South African outback and is about the madcap antics of a sophisticated dog and his best friend, a feral, obsessive-compulsive cat.

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The three-minute short is part of Disney XD FC, a series of football-themed shorts commissioned from leading animation talent across Europe, Africa, Latin America and the United States. A DOG SHOW WITH CAT with Cat is the only short included from Africa.

Users can log on each week to Disney XD’s Youtube Page to view the original productions.

Trigger Fish Animation Studios search for Africa's next animated blockbuster or hit tv series publicity posterMike Scott is best known for his animated music videos for South African DJ duo Goldfish, which have more than 17 million views on YouTube.

A DOG SHOW WITH CAT is Scott’s second collaboration with Triggerfish, following on from Moosebox, which was part of the 2013-2014 Nickelodeon International Animated Shorts Programme.

STICK MAN, Triggerfish’s collaboration with the Oscar-nominated Magic Light Pictures, competed at Annecy International Animated Film Festival and Market 2016 in the TV Films category. Based on Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler’s much-loved children’s picture book, STICK MAN is the story of a happy-go-lucky father’s epic journey to make it home in time for Christmas.

Voiced by the likes of Martin Freeman (THE HOBBIT), Hugh Bonneville (DOWNTOWN ABBEY), and Jennifer Saunders (ABSOLUTELY FABULOUS), the short film screened to nearly 10 million people on BBC1 at Christmas 2015.

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STICK MAN was recently named Best Animation at Shanghai International Film and TV Festival. In March 2016, it also won two British Animation Awards.

Triggerfish is currently collaborating with Magic Light Pictures on another Christmas special BBC adaptation, this time of Roald Dahl’s Revolting Rhymes.

At Annecy, Triggerfish’s CEO Stuart Forrest, head of production Mike Buckland, and head of development Anthony Silverston presented A Dogshow With Cat and three other TV series being developed through the Story Lab.

Malenga Mulendema’s MAMA K’S SUPER 4 follows four African teen girls who are recruited by a former secret agent to a low-budget superhero operation.


Lucy Heavens’ WORMHOLES is about three teen cosmic worms who adventure through wormholes to the far reaches of the Zooniverse, and help all manner of creatures deal with anything from planetary threats to boring meanies.

A DOG SHOW WITH CAT is the first animation to come from Triggerfish Story Lab, established by Triggerfish with the support of South Africa’s Department of Trade and Industry and The Walt Disney Company in 2015. Kelly Dillon and Marc Dey’s NINJA PRINCESS follows Zoe, who tackles ordinary obstacles in an extraordinary preschool, with the skills of a ninja and the grace of a princess.

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“This is Triggerfish’s strongest lineup for Annecy yet – and probably South Africa’s too,” said Stuart Forrest at Annecy. “In addition to Stick Man, three of our employees – Wisaal Abbas, Alex Bain and Nicholas Danks – have their graduation film Arid in competition in the student category, while Naomi van Niekerk’s powder animation, ‘n Gewone Blou Maandagoggend, is competing in the short film category. Clea Mallison, who edited A Dogshow with Cat for us, is also pitching her short Fairy Wheels at Animation du Monde, and we’re also expecting a lot of interest in Kariba, by our collaborators The Blue Forest Collective, which was over 200% funded on Kickstarter earlier this year. So it’s exciting times for South African animation.”


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