At a recent KidScreen Summit held in New York City, Hawaii Film Partners and Frederator Studios, the folks behind Nickelodeon’s Wow! Wow! Wubbzy! and The Fairly OddParents, got to show off some of their TV projects to an international audience. Included in the mix was Ape Escape, the animated series based on Sony PlayStation’s Ape Escape video game. The series got its first chance on the air via Nickelodeon’s Nicktoons last summer, in July 2009. The series stars Spector, Future Ruler of the World, and his army of minions as they repeatedly, if not awkwardly, try to take over the planet – all thanks to the wonderful pipo-helmet. Take a look at a clip of the series, and read up on some more detail right here
APE ESCAPE is executive produced by Rann Watumull, Gina Watumull, David Jackson, Shauna Shapiro Jackson; Fred Seibert and Kevin Kolde of the Frederator Studios; Rick Privman, and Yumiko Miyano of Sony. The producer is Konnie Kwak of Toonzone Studios.
He was just an ordinary ape at the zoo — that is until a “pipo-helmet” invented by the brilliant but absent-minded Professor was accidentally dropped into his cage. Putting it on, this regular ape instantly became Spector, Future Ruler of the World. With designs of conquering the world, Specter develops his own intelligence-boosting helmet that makes the apes smarter – but not that much smarter! — and they even start to look a little more human. Because the helmets are flawed, they cause both the humans and Specter nothing but stress, confusion and comedic destruction, yet always with a good-natured attitude (Think Harpo Marx of the Ape Escape world!)
Lucky for us, the Professor and his 13 year-old niece Natalie, and Jimmy, his 12-year old protégé have all sworn to stop Specter at all costs. It’s thanks to them that the human race just might stand a chance! Or does it?
“This is an historic project in that it marks the first time a television program was animated in Hawaii for a national TV network,” says Rann Watumull. “We wanted to create a synergy between the interactive game and the animated episode series, and bring the APE ESCAPE characters to life in a very humorous and fun-filled program. We’ve specifically written the episodes for an audience ages 6-13 who have never played the game. Yet we also have made it entertainment that will be appealing to any age,” he concludes.
Hawaii Film Partners has fully financed the production of APE ESCAPE and has worldwide rights across all media with NickToons™ being awarded the broadcast rights in the United States for a three-year period. Showcase Entertainment will be distributing APE ESCAPE internationally under their distribution arrangement with Hawaii Film Partners. The project is a co-production with Frederator Studios, one of the largest and most prolific independent animation studios in development and production for features, books, television, and video. Some of their recent projects include The Fairly Odd Parents!, My Life as a Teenage Robot™ and Chalk Zone for Nickelodeon, and Wow! Wow! Wubbzy! for Nick Jr.
ABOUT HAWAII FILM PARTNERS
Hawaii Film Partners recently completed production on the feature film YOU MAY NOT KISS THE BRIDE, starring Rob Schneider, Dave Annable, Mena Suvari, Katharine McPhee, Vinnie Jones, Tia Carrere, Ken Davitian and Kevin Dunn. The film was directed by Rob Hedden from his original screenplay. The romantic action adventure comedy, set in Chicago and Tahiti and filmed entirely on location in Hawaii. is produced by Rann Watumull, Gina Watumull, David Jackson and Shauna Shapiro Jackson. The film will be distributed internationally by Showcase Entertainment under their agreement with Hawaii Film Partners.
Hawaii Film Partners’ first project was FLIGHT 29 DOWN, the acclaimed and award-winning international hit television show for Discovery Kids that is still airing in over 100 countries as well as on Discovery Kids. Filmed entirely in Hawaii, FLIGHT 29 DOWN is the episodic live action series that debuted on Discovery Kids on NBC in October 2005 and continued production for three seasons. The show also received a Writers Guild of America nomination for Children’s Episodic & Specials for DJ McHale’s outstanding script for the episode “Scratch.” FLIGHT 29 DOWN was produced by Stan Rogow (“Darcy’s Wild Life” and “Lizzie McGuire) and directed by DJ McHale. Rann Watumull, Gina Watumull and Shauna Shapiro Jackson are executive producers.
Rann and Gina Watumull are co-founders and senior executives at Hawaii Film Partners based in Honolulu. With the goal to help build a valuable and indigenous film industry in Hawaii, Hawaii Film Partners is dedicated to producing motion pictures and television productions on the Hawaiian Islands using location services and personnel.
David Jackson and Shauna Shapiro Jackson are president and executive vice president respectively of Showcase Entertainment, a worldwide film distribution company, and are co-owners and senior executives of Hawaii Film Partners along with Rann and Gina Watumull. Goodsill, Anderson, Quinn & Stifel, Hawaii’s largest law firm also is a minority owner of Hawaii Film Partners.
ABOUT TOONZONE STUDIOS
Konnie Kwak is President and CEO of Toonzone Studios, an animation studio based in Los Angeles focused on children’s programming. Having worked for the Korean Government and closely with China, Ms. Kwak has been able to co-produce shows like GUARDIANS OF THE POWER MASKS and ACTION DAD. Toonzone is fast becoming a strong force in animation and children’s programming as well as a strong partner for co-productions and independent financing for projects. In addition to Toonzine Studios’ projects with Hawaii Film Partners, the company has signed a co-production agreement with Animation Development Company to produce pilots for network television.
Earlier in her career, she worked at Yeson Animation Studios and was successful in transforming them into one of the most prolific studios in Korea and was production executive for all the studio’s productions, including “Dilbert,” “Sammy,” “Ed Edd n Eddy,” “Fairly Odd Parents,” “Family Guy” and “Oh Yeah!” Cartoon Season 2. Joining Toonzone Studios in 2001 as vice-president, she was involved with the production of Sony’s feature “Eight Crazy Nights,” Fox’s Emmy-award winning “The Simpsons” and “King of the Hill;” Disney’s “The Proud Family;” Nickelodeon’s “Chalkzone,” and Warner Bros. “Mucha Lucha.”
ABOUT ANIMATION DEVELOPMENT COMPANY
Animation Development Company LLC invests in, licenses and develops animation concepts for potential television broadcast or cable series. ADC’s principals are Howard Miller, President & Chief Executive Officer and Ira Warren, Finance & Acquisitions Consultant.