S4 Studios And Sunwoo Entertainment Collaborate For Animated/Live “Wild Animal Baby” Series
S4 Studios LLC (www.s4studios.com) has announced that it has teamed with Sunwoo Entertainment to produce six half-hour episodes of Wild Animal Baby, a mixed-media 3D animation, flash animation and live action series for the non-profit National Wildlife Federation, based in Washington, DC. The twelve 11-minute episodes of the preschooler-targeted series are being distributed on home video via the NWF website (www.nwf.org/wildanimalbaby). Negotiations for a distributor are pending. Wild Animal Baby marks S4’s second longform project, the other being Cartoon Network’s The Groovenians.
The series is based on the NWF’s enormously popular magazine, Wild Animal Baby, winner of the EDPress Distinguished Achievement Award and the Folio Celebration of Excellence Gold Award, and features the characters introduced in the magazine, Sandy the Salamander, Skip the Rabbit, Izzy the Owl and Rosie the Otter. Wild Animal Baby the series, serves as a preschoolers’ introduction into the natural sciences, by promoting literacy, simple math concepts, and developing motor skills by imitating real and animated animals through interactive activities, songs and games.
In each 11-minute episode of the series, a mystery is presented to the characters– a sound they don’t recognize, an animal behavior they can’t explain– and with the motto of “Let’s Explore!” they set out on an adventure to solve the problem, discovering a lot along the way about the world around them. “The show introduces kids to the idea of deductive reasoning, which the characters use as a logic tool to complete their own adventures. The idea is that kids at home will go out, explore, touch things and wonder about them; that’s a very important part of this series,” says co-director Larry Le Francis of S4 Studios. “For example, in the first show, the babies have their picnic basket raided and they find some paw prints. In due course, they learn that it was a bear along with some elementary facets of their behavior, using actual bear footage that’s intercut with the animation.”
S4’s Art Director/Storyboard Director Dale Hendrickson worked closely with the Sunwoo Entertainment team of Producers Jae Woo Park and Brian Doell to adapt the print characters for 3D, with animation being done in Maya 7.0. “The original vision was for more of a 2D graphic look, but as designs went back and forth, it got pulled more into the 3D world,” Hendrickson relates. “The animation was beautiful and the show really captures a great balance of fun and teaching simple ideas to a preschool audience.”
Le Francis adds, “Wild Animal Baby is a big step forward in S4 Studios’ move into longform and original content. We’ve always wanted to work with Sunwoo and Anivision because like ourselves, they are looking to be on the front burner and be much more than a service company.”
Sunwoo’s Park adds. “The multi-media content and the way it’s used to teach preschoolers is what makes Wild Animal Baby stand apart,” he says. “When we started working on the show, we contacted S4 Studios because of our previous experience working with Larry at Nickelodeon, and we’ve always wanted to work together again. We also knew that S4 Studios had the experience and the range of talent we were looking for. They just know how to run shows.”
Additional credits for S4 Studios include Producer Geoffrey Kater and Production Coordinator John Evans. For National Wildlife Federation, Tony Summers was the Production Executive. For Sunwoo Entertainment, Jae Y. Moh was the Executive Producer and Moon Ju Kang was the CGI studio General Manager. Music and additional animation was by Peach Blossom Media, Singapore, Executive Producer, Lingun Sung. Writers were Adam and Seth Gross along with Bradley Zweig. David Baron of Lightpost in Los Angeles supervised post production.
About Sunwoo Entertainment
Sunwoo Entertainment started as a television commercial and animation production company. In years since, it has expanded to include planning, development, distribution, licensing, merchandising, feature films, performing arts, online content and games. It’s long-term goal is to create a theme park that will bring to life the company’s most exciting content.
About S4 Studios
S4 Studios is a multidisciplinary production company specializing in design, content development, 3D animation, 2D animation, visual effects and live action production for television, feature films, commercials and trailers and home video. Since its founding in 1999, the studio has built a client roster that includes Cartoon Network, Rhythm & Hues commercials, Flyer Entertainment, The Cimarron Group, Walt Disney Television Animation, Viacom, Warner Bros and Winner & Associates.
For more information visit www.s4studios.com.