Avant Garde & Cyberchicken’s ‘Ninja Cat, Ichi Ni San!’ moves into Production

By AMRITA VALECHA | 24 January, 2011 - 10:50

Malaysia’s Avant Garde Studios and Korea’s Cyberchicken Animation who entered into an agreement for the development of 2D animated series(52 episodes X 11 mins), Ninja Cat , Ichi Ni San! last year, has recently finished pre-production and is currently moving on to the production stages. “Ninja Cat , Ichi Ni San!” is planned to be completed in 36 months, which will roughly be sometime in the second quarter of 2013.

The cost of the production for the animated series “Ninja Cat , Ichi Ni San!” will be divided between Avant Garde Studios and Cyberchicken Animation accordingly. For Avant Garde Studios, the production cost (70%) will be funded by the Multimedia Development Corporation (MDEC), Malaysia which covers the pre-production, production, post-production and audio production costs for the completion of 52 x 11 minute episodes. Cyberchicken Animation will be funding their own fraction (30%) of the production which will be produced in South Korea.

Talking to AnimationXpress Asia Pacific, Syed Hezri Datuk Syed Hisham, MD Avant Garde Studios “With the combined expertise of the Koreans and the talents of our local graduates, we are confident that we will be able to produce world class content that will attract kids from all over the world utilizing not only broadcast, but also print, online and interactive media”.

Cyberchicken Animation will be involved in the pre-production stages which include Character Design, Model Sheets and Model Packs, Background Design and Sheets for settings and locations, Art Style, Colour Scheme as well as Props Design. Avant Garde Studios will handle the majority of the creation of “Ninja Cat, Ichi, Ni, San!” from pre-production to post-production stages which consist of Content Creation such as Scripts and Storyboards, Voice Recording comprising music, sound effects and dialogues by voice talents, Animatics, Layouts such as determining the camera angles, camera paths, lighting and scene shading, Animation comprising key animation, tweening, character animation and special effects animation as well as the digital inking and painting.

Nadia Kim, President and CEO of Cyberchicken Animation shared, “We are taking this opportunity to work together with a Malaysian company to produce something that is different from the market. With both South Korean and Malaysian creativities and technical know-how combined, we will be able to produce a unique animation series in the near future”.

‘Ninja Cat Ichi, Ni, San!’ has a somewhat fun-enigmatic look and feel as the graphics are very bold and colourful which make for stunning and visually interesting animation. The overall concept is to create characters which are cute and hilarious but at the same time gratifying an action-packed storyline that is not only engaging to the target audience but will certainly appeal to older kids as well.

“The success of an animated series relies heavily on the combination of a fun and witty script, great animation and unique sound design. This is exactly what we are trying to achieve with Ninja Cat Ichi, Ni, San!. We are very confident that our cartoon will be able to compete with other international cartoons in the market, and we hope to make Ninja Cat Ichi, Ni, San! a household name around the world”. Keeta Brennan, Creative & Executive Director of Avant Garde Studios

Ninja Cat is based in Enigma City, a high crime city where Ninja Cat comes in as a crime fighting detective, solving puzzled crime scenes with his scholarly sidekick, Oliver whose mannerism resembles that of an intellectual Englishman. Ninja Cat’s real name is not known, to keep with the ninja code of always protecting one’s identity. He tries his best to be a good ninja, but since he never went to ninja school (he learned everything he knows about being a ninja from the book - Ninja For Dummies) he’s not a very good one! He loves everything Japanese, but he has never been to Japan before. He is always eating sushi and loves to play Sudoku in his spare time. Ninja Cat works in a Japanese restaurant in a city where crime and karaoke bars never sleep. He is very dedicated and possesses a unique three step crime solving method which is his character’s main signature, represented by “Ichi NI San” (which is Japanese for 1,2,3). Throughout the series, Ninja Cat will be facing multiple villains ranging from petty criminals, Ninja accomplices, Poncho- a rival crime fighter who wants Ninja Cat’s limelight down to his arch nemesis Maikel, an intellectual and evil Orang Utan who‟s bent on world domination.

Talking about the distribution Syed shared, We have spoken to a number of distributors and producers as we are quite active in attending TV licensing shows and trade fairs such as MIPCOM, MIPTV, ATF (Asia Television Forum) and Kidscreen to promote our animated series. The response from the distributors and broadcasters that we have met has turned out very affirmative and once the production for “Ninja Cat Ichi, Ni, San!” is completed, we hope to possibly air the show in Europe, UK and USA where the response towards the animated series has been very positive.