Finding Moo Friends
(Status: in development)
A cuddly and curious forest critter, his little wooden best friend – and a whole wide world full of magic and wonder! Moo is the heart of the show. His curiosity and good attitude are just the magic ingredients to help his “moo” friends challenge themselves, overcome their fears, and find fun everywhere. Welcome to Crooked Forest, a place just bursting with opportunities to find “moo” friends, “moo” adventures, and “moo” ways to have fun!
Finding Moo Friends
Director: Marcos Correa
Author: Marcos Correa
Producer: Marcos Correa (Paperivene Studio, Finland)
Co-Producer: Gerhard Hahn (Hahn Film, Germany)
Format: 26 x 11’
Target audience: Pre-School (4-5 years)
Technique: 2D digital / 3D digital / drawing / painting
Explore a Moo positive, Moo fun, Moo loving way to overcome your fears and problems
Finding Moo Friends is an animation series in development by Marcos Correa (the author, director and producer) and Gerhard Hahn (the co-producer). The series aims to overcome the fears and problems that children could face during their early years while they start interacting with others. Finding Moo Friends is a fun and loving way to overcome those fears and emotional struggles by exploring them with lovable unique characters who also share the same issues.
We talked with Marcos Correa to hear about the series in development.
Initial Story Idea
Animationweek (AW): Where did the initial story idea come from?
Marcos Correa (MC): One day, when I was playing with my daughter in kindergarten, there was a little boy who was having trouble finding friends and interacting with other kids. Then, I thought what his mom told him was interesting. She said that he would have to try it, otherwise you would never find a friend if you just stop there and don’t push yourself to overcome your fears. I thought that this might be a good idea for a kids’ show.
Also, my aunt, who is fond of my drawings, suggested me to write a book. So I put both ideas together and started writing this book with all my illustrations for that boy whom I saw. It all started by chance.
At the same time, I talked to a friend of mine, whose name is Gerhard Hahn, and who is now our co-production partner. He liked four of our projects, currently all under development, and came on board. This is basically how the idea started to shape and form.
Development of Appealing Characters
AW: How did you develop these cute characters?
MC: It is hard to explain, but it takes a long time. It always starts with a little sketch and then you keep working on it. You receive feedback from people.
As you can see, the character in the book is very different to what it is now. In my opinion, I had to change it because it needs to be a little bit lighter and friendly-looking for a kids show, and you also need to think about merchandising and how broadcasters think how global this would be.
When I create a character or show, it is not for myself, but I always think of either the broadcaster or the target audience that I’m going to market. If it’s for America, I develop shows for them.
Finding Moo Friends was actually developed for the Asian market, because I knew that this kind of show would be interesting for that market.
Overcoming Emotional Struggles with Unique Characters
AW: What do you want to tell most through this story and the characters?
MC: It doesn’t matter whether you are a kid or an adult, or how big your problems might be, or how scary they might be. If you look at them in a more relaxed and positive way, you will overcome whatever fear or problem you have.
This is going back to the mom whom I talked about earlier. The mom told her boy to push himself to overcome his fears. This is what Moo is. Moo is not just your best friend. He does whatever needs to be done to push and encourage you to overcome your fears, whatever they might be.
For kids, they may fear heights, scary jungles, commitment, or any emotion that you can think of and what you are struggling with. Moo will be there to help you. This is basically what the underlying idea is.
The characters were created to illustrate fears and emotions. That’s what they are based on. So every character in the show has something to be scared of, if you think about it.
The knight is a coward, he’s afraid of everything. The sapo, who is a little yellow frog, has fear of commitment. He is very locked-in and cannot make good conversation. He is not shy, but does not like to connect with people, so he is all alone. He has his own personal zone, and nobody can step in that zone. The dragon is a little bit hyper-active. I did not want the dragon to scare kids, because I like this character. I wanted it to be fun like a Golden Retriever. He doesn’t blow fire, but blows smoke which forms Emojis. This is how he communicates with people. The ladybug is a character who is theatrical and emotional, a bit of a diva and moody, but likes to be in control of everything. She just explodes her emotions. If there is something that makes her happy, she is going to be very happy about it. If there is some disaster, she will cry.
AW: How do these characters interact in episodes?
MC: In every episode, there will be some emotional struggles. For example, the knight and the dragon are best friends and the dragon comes to help the knight overcome his fear. The dragon comes up with the idea to set up a huge fake fight and let the knight win over the dragon at this fake battle. The dragon’s idea is that the knight can gain his confidence through these battles as people around him think that the knight is courageous.
AW: Lastly, what kind of support are you looking for?
MC: We’re looking for co-productions and partners that can help us raise the budget that we need for the production. We welcome anybody – broadcasters, sales, all these kind of things that we need. We already have some partners that are helping us but we are always looking for new partners and people that can bring in and add to the show.