French director Julien Villanueva whose animation and VFX outfit Circus Studio has worked on the likes of “Lego City Adventures”, “Around the World in 80 Days” and “White Fang”, has pitched his first-ever original TV series project on Cartoon Forum in Toulon.
“Dr Bob is a very simple concept,” he joked to the crowd of industry professionals gathered at the pitching forum in the southern French city. “It’s like Freud meeting Kermit the Frog,” he explained of his show, a sitcom centered around Dr. Bob, a mad psychologist who goes to great lengths to make his patients happy, often leading to radical consequences.
All the action takes place within the four walls of his office, a sort of contemporary confessional, located in the generic town of Socity, where the upcoming municipal elections are putting everyone on edge.
The idea for the show, he explained, was born out of his love for the Muppet Show as a child and his frustration at not being able to find anything in the adult animation world that suited his taste.
“A few years ago I was at the Annecy Film Festival, and after watching all the shows, I felt like it wasn’t enough, something was missing: I wanted to see something like [Dr Bob]based on psychology, with a Muppet show feel, so I had the idea to create this psychiatrist and these situations with his patients where he just goes overboard to please them.”
Dr Bob is produced by the animation outfit that Villanueva recently created with his Circus partner Jérôme Bacquet, Mr Loyal. For the scripts, they enlisted the skills of TV writers Joshua Philips and Alexander Gonzalez.
The time is ideal for the concept, he said Variety. “There are so many problems – wars, environmental and social issues – and we need to laugh, take a new perspective and laugh at ourselves. This kind of show, supported by a deranged psychologist like Dr. Bob, is a good outlet.”
Cartoon Forum will run until September 22 in the French city of Toulouse.