Since we all know the joys of getting notes we don't want on scripts that we want to be perfect, here - again from Alix Wiseman, Head of Sales and Acquisitions, Aardmann Animation who spoke at the Media Focus in Animation seminar last month - are the 'dislikes' she has come across.
1. Too many songs - they're expensive to dub.
2. Narrators - apparently French broadcasters hate narrators in animation
3. Fantasy-based shows. They want the shows to be "relatable".
This may be why a storyline I wrote for a series that was produced was rejected as being too culturally biased. I had been given the title of the episode which involved "... and the North Pole". I wrote a piece with Santa in it, only he'd moved to the South Pole because no-one loved him. When the central character finds him and tries to make things right, all her magic backfires because she's at the wrong pole. Magnetically.
So all her spells have the opposite (devastating/ comic/ chaotic) effect. But it wouldn't be acceptable in Asia or something; too culturally-specific.
4. Excessive violence in boy-skewed shows.
5. Anthropomorphic vehicle shows. Apparently there's a fatigue in the market.
6. Inappropriate content.
Here we come to p.c. gone mad. I developed something once where I was advised that poison could not be put out for a mouse in case some child watching tried to eat mouse poison. Or climb in a window. Or climb a tree. If you think about it in a positive or whiskey-fuelled mood, you could say it forces us to come up with something more brilliant/ creative/ inspired. But there are many other moods to have in between...
And here's the truly mad one:
The American broadcasters will not accept the depiction of poo in an animated series. It cost Aardmann thousands to digitally remove every poo in their first series of Shaun The Sheep. (http://www.shaunthesheep.com/)
The poo, she was told, was a deal breaker. Series 2, apparently, has no poo.
Not even the whiff of a poo hiding behind a burlap sack.
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