The adventures of Bogyó and Babóca, the snail boy and the ladybird girl ─ interview with Géza M. Tóth, founder and manager director of KEDD Animation Studio, director of Bogyó és Babóca.
– The adventures of Bogyó and Babóca, two inseparable friends, are so popular that the new animation even received the Best Short-Animation Award at the China International Children’s Film Festival, Jiangyin some weeks ago. What does it mean?
– Children’s film festivals sometimes offer more, sometimes less than classic film festivals. The key aspect of evaluation is whether the film meets children’s needs, or whether it is interesting enough for them. That is why prizes were awarded on the basis of a 5-member jury and 230 children’s joint decision. That is how one should see this award. I am convinced that we did our best during the production of this low-budget animated series. We have produced two thirteen-part series during the previous one and a half year. We also had limits we did not want to exceed. Thus, the result is not a professional masterpiece, but a children’s story long needed. So mainly Erika Bartos, author and graphic artist, deserves credit for the success of the series; she has created a unique children’s book series.
– The film’s has been criticized for being simple and static, lacking real action.
– Interestingly, that is the most important feature of the film. This dramatic level suits the younger audience, that is what they really need, and that is how we can reach the desired effect. Our task had been to transform Erika Bartos’ story into moving images.
– Are you planning to prepare a full-length version?
– No, we are not planning to prepare one. Children prefer series of shorter episodes; they can comprehend this type easier. It is much more difficult for them to follow the dramaturgy of a full-length movie. However, we have been toying with the idea of creating a longer film, more precisely a series of shorter parts within a frame story.
– Bogyó és Babóca is on at most cinemas all over Hungary. Was it difficult to make multiplex cinemas show it, too?
– Luckily, the success of the series in 2010 – last year it was the fourth most-watched Hungarian movie – has raised the attention of multiplex cinemas as well. Children really enjoy the stories of the snail boy and the ladybird girl, and the episodes also can be watched separately. It means that also those children can enjoy the film at the cinema who become too tired and cannot watch the 13 episodes in one sitting.
– When is it going to be shown on TV? Or will it happen earlier in Japan?
– The series has been broadcast on Minimax for half a year, but we have not yet received reasonable offers from any commercial or state-owned television. Furthermore, state grants are not provided for the animation industry either directly or indirectly in Hungary. This series has been also funded by the profit of other productions, by our own resources without any subsidies.
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