Special Report Cartoon Network UK’s 25th Anniversary Screening In London

Special Report Cartoon Network UK's 25th Anniversary Screening In London

Special Report Cartoon Network UK’s 25th Anniversary Screening In London

Yesterday (29th September), Cartoon Network UK celebrated its 25th anniversary with a special screening at BAFTA’s (British Academy of Film and Television Arts) headquarters in Piccadilly, Central London. The special screening was presented by Nigel Clarke (also the presenter of the UK version of Ben 10: Challenge), the series director of The Amazing World of Gumball – Mic Graves was invited as a special guest for the questions and answers segment. Cartoon Network UK turned 25 years old on 17th September.

At the screening event, an episode each of three existing Cartoon Network shows were shown on the big screen – Adventure Time, We Bare Bears and The Amazing World of Gumball, followed by the Q&A session with Mic Graves and then the UK premiere of two brand new shows from Cartoon Network Studios which will air on Cartoon Network UK this Autumn – Summer Camp Island and Craig of the Creek. Craig of the Creek will have its UK television premiere on Cartoon Network tomorrow (Monday 1st October), with new episodes airing on weekdays at 5.30pm.

The Adventure Time episode that was shown was – “Shh!”, in the episode, Finn and Jake make a wager not to speak for the day and the only way they can communicate is by using signs, body language and hand gestures. As a result of not grasping the situation, BMO gets weirded out by Finn’s and Jake’s behaviour, BMO retreats to his hideout in one of the treehouse’s walls and listen to its favourite song, BMO is creeped out because it thinks Finn and Jake have been replaced. Finn and Jake chop down the wall with axes. Meanwhile, Waiting outside are a gang of “Bikini Babes” who want to dance with BMO, they fly to the treehouse’s roof. By chopping at the wall, Finn and Jake caused a rift in the wall, causing the ceiling to collapse which caused the gang of Bikini Babes to fall inside the treehouse, a fight then breaks out, BMO suddenly learn Finn and Jake were themselves all along, and invites Finn and Jake to party, the Party God then crashes the party and joins in.

Next up was We Bare Bears, the episode that was shown was called – “Chloe”, it’s also the episode where Chloe makes her debut in the We Bare Bears series. In the episode, a young child prodigy named Chloe sneaks in the Bears’ cave and documents their habitat with the use of a video camera, the Bears find out that she’s intruding in their house and starts interrogating her. Grizz, Panda and Ice Bear learn that she’s only researching about bears for a university project, the Bears then help out with her research. Chloe forgets her laptop and the bears read her presentation, the bears disapprove of what was written and decided to make a presentation that make themselves look awesome. Chloe didn’t know that the bears changed her presentation and was humiliated in front of her teacher and her fellow university students, the Bears feel sorry for what they did, they go up to the lecture theatre stage with Chloe and give an “A-grade” presentation.

The Amazing World of Gumball episode that was shown was the Childrens’ BAFTA award-winning episode – “The Shell”, In the episode, Gumball and Penny are acting the final scene a school play – Beauty and the Beast, during the very last moment, Penny (as Beauty) tells Gumball (the Beast), to kiss her, Gumball is surprised as it wasn’t in the script, he kisses Penny too quickly and accidentally headbutts her. Penny finds out that a crack has been formed in her peanut shell body by her left eye caused by the accident. Penny’s father – Mr. Fitzgerald is unhappy about what happened and forbids Gumball from seeing Penny again. Gumball also explains that whatever is in Penny’s shell is nothing to be ashamed of. Gumball is upset and can’t discuss about what happened with his family, he goes to his bedroom in sadness, suddenly Penny appears at her window and announces that her father has now put her in a different school, Gumball explains that Penny should be herself, she takes his advice and reveals her true fairy form. Gumball is too stunned and amazed to finish his sentence to tell her how she looks quickly enough, Penny sees this as a negative response. Penny thinks she ugly and shapeshifts into an ugly monster. Mr. Fitzgerald sees Penny’s new “ugly appearance” while driving in the street and is upset by it, he says some unintentionally hurtful comments about Penny and she flies away. Gumball finds Penny in the forest and tells her that feelings define her appearance, Gumball shares his true feelings and kisses her, Penny then shapeshifts back to her true fairy form, Gumball’s parents and Mr. Fitzgerald watch Gumball and Penny being happy together.

The episode of Summer Camp Island that was shown at the screening was “Time Traveling Quick Pants”. In the episode, the campers play a game of softball. During the game, Oscar’s pants come down revealing embarrassing underpants. He and Hedgehog find out about a quicksand portal that allows people to travel through time and use it to fix his mistake. However, every time they use it, something else goes wrong, such as going back to the time of the dinosaurs or accidentally setting fire to the hot dog tent on the softball field. However, Oscar and Hedgehog go back in time again and with success, the unfortunate incident didn’t happen, however it worked too well, as representatives from a softball camp invited Oscar as they were impressed by his skills. Oscar can’t move away from his best friend, so they go back in time one last time and admit that the embarrassing incident was meant to happen after all by recreating it.

The episode of Craig of the Creek was shown was the show’s first episode – “Itch to Explore”. In the episode, Craig draws a map of the creek but he and his friends JP and Kelsey find out about an empty undiscovered area, a circular area surrounded by a ring of Poison Ivy. The trio want to be remembered in creek history and what to claim the space as their own, aware of the risk, they prep up and wear protective suits, although JP gets exposed to the Poison Ivy, they discover that the centre of the poison ivy ring is a trampoline. They then meet a kid who’s immune to poison ivy, he spends time in the poison ivy patch to get away from his large family and to spend some time with himself. However, the kid doesn’t want other kids to know about his place of solitude so Craig decides to write “Keep Out” on the map, deterring kids from exploring that part of the creek.

Special Report Cartoon Network UK's 25th Anniversary Screening In London
Nigel Clarke with Mic Graves

Q&A with Mic Graves

In between the The Amazing World of Gumball episode and Summer Camp Island episode, there was a questions and answers session with Gumball’s series director – Mic Graves. This was an opportunity for kids and adults to ask questions about the show which also included a discussion about the history of Gumball. Mic met Ben Bocquelet – the creator of The Amazing World of Gumball at a creative studio in London called Studio AKA, which also produced adverts for companies, both Ben and Mic created characters for commercials, however, Mic was more successful than Ben. Ben decided to reuse the characters he created for a pitch for an animated show now referred to as “The Amazing World of Gumball”. As the show’s director, Mic oversees all aspects of production, from writing, storyboarding, background art, composition and 2D/3D animation and even gets involved in writing songs for the show. Mic also voices Banana Joe as well as his father – Banana Bob. Also present at the screening was the show’s voice director – Richard Overall who voices Billy Parham in Gumball. Mic was asked about how easy is it to draw the characters, he explains that drawing the characters can be hard, due to the shape of character’s heads and eye positions (especially Gumball) and mentioned that Darwin was meant to be a 3D character, which would of caused difficulty in the animation process as 2D and 3D characters would have to overlay each other. The character Mr. Small, is based on a person Mic used to work with named Steve Small, in fact Steve Small actually created the character and to an extent behaves like Mr. Small in real life.

During the Q&A session it was mentioned that work on The Amazing World of Gumball started in 2008, which means Gumball is now technically ten years old. Mic was asked why is the show and its characters were crazy, Mic jokingly said that it’s because of the people who work on it. Mic also explains that Gumball’s team produce the show from the perspective of their childhoods and what type of show they would of enjoyed as kids. The show has a lot of creative freedom, but sometimes Cartoon Network’s standards and practices team make sure that each episode is suitable for kids to watch. Some members of the audience were surprised to learn that The Amazing World of Gumball wasn’t made in the United States but in London with some work produced at Studio Soi in Germany (known for the animated specials The Gruffalo and The Gruffalo’s Child) the show makes use of British comedy writers’ talent and combines it with an American setting and American culture for the purpose of making it easier to market to audiences in the United States (Cartoon Network’s home market). The Amazing World of Gumball is currently halfway through its sixth season, season six will have a total of 44 episodes and a typical season of 40 episodes takes two years to produce. Mic’s favourite Cartoon Network show at the moment is Apple and Onion created by former Gumball storyboarder – George Gendi and his favourite episode of Gumball is “The Remote”.

Mic also revealed that there will be an episode of Gumball called “The Future” coming out soon, the episode will be about Banana Barbara’s (Banana Joe’s mother) prophetic paintings which depict scenes of what will happen in the future. After the screening, I had a chance to talk to Mic about the future plans of The Amazing World of Gumball, Mic said that a script for The Amazing World of Gumball movie is currently being worked on, however its still in its very early stages. Mic also said that he hopes that the movie will happen. I also asked Mic if he will be working on Cartoon Network Studios Europe new show – Elliott from Earth, he confirmed that he’s working on the new show with the show’s creator – Guillaume Cassuto (former compositing supervisor on Gumball), he also said the script for the pilot has been complete and there’s five drafts for other episodes have been written, he also confirmed that he started working on the new show this month. Animation is a lengthy process but its great to hear an update.

Also after the screening, I also talked to Nigel Clarke to see if there will be anymore episodes of Ben 10: Challenge, he said, Cartoon Network has given free-to-air children’s channel – CITV broadcasting rights to the show to help increase the show’s exposure, if it gets good viewing ratings, Cartoon Network could renew the show for another season. Also the fact that Ben 10: Challenge has spread to other parts of the world such as Asia is also a good sign about the show’s future.

Before leaving the 25th Anniversary event, I had my picture taken with Gumball and Darwin! :). I’d like to thanks Mic and Nigel for answering my questions and also to Cartoon Network UK for inviting me as well as BAFTA Kids for running the event. It was a fantastic day and I was so glad to be there to celebrate 25 years of Cartoon Network in the UK and mainland Europe.

Special Report Cartoon Network UK's 25th Anniversary Screening In London
Me with Gumball and Darwin 🙂


BAFTA Kids To Celebrate Cartoon Network UK’s 25th Anniversary With A Special Screening Event

Cartoon Network UK 25th Anniversary

BAFTA Kids To Celebrate Cartoon Network UK’s 25th Anniversary With A Special Screening Event

Next month, Cartoon Network UK will celebrate 25 years of broadcasting in the UK (and the wider pan-European area), to mark this occasion, BAFTA’s (British Academy of Film and Television Arts) children’s division – BAFTA Kids will be hosting a special screening featuring classic episodes of Adventure Time, We Bare Bears and The Amazing World of Gumball along with a brand new show from Cartoon Network Studios – Summer Camp Island – created by British animation director – Julia Pott. The screening and Q&A will take place at BAFTA’s Piccadilly headquarters in London on Saturday 29th September at 2pm.

The screening will be followed by a Q&A session with Mic Graves, the series director of The Amazing World of Gumball. The screening and Q&A event will be presented by Nigel Clarke – the presenter of Cartoon Network UK’s Ben 10 Challenge. Tickets for the event can now be purchased on the BAFTA website (tickets can only be purchased by BAFTA members).


Cartoon Network UK has announced on Twitter that Summer Camp Island and another brand new show from Cartoon Network – Craig of the Creek will premiere on the channel this Autumn!


Apple And Onion Screening At BAFTA Piccadilly London 21st July

Apple And Onion Screening At BAFTA Piccadilly London 21st July

Apple And Onion Screening At BAFTA Piccadilly London 21st July

Yesterday (21/07/2018), Cartoon Network UK hosted a special screening at BAFTA’s headquarters in London for a brand new limited series – Apple and Onion, plus a Q&A session with the show’s creator – George Gendi. The brand new show will premiere on Cartoon Network UK on Monday 27th August at 10am. I didn’t find out about the screening until the night before it was actually held, but luckily my friend from KidzCoolIt.com – Nick voice recorded the whole Q&A session and took a couple of photographs, without him and the Q&A audio recording, this blog post wouldn’t of been possible.

Apple and Onion follow the adventures of two childlike friends living in a world populated with anthropomorphic food, they’ve moved away from their parents and moved to the big city, together they get used to life as independent adults, make new friends and get into a few misadventures along the way, whether its dealing with cats and ducks, sneaking into a movie premiere, playing a game of Basketball while battling anxiety, earning tips or attempting to cheer up a homesick friend. Apple is voiced by the show’s creator – George Gendi and Onion is voiced by Richard Ayoade, better known as Moss from the Channel 4 sitcom and international hit – The IT Crowd and is currently the host of the gameshow – The Crystal Maze. Before working on Apple and Onion, George worked as a storyboard artist on The Amazing World of Gumball during its first season, he then pitched Apple and Onion to Cartoon Network Development Studio Europe, but CNDSE closed after Gumball’s first season. George moved to Los Angeles to work on Nickelodeon’s Sanjay and Craig as a storyboard artist, he then re-pitched Apple and Onion to Cartoon Network Studios, the show was then greenlit with ten initial episodes in a “limited series” format.

At the screening event, three episodes of Apple and Onion were shown along with a couple of shorts and then finally, the Q&A session with George Gendi and presented by Nigel Clarke (presenter of Cartoon Network UK’s Ben 10 Challenge).

Q&A Session

Alternatively, you can listen to the whole Q&A session on the link below:


During the introductory part of the Q&A session where Nigel asked questions about the show, George mentioned where he got the idea for the show from, the show was inspired by a short story written by his older brother which was about an Apple who decides to follow his dreams and travels to the big city, while there, the Apple becomes a tree, bringing life into the city. Initially, George wanted to produce a short film based on the story, but while he was storyboarding the idea, he realised it would take too long to make and decided to pitch the idea in a TV show format. Afterwards, George created a character named Onion – instead of being round and short, he drew the character to be tall, which complements Apple’s short height. While developing his film idea, George had the idea that any food (or even any inanimate object) could be a character, but when pitching it as a TV show, the idea was scrapped and just have the characters in the show as food with human personalities.

George also mentioned the difference between Apple and Onion and the citizens of the big city, the big city is inhabited by manufactured and processed foods, where as, Apple and Onion are outsiders, to represent this, they are shown to be fresh and naturally occurring foods with no extra processing. George then talked about how he pitched the show to Cartoon Network, he compiled all his ideas into a show bible. A show bible is basically a report that explains the premise of the show, information about each characters, character designs and even drawings on how the show would look like, not everything has to be in a show bible, other ideas can be added in later, but there must be a sufficient amount of detail in a show bible to grab the attention from a animation studio or channel while show pitching. The show was initially pitched in 2011 and finally went into production in 2017. A 11-minute pilot episode was made first, which was made public in May 2016 via Cartoon Network’s mobile app. Since the pilot, some slight changes to the character designs were made.

A episode of Apple and Onion take approximately nine months to complete, but instead of working on each episodes sequentially, each episode is worked on at the near enough the same time, the first episode is worked on first, but after the initial stage has been completed, work starts on the second episode immediately the following week and so on and so forth until all episodes are in production. When in development, Apple and Onion had a small team, there were eight storyboard artists, a supervising director, a co-supervising director, a supervising producer, two background designers, two character designers and one art director. Nigel mentioned that George voices Onion in the show, he asks George how the voice actors are cast in the show, George mentions that he has a casting director on the show’s team who organised voice acting auditions. For Onion’s voice, the show’s creative consultant – Daniel Lennard suggested that Richard Ayoade would be a good choice, Richard agreed to do it. For Apple, there were a few voices, but it was ultimately decided that George will voice Apple, the reason why, is that he has control over the pitch and delivery of Apple’s voice.

In addition to the ten episodes, eight shorts were produced, which in total, used the same amount of resources as one normal 11-minute episode. The reason why the shorts were produced, is because George felt ten episodes weren’t enough for the show to gain traction and at the time the show wasn’t greenlit for a second season. The shorts were made during the post-production stage of the ten main episodes, and as music was important in the main series, each short featured a different song. Nigel Clarke mentioned the animated short – “Buff Up My Head”, he wanted to know where the idea for that short came from. In the short, Apple sings a song about “buffing up” (in other words, cleaning his head), then Onion joins in before heading to Burger’s birthday party. The idea for the short came from Matt Layzell – the show’s supervising producer. Four writers (Nick Edwards, Matt Layzell, Benton Connor and George himself) can up with different ideas for the eight shorts. Before the end of the first section of the Q&A, George confirmed that Apple and Onion will premiere on Cartoon Network UK on Monday 27th August at 10am.

The second section of the Q&A was an opportunity for the audience to ask questions about the show. A member of the audience asked George what it was like moving away from The Amazing World of Gumball to writing and directing on Apple and Onion and asked what other work he has done in between. George replied that he worked as a storyboarder on an animated series called Sanjay and Craig while he was working at Nickelodeon, he mentioned there was a slow process from writing to directing and learnt how to be a director at University. George also mentioned that producing a short animated film is the best way to show your creative ideas, especially when working by yourself. George was asked what’s his favourite character, he said his favourite character is Onion, he also likes Apple, but that’s himself, he also said that Richard Ayoade’s voice acting makes Onion a funny character.

George was asked about the similarities of the show compared to the video game Parappa The Rapper and the TV show/music band Flight of the Conchords, he was familiar with Parappa The Rapper but he did watch Flight of the Conchords after he finished working on the pilot for Apple and Onion, he admitted that there are similarities, but Flight of the Conchords’s objective is to make music, where as Apple and Onion are musical and often spontaneously break into song. George was asked whether show’s story was outline (storyboard) driven or script driven, the episodes that have been produced so far use the outline method, but going forward, episodes are now script driven, this is due to the show’s specific voicing, humour and timing.

George was asked by an audience member what shows he watched as a kid and what influence those shows had on him, he mentioned MGM’s Tom and Jerry, Warner Bros.’ Looney Tunes, CBBC’s The Animals of Farthing Wood, Nickelodeon’s Hey Arnold and Film Roman’s Garfield and Friends. George’s least favourite character in Apple and Onion is a character named “Energy Bar” (appears in the episode “Bottle Catch”), he doesn’t like her because she’s not very realistic and is mean for no reason. George was asked about the slang and humour, the slang and humour in the show is very British (mainly because both George Gendi and Richard Ayoade are from the UK), which can be hard to translate, in the United States, the humour remained intact, but in Spanish speaking Latin American and Portuguese speaking Brazil, the humour was adapted so local audiences can understand. The show is set in the United States, mainly due to the fact that the U.S. is Cartoon Network’s home market.

George was born in Egypt, but when he moved to the UK, he lived in several parts of the country including Wales, North England, Edgware (outskirts of London), Oxford, Essex and then London, and now Los Angeles in the U.S. Falafel’s Fun Day or Tips were George’s favourite episodes out of the three shown at the screening. If a game based on the show was to be made, it would be a music-themed 2D platformer. So far, George has seen the Latin American Spanish dub of Apple and Onion and it was mentioned that a Russian dub has been completed, George also said that an Arabic dub would be a funny one, in the EMEA (Europe, Middle East and Africa) region, Apple and Onion has been dubbed into eighteen languages, in terms of worldwide, the show will be dubbed in thirty different languages. The UK will be the first country outside the Americas to get Apple and Onion, with an eventual international rollout coming very soon. A young member of the audience was asked by George who their favourite character was, she replied – Onion. Finally, it was mentioned that there’s a moral to each episode, each with its own positive message.

The Q&A was concluded with an autograph and meet and greet session, this was an opportunity for audience members to get a autograph from George and ask him even more questions.

As an additional note, George mentioned on his Instagram account (see comments) that the show will be returning for more episodes:

#appleandonion being tall

A post shared by GeorgeGendi (@george_gendi) on

Once again, thanks to KidzCoolIt for recording the Q&A session, to visit their website and for reviews for the latest kids movies, TV shows, games and magazines please follow the link below: