If you thought Cartoon Network couldn’t possibly pull another trick out of the hat, then you better think again because things just keep getting better and more local in Cartoon Network land. To get the school holidays off to a fresh start, Cartoon Network will be launching My Cartoon Friend, a brand-new channel original show, on Monday, 12th of July.
The humorous, imaginative, and uniquely African series of 13 one-and-a-half minute shorts, created especially for Cartoon Network Africa by South African animator Lwazi Msipha, proves that while cartoons are cool and friends essential, having a cartoon character as a friend can be super-cool, right? Errr … not always!
After experimenting with some new and unknown animation software, a young African animator, Lwazi, mistakenly exports his animated character into the real world. Lwazi finds himself stuck with a new and unusual friend, Themba, with no knowledge of how to reverse the whole thing. Themba is witty, sharp with his tongue, quick on his feet, and almost certainly has an answer to everything – even if he’s wildly inaccurate. The two have an entertaining and adventurous everyday life together as Themba tries to learn how to fit into the real world (but not paying any rent, that’s for sure!).
Johannesburg-based Lwazi Msipha, a self-taught designer and school taught 3D animator, won the 2019 Digital Lab Africa #3 pitching competition, a springboard and incubation platform for African creatives, which led to the creation of Africa’s first original hybrid comedy series. Using his unique style that mixes real live-action and animation comedy, Msipha created, wrote, animated, and guided the 13-episode production of the series, all while playing the show’s main protagonist.
“My Cartoon Friend is such an exciting project because it truly is out of the box and unexpected. Moreover, it lends itself very well to what Cartoon Network Africa has been aiming for in terms of content that not only resonates with our local African audience but is also created by and with African creatives,” says Ariane Suveg, Programming director and head of Kids Content Africa.
“Ever since I was young, I have been a massive fan of Cartoon Network. My family could tell if I was the last one watching TV because when they switched it on in the morning it would be on Cartoon Network. My Cartoon Friend is special to me because it is a unique concept that I never thought would exist beyond YouTube, but my friends at Cartoon Network loved it and believed in me enough to bring it to its audience. It’s been an amazing experience, but I need someone to pinch me, I think I might still be dreaming,” concludes Lwazi Msipha.
You don’t want to miss this exhilarating mix of live-action and animation comedy in My Cartoon Friend so tune into Cartoon Network Africa from Monday, 12th of July to Wednesday, 28th of Julyat 16:15 CAT.