Cloudco’s Sean Gorman Talks Tinpo
By Kristin Brzoznowski
Home to venerable brands such as Care Bears, Madballs and Holly Hobbie, Cloudco Entertainment has a new IP in its stable: Tinpo. Originally commissioned by the U.K.’s CBeebies, the preschool show is a partnership between Cloudco Entertainment, Japan’s Dentsu and OLM, produced in association with L.A.-based Sprite Entertainment.
The partnership for the property came about from an introductory meeting Cloudco had many years ago with the head of OLM, Toshiaki Okuno, while he was in town from Japan. “At that first meeting, we shared many development projects, but for certain Mr. Okuno gravitated toward Tinpo,” says Sean Gorman, president of Cloudco. “His interest led to a long courtship, which in turn resulted in a fantastic marriage as Okuno-san shared the project with Dentsu in Japan. Soon after that, all three entities—OLM/Sprite, Dentsu, Inc. and Cloudco Entertainment—partnered on the TV series production of 78 seven-minute episodes.”
The show follows Tinpo and his construction team, who are the outside-the-box problem solvers for the citizens of Tinpotown. With a lot of trial and error, they ask “What if…?” until the job is done.
“The world of Tinpo is inherently appealing and fun, with a proprietary look that is at once accessible and relatable even as everything—characters, vehicles, backgrounds, color saturation—still has a healthy dollop of fantasy,” Gorman says.
“There are some really important—and in combination, I think, unique—attributes to the show,” he continues. “Tinpo and his friends are creative engineers and problem solvers for their world, and are treated and act a bit like superheroes who are called in to save the day. But what makes all of that exceptional is that Tinpo and his team choose to solve these problems in ways that prioritize creativity and fun over the bare-bones practicality and efficiency we adult humans put first. In fact, Tinpo loves to try many possible ideas; embracing ‘trial and error’ as a positive part of a process to achieve the best—and in this case, the most fun and often least predictable—solution.”
The series debuted on CBeebies to much success, and Cloudco has expanded its relationship with the BBC by extending the iPlayer catch-up rights and box-set rights to provide even more exposure for Tinpo in the U.K. The show is also set for Japan on TV Tokyo this summer, as well as Nick/Noggin in Latin America, and then South Korea and China later this year. It has already debuted in Canada on TVO and in Finland on YLE, while the U.S. distribution strategy is taking shape.
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