Interview with Producer Jean François Tosti

February 1, 2013 | By Muriel Guidoni

An interview with Jean François Tosti, producer and co-writer of The Jungle Bunch, a French animation which has been nominated for the 2013 The International Emmy® Kids Awards. The Jungle Bunch will be screened in New York’s at MAD Museum February 6, 2013. More information here.

How and why did you begin to produce animation?
My partners and I started making animation tests with a super 8 camera when we were about 13 years old (27 years ago). We always had (and still have) a passion for movies in general and animation. Twelve years ago, after completing degrees in science, we decided 12 years ago to follow our passion for film making and to try it in the TV and movie business. We created TAT productions in 2000 and produced animated short films and commercials before producing our first TV show, Spike in 2008. We have now an animation studio with 80 employees.

Where did you get the idea for The Jungle Bunch?
In 2009 we decided to create a new TV show with animals in the jungle - we wanted to have the opportunity to work with animal characters - but we didn't want just to have regular animals in a regular jungle. So we came out with the idea of a penguin lost in the jungle... So we had to build a story to bring this penguin into this weird environment and to create a strong and zany character: a penguin convinced he is a tiger and so naturally lives in the jungle, why not after all ?

The Jungle Bunch has been broadcast on television channels in more than a hundred  countries, how do you explain the success of this series abroad?
I think we always have been lovers of American and British animation (Aardman, Pixar, Dreamworks...) so when we started writing our own stories we had the feeling that we needed to follow those steps : strong stories, for the whole family, full of humor, with attractive designs. And we started making TV shows like they were features films in terms of writing, animation, sound, voices, music... So I think we presented to broadcasters TV shows with a cinema like look and quality, written for the whole family, with an American savour and a European taste (we are really French) and they liked it. We are so happy that The Jungle Bunch is travelling all around the world. It's an unexpected journey for us.

*The International Emmy® Kids Awards, a new competition and stand-alone ceremony, solely dedicated to recognizing excellence in children’s television programming produced and initially aired outside of the United States. More info

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