Julien Villanueva at the Circus Studio introduces Dr. Bob in the Cartoon Forum

French director Julien Villanueva, whose animation and VFX outfit Circus Studio has worked on such films as Lego City Adventures, Around the World in 80 Days and White Fang, has his first-ever original TV series project in cartoon Forum presented Toulouse.

“Dr. Bob is a very simple concept,” he joked to industry professionals gathered at the pitching forum in the southern French city. “It’s like Freud meets Kermit the Frog,” he explained of his show, a sitcom centered on Dr. Bob, a mad psychologist who will go to extremes to make his patients happy, often with radical consequences.

All the action takes place within the four walls of his office, a sort of modern-day confessional booth, located in the generic town of Socity, where the upcoming local elections are causing everyone to fret.

The idea for the show, he explained, came from his love of the Muppet Show as a kid and his frustration at not finding anything in the adult animation world that suited his tastes.

“A few years ago I was at the Annecy Film Festival and after watching all the shows I felt like it wasn’t enough, something was missing: I wanted to see something like that [Dr Bob]based on psychology, with a muppet show feel, so I had the idea to create this shrink and these situations with his patients where he just exaggerates to please them.”

dr Bob is produced by the Villanueva animation company, which Villanueva recently founded with his circus partner Jérôme Bacquet, Mr. Loyal. They enlisted the skills of TV writers Joshua Philips and Alexander Gonzalez to write the screenplays.

The timing is ideal for the concept, he said diversity. “There are so many problems out there – wars, environmental and social problems – and we need to laugh, take a new perspective and laugh at ourselves. This kind of show, run by a crazy psychologist like Dr. Bob, is a good outlet.”

The Cartoon Forum runs until September 22nd in the French city of Toulouse.

https://variety.com/2022/film/festivals/circus-studio-julien-villanueva-dr-bob-1235378983/ Julien Villanueva at the Circus Studio introduces Dr. Bob in the Cartoon Forum

Charles Jones

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