Oscar winner Matthew A. Cherry (“Hair Love”) is partnering with director/writer Chaz Bottoms to adapt Bottoms’ animated short “Battu: An Animated Musical” into a series. Cartoon Network Studios is on board to develop “Battu” with Cherry and Bottoms.
Described as a “coming-of-age musical comedy series about a young group of misfit dreamers who move to their own beat,” “Battu” will follow Chicago teens Otis and Jada who are gifted dancers but free spirits who find themselves outcasts in the world of mainstream dance. They join a troupe of “hiplet” (a mix of hip-hop and ballet dance) dancers, where they find acceptance among their peers and instructors.
The show’s soundtrack will explore Chicago’s music scene, and “Battu” will tackle themes such as courage, self-empowerment, inclusiveness, perseverance, and the power of friendship.
“’Battu’ is unlike anything we have ever tried at the studio,” said Sam Register, president of Warner Bros. Animation and Cartoon Network Studios. “This ambitious project brings together and celebrates two of our greatest storytelling mediums — animation and music. Matthew and Chaz are our perfect dance partners as we strive to tell authentic stories that both empower and entertain.”
The “Battu: An Animated Musical” short from Bottoms is currently in production, while development is now underway on “Battu” the series.
“I grew up on a healthy diet of Cartoon Network shows and to be working with them on ‘Battu’ is a dream come true,” said Bottoms, whose credits include “Dear John: Legendary Love Letters.” “This project is my love letter to the city of Chicago, animation, and musicals.”
“Battu” will be produced by Cartoon Network Studios. Register, Cherry,Bottoms and Monica A. Young (“Hair Love”) serve as executive producers. “Hair Love” won the best animated short Oscar in 2020.
“Chaz is one of the most exciting young voices in animation and we are thrilled to be working with Sam Register, Nicole Rivera and the rest of the Cartoon Network Studios team to develop ‘Battu.’” Cherry said.
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