Extra Credit evolves into animated shorts

When it comes to appeasing their fans’ insatiable need for more, Degrassi continues to deliver. Following of the heels of the recent graphic novel series, the Degrassi: Extra Credit mangasodes bring your favorite characters to life in cartoon form.

“In a world where media are converging in new ways all the time, it seems natural to morph the two-dimensional book world of Degrassi:

Extra Credit into animated shorts for broadband and mobile streaming,” said Stephen Stohn, Executive Vice-President, Epitome Pictures Inc.

“Confusionville” features Degrassi favorites Ellie Nash, Paige Michalchuk and Marco del Rossi. Even Paige’s arch-nemesis, Heather Sinclair, makes an appearance! Adamo Ruggiero, who plays Marco, has received a great response from fans and friends alike. “This is one of the coolest things,” Ruggiero enthused. “Some of my comic-book friends are like “Oh my God, are you kidding me?”

The first Degrassi: Extra Credit mangasode makes its world debut on CTV Broadband on February 8 at noon ET. The mangasodes are animated extensions of the number one Canadian drama series, Degrassi: The Next Generation, and the Degrassi: Extra Credit graphic novel series, and provide fans with bonus plotlines in animated form.

“It was just incredible to see our castmembers at work recording the voice tracks for these mangasodes,” said Chris Jackson, Director of Digital Media for Epitome Pictures. “A couple of them, such as Lauren Collins and Marc Donato, have done a great deal of voiceover work for animation, while for others, this was an entirely new experience. They had a ball, though, and now we’re all waiting to hear what the fans have to say! We’re pretty sure we’ll hear an opinion or two…”

Scripted by noted comic book writer J. Torres, the two-minute mangasodes were animated by artist James McCrimmon and produced by Yowza! Animation. The Toronto-based studio is best known for its work on Osmosis Jones, Titan AE, Looney Tunes Back in Action and Curious George.

“These were really, really fun to work on,” said McCrimmon. “It was so nice to a be key player on a project that’s all about homegrown talent. And how cool is it to help build something from the ground up for new media? I had a ball.”

Look for the second mangasode, “Punked”, featuring Jimmy Brooks, Ashley Kerwin, and young partners in puberty Danny and Derek on CTV Broadband on Thursday, February 15 at Noon ET.

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