Frogeck Promises a Brilliant Future for 3D Animation in Africa

December 5, 20185 min read

There’s a page in Mike Mignola’s Hellboy comic that illustrates one of the ways frogs came to earn the evil mythological status snakes and crows have. Frogs in some cultures are cruel, creepy harbingers of doom – but that’s not always the case. Frogs can also be cute, adorable creatures and Anthill Studios’ Frogeck is about to make our hearts croak in joy with that realization.

Perhaps not croak necessarily considering Frogeck isn’t actually a frog. The titular character is just frog-like. Frogeck is the story of a friendly green alien with a powerful gift who lands accidentally in an orphanage in Ibadan, Nigeria. While trying to get home, he teams up with three kids to save their orphanage from a ruthless villain.

The film is set in Nigeria and takes place in Ibadan and Lagos. Frogeck features rich characters whose profiles promise exciting adventures never before seen on African screens.

Frogeck and Snuggles. Credit Anthill Studios

Frogeck will be the studio’s first feature-length animated movie. This will add to the studio’s already impressive 3D animation repertoire that includes Plaything, The Sim, Malika, Retrieve the Droid and Peak Milk’s Lola and Chuchu series. The studio just a few months ago was helping promote an animated Kickstarter campaign for Roye Okupe’s Malika. Animation on the successfully backed pilot would be completely handled by the Nigerian studio.

The film is part musical and part action adventure. It will have over 300 human characters and will be a collaborative project between Anthill Studios and all the key animation studios in Nigeria.

This project – Frogeck – will usher in a new era of family entertainment in Africa.

Niyi Akinmolayan

Frogeck is based on an original story by the passionate filmmaker and founder of Anthill Productions, Niyi Akinmolayan. The film will be directed by Nurdin Momudu who will bring the full force of his CGI and animation experience to bear on the project.

According to a post by Niyi Akinmolayan, Frogeck is more than a film. It will be the foundation of a very successful family entertainment industry and we will all make it happen together. 

Check out the first teaser for Frogeck below.

Is Frogeck Nigeria’s First 3D Animated Feature?

Frogeck has been advertised as Nigeria’s first 3D animated feature film. This is both true and false. Modern feature films typically run between 80 and 180 minutes while different film guilds have different minimum lengths to be considered a feature.

Going by the former, Frogeck is Nigeria’s first 3D animated feature. The American Film Insitute, British Film Insitute, Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (the group that gives Oscars) consider any film longer than 40 minutes a feature (source: Screenwriting.io). By this, Trans Tales’s Rites of Perdition steals that spot.

The Promise for African Animation

Frogeck in a Pod wallpaper
Frogeck in a Pod. Credit Anthill Studios

African animation has grown in leaps and bounds over the years with an explosive number of animated shorts, Anthill Studios’ Plaything, Creature’s A Kalabanda Ate My Homework, Michael Rhima’s Shango and Selorm Dogoe’s Flower, just a few excellent examples.

Longer form animations, however, not so much. The few that exist are usually by foreign studios that adapt African stories (Kirikou and the Sorceress) or are set on the continent (Disney’s Lion King).

Frogeck will join the ranks of Zambezia (by TriggerFish Animation Studio), The Brats (by FX Animation Studios from Mozambique) if successfully funded and Sango (by Komotion Studios) as the forerunners of feature-length 3D animation in Africa.

Frogeck is set for cinema release in December 2019  and will be released in 3 major languages: Swahili, English and in French.

Follow Frogeck’s progress at the film’s website, and on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.

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