The Hungarian “Pelikan Blue” wins the Pulcinella Best Animated Feature at “Cartoons On The Bay”


By John

With a history of travel between adventure and experimentation, the Hungarian “Pelikan Blue”directed by László Csáki, wins the Pulcinella Best Animated Feature in the 28th edition of “Cartoons On The Bay”the animation festival promoted by Rai and organized by Rai Com, in collaboration with the Abruzzo Region and the Municipality of Pescara.
Set in 1990s Hungary, “Pelikan Blue” tells of a country where travel is finally possible but unsustainable. By forging international train tickets, three young people give an entire generation the opportunity to experience the outside world. “A skillful and innovative combination of animation, live action inserts and historical account that merges documentary and mockumentary”, reads the motivation of the jury composed of director and documentary maker Leslie Iwerks, Marco Pellitteri, professor of Media and Communication at Xi University 'an Jiaotong-Liverpool and Alessandra De Luca, journalist and film critic, “an eclectic simulation of cinéma vérité – concludes the motivation – which celebrates freedom with a unique and innovative style”.
Four special mentions were awarded: Best Screenplay goes to Sultana's Dream by Isabel Herguera, for the jury “a story that defines the vital role of women through a series of profound nuances. A film on a current topic that encompasses the different roles of women in various cultures, leaving a lasting impact on audiences.” The feature film also receives the Renato Pallavicini Special Award: “the film contains an important message to convey, with nods to Fellini's cinematographic style. It takes us into a variety of cultural contexts with soft political critique, aiming to stimulate reflection and a deeper understanding of the complex roles and positions of women in all cultures.” The film is the story of Inès who lives in India and, after reading the book “Sultana's dream”, a science fiction story written by Rokeya Hossain in 1905, decides to undertake a journey to India in search of the only place where women they can live in peace.
Best Director Mention for the Brazilian Clarice's Dream by Fernando Gutiérrez & Guto Bicalho, which tells of a creative girl who has to deal with the loss of her mother. “It's a journey into fantasy that involves viewers in an emotional journey through solid and well-structured artistic direction. A beautiful, creative and imaginative way of directing animation” was the jury's motivation. Best Animation a Slides by Bill Plympton for the “crazy and dynamic style. The film is a surprising journey into the unique visions of its eclectic author, enriched by unexpected perspectives on dreams and reality.” The American title Slide is the story of a mythical cowboy who appears in a logging town to fight the evil mayor and his equally selfish twin brother, with the help of his guitar and a giant creature. And finally, Best Soundtrack at Florentine Night directed by Sotir Gelev: “the soundtrack accompanies the lively scenes of the film with classical elegance. It manages to transport us to the heart of the story, arousing emotions with every note.”

France smiles with 4 prizes among the 8 categories in competition. Bruno Bozzetto wins for Italy with “Sapiens?”, a Studio Bozzetto and Rai Kids production, in the Best Short Film category. The awards were assigned by the international jury composed of Silvia Ziche (cartoonist); John Musker (director, screenwriter and producer), Nathalie Martinez (Diboos president); Emanuele Vietina (director of Lucca Crea), Amy Ash (head of the Character and Groom department at Axis Studios).

John Musker, Juanjo Guarnido, Leslie Iwerks they are some of the great stars of world animation who illuminated the 28th edition. Many, including fans and professionals, welcomed Musker, director of highly successful films such as “The Little Mermaid”, “Aladdin”, “Hercules” and “Oceania”, awarded with the Pulcinella Carrer Award, Guarnido, world-famous cartoonist (Pulcinella Special Award) and Iwerks, director and producer already nominated for an Oscar in 2007 (Pulcinella Special Award). Among the many protagonists of international animation who took part in Cartoons 2024, Sara PichelliMarvel artist awarded with the Sergio Bonelli Award since 2008, the designer Silvia Ziche, author of the poster for the 2024 edition of Cartoons On The Bay, the writer and creative Bruce Morris, the cartoonist and designer Sio (Pulcinella Diversity Award), the singer Antonella Ruggiero and the musician Roberto Colombo (Pulcinella Crossmedia Award).

Over 300 works in competition from almost 50 countries, more than 600 accredited people who took part in the professional program events. Thousands of people took part in the initiatives in Piazza della Rinascita, including concerts, sporting activities and the Cartoons On The Bay Village. A separate program was dedicated to school students in Pescara with meetings and screenings at the Cinema Teatro Massimo. Well-known names such as Andrea Lucchetta and Armando Traverso took turns on stage.
A rich cinema program hosted John Musker retrospectives and the national preview of the film The Animal Kingdom by Thomas Cailley, winner of five César awards. There was great interest in the exhibition “Stefano Bessoni. Stop-motion and other inexact sciences”, dedicated to the artist's works, set up in the rooms of the Aurum. In December 2024 Cartoons On The Bay will be in L'Aquila with the Winter Edition, while the actual Festival will return with the 29th edition, in the spring of 2025 again in Pescara, thanks to the renewal of the agreement with the Abruzzo Region.

“This year is definitely the maturity edition for Cartoons On The Bay in Pescara. A journey that began three years ago with great collaboration from local institutions – he declares satisfied the artistic director of the event Roberto Genovesi. The presence of the public increased, the programming for children and schools was appreciated and the previews were sold out. But, above all, the high-level international presences confirmed the centrality of this event in the Italian animation panorama. Also for Rai, “Cartoons On The Bay” is confirmed as an essential event to understand the future of the sector and to establish collaboration with Italian and foreign factories because animation and games, in addition to the little ones, to which we devote the greatest attention as a company of public service, increasingly affect percentages of the public of all ages. The magic of comics, cartoons and games is ageless.”

The prices

Pulcinella Award Best Preschool TV Show (2-4 years)
Sam & Julia, The Mouse Mansion by Règis Vidal (France): an intriguing story combined with unique animation. The lovable characters lead us towards an emotionally charged ending. The setting that allows you to see inside the building is also particular.
Pulcinella Award Best Upper Preschool TV Show (4-6 years)
The Super Heroes of Nature by Charlotte Schmidt and Mathieu Rolin (France): a mixed animation of live action and simple elements that make it a distinctive work. A film with an alternative ending capable of attracting the public with intelligence.
Pulcinella Award Best Kids TV Show (7-11 years)
Coop Troop by Christelle Naga (UK): evocative and imaginative. the characters are cute and the animation is brilliant. It brings the story to life in an enchanting way.
Pulcinella Award Best Youth TV Show (11+)
Samuel by Emilie Tronche (France): sophisticated and very well made, with characters with very simple psychological traits. A realistic story that makes it an extremely unique film.

Pulcinella Award Best Interactive Animation
Alan Wake 2 (Finland): graphically very well done. from a cinematic point of view, despite being a video game, the animation is great and the graphics allow you to have a complete experience.
Pulcinella Award Best Live Action and/or Hybrid TV Show
Gangnam Project by Romeo Candido and Nathalie Younglai (Germany): an intercultural work with a very dynamic rhythm. The set is very varied and its captivating characters manage to evoke very strong emotions
Pulcinella Award Best TV Series Pilots
Froggie by Christophe Pinto and Mathieu Gouriou (France): very fun and engaging vocal tracks combined with an interesting design. The plot is simply exceptional, it sweeps the audience to the core.
Pulcinella Award Best Short Film
Sapiens? by Bruno Bozzetto (Italy): engaging and curious; the spider character steals the show. Bozzetto's touch is also visible in the ecological values ​​that the film wants to spread, in order to provoke deep emotions.