Cartoon Network Studios is teaming with Academy Award-winning filmmaker Matthew A. Cherry (Hair Love) and director/animator/writer Chaz Bottoms on Battu, a musical comedy series about “a young group of misfit dreamers who move to their own beat.”
Battu — which I am told is a French ballet term meaning “beat” — follows Otis and Jada, gifted teenage dancers in Chicago whose free-spirit and individuality often leave them as outsiders in the rigid world of mainstream dance. Together they find a home at a struggling hiplet (a style of dance combining hip-hop and ballet) studio and a family among the studio’s troupe of dancers and instructors.
Embracing the vibrant Chicago music scene, the soundtrack of the series will feature original music and punctuate stories which will explore themes such as courage, self-empowerment, inclusiveness, perseverance, and the power of friendship.
The project is based on Bottoms’ animated short film Battu: An Animated Musical, which is currently in production.
“Chaz is one of the most exciting young voices in animation,” Cherry said in a statement, “and we are thrilled to be working with [Warner Bros. Animation and Cartoon Network Studios chief] Sam Register, Nicole Rivera and the rest of the Cartoon Network Studios team to develop Battu.”
Added Bottoms, “I grew up on a healthy diet of Cartoon Network shows and to be working with them on Battu is a dream come true! This project is my love letter to the city of Chicago, animation, and musicals.”