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‘Karate Tortoise’ Wants to Bring ’90s Goofiness Back to TV

"We're tired of seeing old ideas being done again and again with nothing new added, so this is our way of merging the old with new!"

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Karate Tortoise

Logline: A silly series about an unimpressive tortoise and his Damsel friend who battle a medley of unlikely superheroes for pizza. This live action cartoon will be created through prosthetics, puppetry, stop motion animation, and miniature models.

Elevator Pitch:

Ever watch Disney’s “Aladdin?” “SNL?” “Problem Child?” What do they have in common? Comedic legend Gilbert Gottfried – and he’s signed on to play a villain in our series, the “Karate Tortoise.” Let’s just say there will be glitter and tap shoes. Spinoffs of your favorite ’90s characters – Ninja Turtles, Mario, Spiderman! It’s Old Greg from “The Mighty Boosh” meets Kevin Smith’s “Tusk” meets Youtube sensations “Adam Green’s Aladdin” and “Don’t Hug Me I’m Scared.” Tested well with teenagers and millennials alike. Short episodes, perfect for IFC, Adult Swim, Comedy Central, and hot new online platforms like Snapchat Series! Feminism? Check: the damsel doesn’t need saving, the superhero does! Fight scenes? Check. Blood? Check. Potty humor? Check. Diversity on and off screen? Check.

Production Team:

Mike Diaz (writer/director) has worked all over the world, from Iceland to Australia, Nigeria to Alaska, and everywhere in between. For the last couple of years, he’s produced dramatic docuseries for juggernauts like National Geographic Studios. Recently, though, he’s returned to his narrative roots, writing and directing scripted content that’s at once absurd and darkly comedic and aims to bastardize popular culture from the last thirty years.

Annie Chang (producer/actor) is graduate of NYU Tisch, Stella Adler Studio. Recent screen credits include “The Jim Gaffigan Show,” “Shades of Blue” (NBC, with Jennifer Lopez and Ray Liotta), “Master of None” (Netflix, with Aziz Ansari), “Donny!,” “House of Cards,” and “The Carrie Diaries.” Theatrical credits include “4,000 Miles” (Studio Theatre) and “Wild Swans” (A.R.T., Young Vic in London).

Ryan Pomeranz (producer/editor) is an award winning director and editor living in New York City. His most recent feature, “Pennsylvania Holy Ghosts,” is currently streaming on Amazon.com

Billy Hiller (producer/production designer) works in New York City as an Engineer and Project Manager in the construction industry. He is also an artist working with multiple mediums such as spray paint, pencil, stop motion, clay and recycled materials, with much inspiration from street artists such as Banksy, Shepard Fairy and Space Invader. His imaginative work was shown in FRESH! at the JanKossen Contemporary, and has also been up for auction for charitable causes.

Other members include Shani Rajesh Patel (Associate Producer), Sarah Wharton (Actor), and Brett Ziebarth (illustrator).

About the Film:

“Karate Tortoise” represents our experiences growing up in the 90s, back when TV and movies were a little goofier and gooier. We are reawakening that inner-child: reinventing those old characters we loved, satirizing the cartoons and movies we dragged our parents to, and paying tribute to the content that made each of us want to become artists. This work is a celebration of our commitment to the idea that anything is possible. Plus, we’re tired of seeing old ideas being done again and again with nothing new added, so this is our way of merging the old with new!

Current Status: Fundraising and in pre-production.

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