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Cartoon is supported by the Creative Europe – MEDIA Programme of the European Union.

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CAR­TOON was cre­at­ed at the end of 1987 by the MEDIA Pro­gramme which began its pilot phase under the impe­tus of Mrs Holde Lhoest (Head of the MEDIA Pro­gramme) and of Mr Hen­ry Ing­berg (Gen­er­al Direc­tor of the Min­istry of the Com­mu­nauté Française de Belgique”).

Organ­ised by the two coor­di­na­tors of CAR­TOON, gen­er­al sec­re­tary Marc Van­dewey­er and direc­tor Corinne Jenart, a Con­sti­tu­ant Gen­er­al Assem­bly was held on 16 and 17 Feb­ru­ary 1988 at the Brus­sels Cen­tre de Con­grès with 43 ani­ma­tion pro­fes­sion­als from the 11 mem­ber states of what was still called the Euro­pean Com­mu­ni­ty” at the time.

1990, Lan­zarote. Par­tic­i­pants arriv­ing to the 1st Car­toon Forum


After numer­ous vis­its to stu­dios and meet­ings with pro­duc­ers from the four cor­ners of Europe, the two CAR­TOON coor­di­na­tors, Marc Van­dewey­er and Corine Jenart, put for­ward an action plan sup­port­ed by the MEDIA Pro­gramme of the Euro­pean Union with the aim of relaunch­ing the ani­mat­ed film indus­try in Europe.
It is essen­tial to reit­er­ate that all CARTOON’s ini­tia­tives have devel­oped through con­tin­u­ous dia­logue with those in the indus­try: some ini­tia­tives have indeed been sug­gest­ed by pro­fes­sion­als and put in place by the per­ma­nent office in Brus­sels with the sole aim of respond­ing to the eco­nom­ic and struc­tur­al needs of the sec­tor, and in order to revi­talise it.

Thanks to the MEDIA Pro­gramme of the Euro­pean Union, this action plan has devel­oped in sev­er­al areas:


  • with sup­port for around a hun­dred pro­fes­sion­al intern­ships in com­pa­nies which have enabled 1 266 peo­ple to per­fect their knowl­edge in ani­ma­tion stu­dios in 11 Euro­pean coun­tries and which have led to a hir­ing rate of 80 %.
  • with the organ­i­sa­tion of train­ing sem­i­nars for pro­fes­sion­als and giv­en by expe­ri­enced pro­fes­sion­als, with the aim of keep­ing up as close­ly as pos­si­ble with devel­op­ments in the ani­ma­tion indus­try. So far CAR­TOON has organ­ised more than 70 Car­toon Mas­ters, bring­ing togeth­er more than 4 500 professionals.


  • with pre-pro­duc­tion aid for 252 projects, exceed­ing 5.5 mil­lion euros of aid from the MEDIA Pro­gramme (1988−1995). Since 1996, this aid has been giv­en direct­ly by the Euro­pean Commission.
  • with the cre­ation in 1990 of the Car­toon Forum designed to speed up finan­cial arrange­ments and increase the num­ber of cross-bor­der co-pro­duc­tions of TV series. To date, more than 881 projects have been set up for a total bud­get of 3.16 bil­lion euros. More than 1000 pro­fes­sion­als take part each year in Toulouse.
  • with the cre­ation of Car­toon Movie in 1999, on the same prin­ci­ples as the Car­toon Forum, but for ani­ma­tion films for the cin­e­ma. So far 413 films have been financed for a total bud­get of 2.76 bil­lion euros. More than 900 pro­fes­sion­als take part each year in Bor­deaux, France.


  • with aid for Euro­pean stu­dio group­ings. 14 group­ings, bring­ing togeth­er 38 stu­dios from 10 Euro­pean coun­tries, suc­ceed­ed in keep­ing labour in Europe and mod­ernising the indus­try. Togeth­er they have pro­duced 82 ani­mat­ed series!
  • with an ambitous sup­port plan for mod­ernising pro­duc­tion tools, called Com­put­er Car­toon, which has led to the devel­op­ment of four soft­ware pro­grammes which are wide­ly used in stu­dios, as almost 1 000 licences had been bought by the end of the 1990s. This action was deci­sive in the tech­no­log­i­cal evo­lu­tion of animation.

1993, Inver­ness. Roy­al vis­it of Prince Edward.


The main achieve­ment of CAR­TOON is to have suc­ceed­ed in struc­tur­ing a sec­tor which at the time was extreme­ly dis­parate and frag­ment­ed, and fac­ing intense com­pe­ti­tion from the Japan­ese and the Americans.

It is clear that, by means of com­ple­men­tary and coher­ent ini­tia­tives man­aged by CAR­TOON, Euro­pean ani­ma­tion is in a far bet­ter posi­tion than it was twen­ty years ago. Euro­pean stu­dios have come to know each oth­er, to meet and to co-oper­ate togeth­er. A cli­mate of mutu­al trust has devel­oped which is man­i­fest to all. It is equal­ly clear that there are more and more series and fea­ture films pro­duced in Europe and that there are more cross-bor­der coop­er­a­tive ven­tures and co-productions.


Today, 30 years lat­er, thanks to the won­der­ful sup­port of the MEDIA Pro­gramme of the Euro­pean Union, Euro­pean Ani­ma­tion has tak­en its place in the inter­na­tion­al mar­ket. It has gone from a hand­i­craft to a cul­tur­al indus­try, rich with diverse cul­tures and at the spear­head of the most advanced technologies.