Esop (cancelled animated adaptations of Turkish comic strip; 1970s-2000s)

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A still from a cancelled Esop animated series from the Marti Animation website.

Status: Lost

Esop was a comic strip created by Turkish cartoonist Ali Murat Erkorkmaz, starring the worms Esop and Joselina in addition to their friends. At least two animated adaptation projects were in development from the 1970s to the 2000s by Erkorkmaz's animation studios. None have been known to be released to the general public.

Details of the comics on the internet are scarce, including the dates of publication and which publications included it. Erkorkmaz's website mentions that there are more than 500 "daily episodes." It saw at least two comic books released during the 1990s: Easily Sold and In Tension. A third one, That's What Friends are Five, is mentioned on Erkorkmaz and Marti Animation's websites, but possibly not anywhere else.[1]

The 1979 Film

The film project was going to be Erkorkmaz's first full-length feature movie, which was either completed in 1979 but never released, or had its production disrupted due to an accident and/or declining economy. It was supposed to be a 90-minute long movie and it had "many good animators" working on it. The Marti Animation website states that the labs used the wrong chemicals for the films' development, deteriorating the film negatives and leading to the project's termination. Erkorkmaz's Curriculum Vitae mentions that they couldn't finalize the project due to the poor state of Turkey's economy.[2] However, there is a biography on Erkorkmaz saying he completed the film.[3] Although there are pictures on the Marti Animation website for this movie, it's unknown if they're actual stills from the movie, or if any working copy of the movie was destroyed.[4]

The TV Series

The second project was a TV series of shorts whose scope might have been revised or it was really two separate projects. The Marti Animation website describes this series as containing 410 segments 2 minutes each. However, there is a worklist on the Geocities site of the artist Mehmet Naci Dedeal containing Esop as a production comprising 50 segments 5 minutes each and produced by Artnet Animation Studio sometime in 1990-1993.[5][6]

The 2000’s Film Series

Erkorkmaz's website mentions a "new line of ESOP films" that were planned in the early 2000s, while also stating that they made "many films" that never got distributed.[7]

The websites of Erkorkmaz and Marti Animation contain numerous Esop cartoon pictures. Erkorkmaz's cartoons that saw the light of day include Tombik & B.B. and Magica and the Puzzle Plaza.

External Links