The Adventures of Voopa the Goolash (found New Zealand animated series; lost production material to further series and films; 2007-2008)

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The Adventures of Voopa the Goolash - characters.png

The series' characters.

Status:
Found (series)
Lost (further series and films)

Date found:
13 Oct 2019 (episode 1)
17 Nov 2019 (episode 2)
3 Apr 2021 (episodes 3-8)
4 Apr 2021 (episode 9)
5 Apr 2021 (episodes 10-13)

Found by: Craig Whyte

The Adventures of Voopa the Goolash is a 2007 New Zealand animated series, originally conceived in South Africa and created by digital graphics artist Craig Whyte; it was developed and animated by Photon VFX (Scooby Doo, Superman Returns, Animalia).[1] It's based on a 2005 SMS and web-based initiative, in which children would protect the Goolash species that are persecuted for the much-loved Goolash soup.[2] It was meant to have an environmental message about "sustainable living, in harmony with nature and all other living creatures". It was co-developed by Dennis and Gnasher and Shaun the Sheep writer Charles Hodges, who wrote half of the series' episodes. 13 episodes were produced and a bible for a possible second season[1][3] was delivered by Hodges.[4] The series' distribution rights were initially held by UK-based company Cut Communications, which also referred to a third series in a press release.[5] Despite the fact it was set to broadcast in 27 countries, it ultimately received little to no distribution, with further seasons and planned interactive merchandise never making it to the public.

Cast

  • Charlie McDermott as Voopa, the show's protagonist.
  • Kate Elliott as Lali, Voopa's "smart but bossy" sister.
  • Elizabeth Hawthorne as Zoozoo, Voopa's mum who's also a musician.
  • Katherine Kennard as Soli, Lali's best friend who's in love with Prince Zoobi.
  • Brett Stewart as the glamorous but naive Prince Zoobi.
  • Gareth Reeves as Gompi, Voopa's younger brother with hidden psychic powers.
  • Michael Hurst as Moogabi, a scurrilous and villainous member of the Goolash.
  • Stuart Devenie as Sanganoon, the "wise one".

Production

Susan Kemp was responsible for drawing the original Goolash character designs.[6] In the original story outline, the Goolash get separated from their love interests, the Padoinks, during a Great Diaspora that was caused by the formers' persecution for Goulash soup ingredients. The G-Gnome species, a wicked but friendly clan that lived alongside the Goolash, is entrusted with the task of memorizing every genetic code from the Goolashes and Padoinks, just before the Diaspora, so they can help them reunite one day.

The show was produced by Goolash Development Projects, which was incorporated in June of 2006. Photon VFX affiliate Digitimij was also attached to the show as an investor.[7] Retrieved 26 Mar '21</ref> The animation was made using Vue and Maya softwares.[8][9] According to creator Craig Whyte, around $5 million went into the production and it was set to broadcast into 27 countries. Mediaset Italy, Bulgarian channel TV7 and Content Union Russia were a few of the companies that had signed deals with UK distributor The Production Team at MIPTV for a September 2008 broadcast date,[3][10][11] that seemingly never came to fruition.

As Craig Whyte writes:

"This was way back in 2007. It created a shitstorm that was hard to grab onto. Before I knew it it was in the hands of Jeff Taylor who put the Teletubbies on the map for BBC Worldwide. And a few other avaricious bloodsuckers from the children's entertainment business."
"Sadly it ended up in a cataclysmic bunfight between the original investors and Jeff Taylor and his cronies. The big swinging dicks did their swinging and although there were 13 episodes in the can it never went to market as the studio withheld the masters at the time of broadcast due to a spat over monies due from the NZ film commission.
It was an utter tragedy and ended up with me darn near taking my life. For real. It really was my way of putting back something to the world for all the blessings I had enjoyed despite my unbridled rampage through life - and I was crushed that it never got out to the little people!"

Jeff Taylor appears to be one of the directors of New Zealand-based company Goolash Administration Limited (since it's inception on March 8th, 2007), which was dissolved on January 20th, 2013; another one called Goolash Productions Limited was incorporated four days later, and was dissolved on February 3rd, 2015.

On clubgoolash.com, which was managed by Jeff Taylor's now-dissolved KIDZscreen Worldwide company, the show was said to be "currently in distribution [...] will also be available as a DVD feature length release."[12]

On blog Spam Scan Website, which has posted various fraud mails, there is a post of an email sent by then International Sales Director of The Production Team Joel Churcher, sent to an email address of Indonesian television network Indosiar, sent in June 2008. On that one, the former writes: "Not sure if you had a look at the promo/DVD of “the adventures of Voopa the Goolash”", and that a technician from the company has uploaded on this link, three episodes of the show for preview, albeit with slightly worse quality, presumably due to optimization. The overall content of the email, and the sender email address, suggest that this is a legit email. Said link to episodes doesn't work anymore.[13]

On an October 15th, 2014 issue of the MIPCOM newspaper, an article about a Dubai-based comapny called Goolash International Holdings distributing the show to UK-based group OCTOPUS TV was published.[14] On an issue of the Virgin Islands Official Gazzette, a company with the same name was stricken from the Register of Companies on May 3rd, 2016 for the "non-payment of annual fees".[15]

One actress has allegedly worked on an Italian dub of the show.[16]

Further Projects

A "fully-funded" and "in pre-production" second season entitled Dreamlands, which would consist of 26 11-minute episodes, was reportedly in the works over Photon.[1][12]

The new season would introduce the Goolooloo species:

"Just as the Goolash were existing in what is to become Europe, the "Goolooloo" have evolved in what is now Tasmania, within its ancient location aboard the Gondawanan supercontinent circa 40 million years ago when it was breaking up and great land rafts were slowly drifting apart to create the worldscape that we now recognize.
A post dinosaur, pre rise-of-the-mammals world where ferns and conifers populate the forest, where cycads dot the drylands, where grass is just beginning to exist and is scarce, where vulcanism is common and the world is one giant Eden... An Eden with good and bad creatures where bad is defined as destructive, excessively consuming, wasteful, greedy and non-communal.
This is also a world of adventure, fun, discovery, new horizons, and the unknown: things almost extinct in our own totally Googleable world where all mysteries unfold in the Wikipedia and not in the misty lichen laden Gondwanan forests when all things were new.
The Dreamlands as we'll come to know them are home to one of the worlds original tribes, a population whose whole being is based on the dream states they believe in, which are never ending, linking the past and the present, the tribe and the land.
Their 'territories' ranged from lush woodland areas to harsh desert surroundings. Different groups developed different skills and built a unique body of knowledge based on their particular environment but whilst they were many villages, they were also one tribe.
Faced with being overrun by the rampaging Chalabini, who have conquered all to the north and have now turned to the emerging south for new hunting grounds, the " Goolooloo " must learn to harness the power of the dreams, to learn the knowledge of the creators (The Wagilag Sisters and Rainbow Serpent still walk this world) and the skills of the Lightning Brothers so that they as one can find the strength to oust the invaders.
All their knowledge and culture is handed down from the generations in story and song, living through them in the Dreaming."[12]

It was also said that the second season would "set up the premise for the third part of the trilogy where the worlds of the Goolash and the Goolooloo collide and the Chalibini face their undoing".[12]

On a news article, a trilogy of feature films was announced by Photon Worldwide, in co-operation with Australia-based production company IlluminArty and Hollywood producer Robert Raymond.[17] The first film was said to be a tie-in to the show's second season.[12]

Under the title Gift of the Goolash, the film would feature original songs; it commenced "pre-production for delivery in late 2010", with animation production allegedly starting in January 2010. A stereoscopic 3D release was also considered.[17]

"Gift of the Goolash comes to life on the supercontinent of Gondwanaland; home to exotic landscapes and odd-looking creatures, including the Goolash beings. It is this tiny clan of little folk who start something big when their ancient tradition of giving gifts and goodwill in the winter festive season comes up against nature's full fury plus some problem-makers.
The odds are stacked against the clan until a young Goolash boy named Voopa convinces an overweight neighbor in a red cape and white beard to throw his weight against the Goolash's problems."[17]

None of the aforementioned were formally released in the long run, and there's no footage of them online.

Availability

The English version of Episode 1 was uploaded on YouTube by Craig Whyte on October 13th, 2019. Episode 2 was uploaded on November 17th, 2019. Episodes 3 to 8 were uploaded on April 3rd, 2021; episodes 2 was also reuploaded that day. Episode 9 was uploaded on April 4th; episode 1 was also reuploaded that day. The rest of the episodes were uploaded on April 5th. There are also two clips on Vimeo.

The only known broadcaster of the show is Greek Athens kids' station Smile TV, as well as associates and other local and nationwide stations where it distributes its programs (such as Vergina TV in Thessaloniki, Zeus TV in Thessaly, Star in Central Greece, KRITI TV1 in Kriti and Alpha TV Cyprus). It premiered in late 2012 (back when it was named 0-6; a few months before rebranding to its current name), and still airs daily as of March 2021, at 3:30am (UTC+2). All 13 episodes air with a Greek in-house dub. On the opening credits, Jeff Taylor is credited as executive producer instead of Cut Communications, and on both the opening and ending credits, there's a web link to clubgoolash.com; at the very end, the Cut Communications logo is replaced by the Production Team one. (the latter also happens on one of the aforementioned uploads on YouTube) Only surfacing clips of the dub on the web are Greek trailers for it.

Episode List

# Episode Title Status
1 The Igazi Stone Found
2 The Great Skort Race Found
3 Growing Pains Found
4 The Floon Lands Found
5 Stealing the Crown Found
6 Why Me Found
7 The Wise One Found
8 Spirits of the Forest Found
9 Voopa Gets Rich Found
10 A Floon Wedding Found
11 Ant Wars Found
12 How the Goodoop Got his Stripes Found
13 The Tale of the Comet Found

Gallery

Images

Storyboards

Storyboards by Jim Byrt for episode 10 "A Floon Wedding"; on the artist's website, the episode is listed as "episode 7".

Videos

MIPCOM promo for the show's distribution.
Greek trailer for Zeus TV.
Recap of "Ant Wars", that plays before the next episode, in English.
Reel of scenes from the series with English voices. Uploaded by CGI and effects artist Abhi Kala. (see respective blog post)

External Links

References