Funded! This project was successfully funded on September 1, 2012.

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Vegtoons is an animated series promoting plant-based diets. A rare medium, well done.

The VEGTOONS animated series is an entertaining, educational initiative designed specifically with omnivores in mind. In a light-hearted, sympathetic way, the show will help to raise awareness for living more compassionately and consciously. The intent is to open the door to a deeper conversation in our society, one that is respectful in articulating the values of vegetarianism, but also fruitful in broadening people's imagination for what is possible.

The VEGTOONS animated series centers around the lunchtime conversation of three protagonist friends: Hugh Manatee, Harang-Utan, and Rufus Peeve, Jr. III; an unassuming manatee, world-weary orangutan, and pampered apologist pup, respectively. The principal environment for the series is a restaurant milieu called The Meet Market. It offers strictly vegetarian dining, whereas across the street is an all-you-can-eat meat buffet, the Meaty Ogre.

The show explores a variety of issues, concerns and assumptions surrounding the vegetarian lifestyle -- ranging from the foods that vegetarians eat, to health and ethics, to relationships with family and loved ones. Each episode has a specific theme and therefore can be enjoyed on its own; however, the larger trajectory of the story unfolds over the entire series.

Cartoon Saloon: Tomm Moore, Director & Paul Young, Producer
Cartoon Saloon: Tomm Moore, Director & Paul Young, Producer

VEGTOONS is being designed and animated by Cartoon Saloon, whose brilliant film, The Secret of Kells, was nominated for Best Animated Feature in the 2010 Academy Awards®. The studio also produced the award-winning TV series Skunk Fu! which was broadcast in over 120 countries via the BBC, Cartoon Network, Canal J, France 5, Super RTL Disney and ABC Australia.

The following teaser clip -- from the first episode, "Bean There, Done That" -- offers a glimpse into the show's style, main characters and gentle humor.

The luminous singer-songwriter Nellie McKay has provided her music for the show, an original cover of "The Dog Song."

FAQ

  • The Vegtoons Series is geared toward an older audience. As the show will be freely available online and seen by a wide spectrum of people across cultures and ages, it is important to be mindful how Harang-Utan, the cigar-chomping orangutan, is portrayed.

    While we understand the concerns that people may have with a cartoon character smoking, there are story reasons behind this small, tangential character device. Harang-Utan has a somewhat gruff personality, because he had a difficult history which is mentioned in one of the show's 10 episodes. Certainly we could focus-group test our story for the approval of all people. However, our narrative choices have meaning and speak to the reality in which we live.

    The Vegtoons show has very gentle humor. There is no strong language, and it is meant to be educational, inspirational and respectful throughout. The element of smoking does not detract from the intent and spirit of the show. Also, as the show is designed for omnivores, having a character who is not perfectly attentive to his own health serves another purpose. Namely, being healthy involves more than just being vegetarian.

    To be clear: We are not promoting nor advocating smoking in the show. With your help in realizing the Vegtoons Series, maybe in the future people will have the same adverse reaction to seeing characters eating meat.

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  • The Vegtoons Series encourages less meat consumption for our health, the environment, and the earth's creatures. Overall, the show advocates for a vegan lifestyle: everything from the foods we eat to the non-exploitation of other living beings.

    Veganism is a form of vegetarianism. Specifically, it means not using any animal products. While some people may focus on words -- e.g., vegan, vegetarian, plant-based -- of more interest and meaning are the virtues we embody. Because the show is designed for omnivores -- to encourage and inspire, to promote understanding and awareness -- we are addressing the assumptions, stereotypes and concerns that "veg-curious" people often have. The show does this, in part, by promoting an ethos of kindness, respect and compassion -- the very qualities we hope to see manifest in the world.

    The Vegtoons show is meant as a stepping stone, a springboard to further conversation. At the end of the day, it doesn't matter (as much) what a person calls themselves or espouses. Action is eloquence. Our small everyday choices, and the expression of loving-kindness in our relationships, are what transform the world for the better.

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  • If you're interested to learn more about healthful eating, the following popular resources might be a starting point.

    Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine
    http://www.pcrm.org/health/diets/

    Engine 2 Diet
    http://engine2diet.com/

    Forks Over Knives (documentary)
    http://www.hulu.com/watch/279734

    VegWeb (recipes)
    http://vegweb.com

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  • Kickstarter makes use of the Amazon payment gateway. Basically, they place a "hold" on your credit or debit card for the amount of your pledge. If, by the end of our campaign, we reach our funding goal, your donation will be processed. If we do not meet our funding goal, your card will not be charged.

    For PayPal donations, you may use the following link, sending your contribution to "info@vegtoons.com":

    https://www.paypal.com/webapps/mpp/send-money-online

    If you'd like to contribute by check, please contact us at "info@vegtoons.com".

    Thank you for your support and for being part of this creative effort!

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    Every pledge is meaningful. YOUR PLEDGE IS YOUR VOTE. By the simple act of supporting the show, you are contributing to a global future based on compassion, sustainability and justice. Pledge $1 and you'll get exclusive, backer-only updates on the progress of the Vegtoons Series from its production through premiere.

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    Thank you for caring about our planetary health! You don't have to be rich to be a patron of the arts. For your generosity, you'll receive: (a) good karma; (b) our eternal gratitude; and (c) bragging rights that you are part of cartoon history. As a memento of your support, we'll send you a bumper sticker (of your choice) to promote plant-based diets, as well as a downloadable copy of "The Dog Song" from Nellie McKay for your digital library. Plus you'll receive exclusive, backer-only updates on the progress of the Vegtoons Series from its production through premiere.

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    We'll mail you (anywhere in the world) a DVD of the completed show, the full 10 episodes, for your personal or public library -- and, for those truly inspired, you can facilitate a grassroots screening & discussion in your community. If we reach funding for the entire series, the region-free DVD will be ready by the end of the year. Plus you'll receive the other above rewards. (Please add $10 to your pledge for international shipping.)

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    New Reward: Our nonprofit sponsor, A Well-Fed World (http://is.gd/WellFed), is offering a matching grant for your pledge to support the Vegtoons Series. Every donation of $40 at this unique reward tier is matched with a donation from AWFW to The Plastic Cow Project, an initiative to save cows in India who have eaten hazardous materials for lack of food. In addition to this worthy cause, you will receive the other above rewards.

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    You'll receive a collector's edition DVD of the completed show, the full 10 episodes, for your personal library and/or to host a community screening. Your DVD will be signed by the animation artists whose talents and dedication have brought the show to life. We'll also send you storyboards and character drawings from the production of the show. Plus you'll receive the other above rewards.

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    You will be listed as a Dedicated Supporter on the official Vegtoons Series website (in development). If you prefer to keep your contribution private, just let us know. In addition, you'll receive an exclusive Vegtoons T-Shirt for supporters only. Plus you'll receive the other above rewards.

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    New Reward: You will receive an original, personalized black-and-white pencil sketch from animation director Tomm Moore, of any character (your choice) from "The Secret of Kells" or his upcoming movie, "The Song of the Sea." In addition, you'll receive a signed collector's edition DVD of the completed Vegtoons Series, an exclusive Vegtoons T-shirt for supporters only, and the other above rewards.

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    A gift that grows! At this pledge level, our nonprofit fiscal sponsor and friend of the show, Trees for Life, will plant life-giving trees on your behalf or for someone you love. (See: http://is.gd/PlantTrees.) Also, you'll receive the other above rewards.

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    New Reward: You will receive an original, personalized small watercolor painting from animation director Tomm Moore, of any character (your choice) from "The Secret of Kells" or his upcoming movie, "The Song of the Sea." In addition, you'll receive a signed collector's edition DVD of the completed Vegtoons Series, and listing as a Dedicated Supporter on the show's official website (in development).

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    For the compassionately fashionable, you can contribute to the show and look good while doing it! Limited edition, eco-friendly designer handbags courtesy of GUNAS. First come, first choice. Some images in the left-column, below. (See: http://is.gd/GunasBags.) You'll also receive the other above rewards.

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    You will be listed as a supporter in the Special Thanks credits of the animated show, each episode of which will be seen by millions of viewers worldwide. If you prefer to keep your contribution private, just let us know. As well, you'll receive the other above rewards.

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    New Reward: You will receive a series of three key animation drawings from a scene of "The Secret of Kells," both rough and cleaned-up versions, for a total of six original images used in the film's production. In addition, you'll receive a signed, collector's edition DVD of the completed Vegtoons Series, and listing in the Special Thanks credits of the show, each episode of which will be seen by millions of viewers worldwide.

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    You will receive a limited edition poster from "The Secret of Kells," autographed by animation director Tomm Moore. Also, you will receive an original, personalized watercolor painting by Tomm, of any character (your choice) from "The Secret of Kells" or his upcoming movie, "The Song of the Sea." In addition, you'll receive a signed, collector's edition DVD of the completed Vegtoons Series, and listing in the Special Thanks credits of the show, each episode of which will be seen by millions of viewers worldwide.

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    We can help you to write a short script or to consult on a story idea of your own. Or share in the creative process as we design secondary characters together to appear in the Vegtoons Series. You'll also receive an illustrated book and limited edition poster based on paintings from "The Secret of Kells," autographed by animation director Tomm Moore. Plus you'll receive the other above rewards.

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    In support of the Vegtoons Series, you'll get a ticket for the 10th anniversary Caribbean cruise of Holistic Holiday at Sea (http://is.gd/VeganCruise). The Italian luxury liner will set sail from Ft. Lauderdale, Florida for a week-long voyage (March 2-9, 2013) to Mexico, Honduras, Grand Cayman and Jamaica. With vegan cuisine, yoga, cooking classes, educational seminars and evening parties, the cruise has been described as invigorating and life-changing. In addition, you'll receive the other above, non-limited rewards.

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    At this special pledge level, you will have prominent Sponsorship placement in the credits of the Vegtoons Series, each episode of which will be seen by millions of viewers worldwide. With a link to your site, you can promote your own business, organization, publication, book, blog or what have you. As well, individual backers can rally together to reach this funding level in support of their favorite group, work or cause. Simply send us a note of the sponsor in whose name you are contributing, and as we cross the pledge level threshold for that sponsor, they will receive prominent promotion in the show's episodes and on the official Vegtoons Series website.

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    This is the premier sponsorship level for the Vegtoons Series, receiving Producer billing for the show, publicity during the show's launch, as well as top-level promotion in the credits and on the official Vegtoons website. Each of the show's 10 episodes will be seen by millions of viewers worldwide for years to come. For large contributions, other unique promotional opportunities are available. Please write to us at 'info@vegtoons.com'.

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Funding period

- (33 days)