Matthew A. Cherry and Chaz Bottoms are developing Battu, an animated series for Cartoon Networks. Battu, which is based on Bottoms’ dance-themed short Battu: An Animated Musical, comes from the French ballet term meaning beat.
Battu follows teenagers Otis and Jada – two gifted dancers in Chicago whose free-spirit and individuality often leave them as outsiders in the rigid world of mainstream dance. Together they find a home at a struggling hiplet, a style of dance combining hip-hop and ballet, studio and a family among the studio’s troupe of dancers and instructors.
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The show’s soundtrack will explore Chicago’s music scene, and “Battu” will tackle themes such as courage, self-empowerment, inclusiveness, perseverance, and the power of friendship.
This isn’t the first time Hair Love filmmaker Cherry and Bottoms worked together. They previously collaborated on John Legend’s animated Facebook series Dear John: Legendary Love Letters, have teamed up to develop an animated musical comedy series.
“I grew up on a healthy diet of Cartoon Network shows and to be working with them on Battu is a dream come true,” said Bottoms. “This project is my love letter to the city of Chicago, animation, and musicals.”
Cherry added: “Chaz is one of the most exciting young voices in animation and we are thrilled to be working with Sam Register, Nicole Rivera and the rest of the Cartoon Network Studios team to develop Battu.”
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President of Warner Bros. Animation and Cartoon Network Studios Sam Register, Cherry, Bottoms and Monica A. Young will executive produce.
“Battu is unlike anything we have ever tried at the studio,” said Register. “This ambitious project brings together and celebrates two of our greatest storytelling mediums — animation and music. Matthew and Chaz are our perfect dance partners as we strive to tell authentic stories that both empower and entertain.”
Cartoon Network Studios will produce Battu. Bottom’s short Battu: An Animated Musical is currently in production, while the series development is now underway.