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Cartoon Network Studios, Matthew A Cherry and Chaz Bottoms Team on 'Battu'

It's always intriguing to see animation studios to stray out of their comfort zone. To produce something unlike anything they have produced before. Cartoon Network Studios is doing just that with their newly announced project Battu.

CNS is partnering with sportsman turned Oscar-winning filmmaker Matthew A Cherry (Hair Love) and award-winning director Chaz Bottoms on the new animated family musical comedy series. Battu, taken from a French ballet team meaning 'beat' is "a coming-of-age musical comedy series about a young group of misfit dreamers who move to their own beat."

The series will celebrate the creative arts culture of Chicago and will be set to a soundtrack inspired by both hip-hop beats and classical Broadway Melodies. The project is based on an in-production short film of the same name, directed by Bottoms. Just as Cherry's Hair Love short is being expanded into the HBO Max series Young Love.

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. Embracing the vibrant Chicago music scene, the soundtrack of the series will feature original music and punctuate the stories of our characters which will explore themes such as courage, self-empowerment, inclusiveness, perseverance, and the power of friendship. The project is based on Bottoms’ animated short film Battu: An Animated Musical that is currently in production.

Other details are still to be revealed, and this includes where exactly the new series is headed. CNS involvement does not guarantee it's bound for Cartoon Network itself, as they also produce series for HBO Max and Adult Swim. We would guess that HBO Max is the most likely destination, quite possibly with an accompanying airing on Cartoon Network.

Bottoms describes the project as his "love letter to the city of Chicago, animation and musicals." Battu will be produced at Cartoon Network Studios and will be executive produced by Sam Register, Matthew A. Cherry, Chaz Bottoms and Monica A Young.

Matthew A Cherry (Left) and Chaz Bottoms (Right)