Select Page

Lille Tut

Morten Kaufmann on the Challenges and Opportunities of Lille Tut

Morten Kaufmann on the Challenges and Opportunities of Lille Tut

WeAnimate 2024-04-25 | wam#0039

Morten Kaufmann is a TV and film producer, perhaps best known for his collaborations with Thomas Vinterberg. On his own and as co-founder of Toolbox Film, he has received numerous awards and accolades. Here’s what he had to say about his work with Maria Mac Dalland and Lille Tut.

Although Toolbox doesn’t produce a lot of animation, I actually have an animation background. Back in the mid-80s, I was doing some children’s theater, and we had a company based in Copenhagen called Filmforsyningen. We did cartoons and made animated features that performed very well in Denmark, so I have been connected to animation from the very beginning of my career.

I first met Maria back in the days of making animation in Filmforsyningen, and we are old pals. Of course I think she is a wonderful human being, and she has the kind of ideas that suit my taste. So when she asked if I wanted to work on an animated project with her, I was happy to help, and we made 10 episodes of a series called My Little Dog Maestro. After that, she had the idea for Lille Tut, and we found a way to do that too.

When you make a show like this, you have to be very aware of the target group you are talking to: if you lose sight of that, you aren’t talking to anybody. Lille Tut is aimed at younger preschoolers, so it’s a bit of new ground to create content for this audience. When you are talking to very young children, you need a very slow tempo, you need to have everything repeated many times, and you need to have almost no conflict. Losing a shoe is enough conflict for an episode, and you need to find that shoe quite quickly. Maria and I are constantly reminding everyone to remain focused on talking directly to our audience, and not talking to anyone else.

When we first pitched the project at Cartoon Forum, there wasn’t much interest. Only Finnish broadcaster YLE seemed interested, and everyone else was very quiet. So of course I felt depressed and thought maybe the project wouldn’t work. When I came back I wrote to all the broadcasters that had been present at our pitch, and said that we hadn’t heard from them, and wanted to know what they thought about the project. It was just taking a shot in the dark, because I wanted to make something happen. And everyone came back and said: “Yes of course we should do this – let’s make a deal!” From that moment, it was very easy, actually.

I think the Nordics are a little more interested, and a little more daring, when it comes to children’s television. They all seem to be interested in content for younger preschoolers, and see the potential. Maybe the rest of European television isn’t quite there yet. On the other hand, Andrew Fitzpatrrick from Monster Entertainment thinks that more broadcasters are going that direction, and he was very quick to want to be part of it.  He was persistent and charming and followed the project closely, so he was a good choice for our sales agent.

We worked with Ja Film on Maestro, and that collaboration was just wonderful. They are reliable and creative and fun: they really are the best. Maria wanted to work with them again for Lille Tut, and it was just a no-brainer to keep that relationship going. And thanks to working with them, we could also get funding from the West Danish Film Fund.

I have worked on some amazing films over the years, and I am very lucky to do it. But I’m actually more of a logistics man than a film guy – I like solving problems, and these types of projects are very suited to what I like and how I work. And working with Maria makes my job easy. She is so talented, and works so hard, that collaborating with her is a pleasure. Lille Tut is a wonderful show, and I hope it’s a success so we can all keep working on it together.


Text: Rebekah Villon
Photos: Images courtesy of ToolBox Film. 

Meet the Artist

Morten Kaufmann

Where can you find Morten?


WeAnimate Magazine is dedicated to all the people who animate and make things, lines, and ideas come to life.
WeAnimate ApS is founded and owned by The Danish Animation Society (ANIS)

Tell us what you think? Tell us at | #weanimate | our Privacy Policy