Singaporean-created Sharkdog series a Nickelodeon first
While playing with her dog during Discovery Channel's Shark Week television programming, Singaporean storyboard artist Jacinth Tan came up with the quirky idea that would lead to her first big break.
The result is Sharkdog - the eponymous character that is a hybrid of a shark and dog - which went on to earn the unofficial title of Nickelodeon's first animated short-form series from Asia.
The 20-episode, 90-second show chronicles the adventures of a boy named Max and his special pet-sidekick Sharkdog, and premieres on the US children's television network's app Nickelodeon Play today.
Ms Syahrizan Mansor, vice-president of Nickelodeon's brand in Asia, told The New Paper: "Sharkdog has a lot of silly humour and a lot of heart. What better time to launch this than just before National Day as we celebrate a Singapore-first for Nickelodeon."
Ms Tan, 27, said she was simply pleased she got a chance to tell a story she feels strongly about.
She told TNP: "Through Max's rebellion, I want to show children that rebelliousness is not necessarily wrong.
"They should think about what they want in life and not be afraid to chase their dreams."
She had found it difficult to convince her parents of her career prospects.
Ms Tan, who studied animation at Nanyang Technological University's School of Art, Design and Media, said: "I don't think they were convinced until I managed to get my first job at (local animation studio) Chips and Toon within a month of graduation."
She got started in the industry in 2014. She and Sharkdog co-creator Raihan Harun entered the project in the 2015 edition of Nickelodeon's Global Animated Shorts Programme.
Their idea stood out from the 850 pitches and was green-lit.
Ms Tan, who conceptualised Sharkdog with a team at her current employer One Animation, said: "I hope this will inspire other creators that it is possible to pitch your show and get it picked up."