Political Folktale Loses Politics, Gains Multimedia In New CartoonS

Get ready for the next big kids' TV show-turned-phenomenon... Or, at least, that's what Cartoon Network are hoping for from Hero: 108, a new cartoon arriving next month complete with multimedia spin-offs. Be very afraid.

When Hero: 108 debuts on Cartoon Network, it won't be coming alone; as well as a line of toys already planned to accompany the show, it'll also debut as an online MMRPG later this summer that will allow fans to step inside the show's mythology and become one of 108 characters trying to save the world from an animal revolt against humanity. The odd nature of the threat comes from a retooling creators Gamania Digital Entertainment made to its original source material, an old Chinese folktale about citizens rising up against political corruption. According to Gamania product director Kevin Crawford,

We figured fighting against the government wouldn't resonate with kids.

And so, instead of corrupt political high rollers, the villain of the piece will be called High Roller, and possess the power to speak to animals, turning them against humanity by convincing them that humans are plotting against them. Sounds odd to us, but we're still trying to get our heads around Pokemon.

Hero: 108 premieres the first of its 52 episode first season on Cartoon Network next month.

Cartoon Net has 'Hero: 108' franchise plans [Hollywood Reporter]