France’s Carrere Television recently got the OK from assorted casters to forge ahead on three new animated series, bringing the production slate up to six on the go.
Argai The Prophecy (described as somewhere between Sleeping Beauty and Bladerunner), has nabbed its US$6 million dollar budget and is proceeding as a 1998 co-pro with France’s La Coloniale, TF1 and D’Ocon Films. The 26 half-hours trip between New York in the third millennium and the Middle Ages. For kids 8 to 12, it’s produced in French, English and Spanish.
Also a go, is Olympic Gods, a Canal+, Rooster, Videomage co-pro which targets two groups, adolescents and adults. Greek mythology and the whimsical drawing style of kidlit fave Nadja meet in this 26-episode, 13-minute animated soap, which presold to U.K.’s C5. Australia’s Comedy Channel and Cartoon Net, SA are also in, with delivery slated for the end of this year. Produced in English and dubbed in French, it’s budgeted at US$2.7 million.
Gennarino, another half-hour cartoon, stars a dog duo that guards a palace/galleon. This one is a Carrere/TF1 co-pro with Italy’s Mediaset and Sole Productions. Scripts are being finalized and delivery is set for the end of 1999. Age range is 4 to 8, it’s available in Italian, French and English, and the budget is about US$6.7 million.
Of the new series, Argai is pegged as having the best merchandising opps.
For February `99 delivery, Carrere also has Alix in production. A co-pro with France 3, Tele-Munchen, Project and Pipangai, the Jacques Martin comic strip is brought to animated life as a half-hour mythical series set in 50 B.C. HBO in Latin America is among the outlets. And Jungle Show (France 3/Canal+/La Coloniale), has graduated from its five-minute format to half-hours. Carrere’s toon about animals on a film set in the jungle is a cinema/music parody, and Fox Kids France is airing the shorts as a strip to September, leading up to the weekly series launch. The shop is also wrapping Dad’ X, 26 animated half-hours which keep tabs on Father Christmas’ year-round, kid-helping activities. For September delivery to ARTE, and RAI, TF1, D’Ocon Films and Ravensburger are co-pro partners.
In development is The Rene, an animated series aimed at an ‘after Simpsons’ demo, based on the graphic book Dirosa, and Carrere is also looking at a feature project, according to managing director Anne Evrard.