WarnerMedia and France Télévisions have ordered a new 2D-animated comedy-adventure special from Paris-based prodco Ellipsanime (The Fox Badger Family).
Aimed at six to 10s, Akissi (26 minutes) tags along with a fearless little girl and her monkey friend BouBou as they set out on adventures in contemporary Africa. The special will premiere on the French pubcaster later this year, before heading to Boomerang Africa in 2022. Production on Akissi is underway at Ellipsanime’s Ellipse Studio in Paris.
The special is based on a best-selling comic book series of the same name by Ivorian writer Marguerite Abouet and French author/illustrator Mathieu Sapin. Both the comics and the special are inspired by Abouet’s childhood in Abidjan, Ivory Coast.
Local kids from Abidjan were hired to voice many characters in the French-language version of the special, including Kayla Lingalé in the titular role. Sony Music’s Ivory Coast studio handled this recording in April, and South Africa’s African Animation Network is set to dub the international version.
Other creative talent attached includes Central African-born French singer and musician Bibi Tanga, who composed Akissi‘s jazz, funk and afrobeat-influenced music; Ivorian line producer Angelin Paul from French studio GHWA Productions; producer Arthur Colignon for Ellipsanime; executive producers Caroline Audebert and Caroline Duvochel; and director Alexandre Coste.
Paul and Abouet originally pitched a 28 x seven-minute, 2D-animated series adaptation of the Akissi comic books at Cartoon Forum in 2017. With Ellipsanime on board, they still hope to expand the special into a a full series.
WarnerMedia’s commitment to Akissi comes on the heels of it picking up Cartoon Network Africa’s first-ever locally created superhero series Garbage Boy and Trash Can.