French animation group Xilam is presenting an ambitious lineup at the Unifrance Rendez-Vous With French Cinema in Paris, with a strong emphasis on comedy, including its first slapstick CGI comedy for kids, “Karate Sheep.”
The show is about an enthusiastic sheep, Trico, who causes mayhem in his flock by sharing new objects and ideas, with a lurking wolf waiting to pounce.
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It is created by Hugo Gittard, and directed by Cédric Dietsch and Renaud Martin
The series has been pre-brought by Super RTL and Netflix and is screening on Super RTL. In December it was made available on Germany’s Toggo app, aimed at children from 2 to 14 years. Netflix will launch the show this spring.
“Terrestrial rights will become available early 2023, which is why we’re giving it a promotional and commercial focus during the Unifrance Rendez-Vous,” explains Morgann Favennec, Xilam’s executive vice president of distribution. “We received extremely positive first feedback at Mipcom.”
“Karate Sheep” was made in the CGI hub that Xilam has created in Angoulême, which in 2021 completed “Oggy Oggy” for Netflix.
Xilam employs over 500 staff, including 400 artists, with studios in Paris, Lyon, Angoulême and Vietnam.
The company is one of France’s leading animation distributors. In 2022 ‘Where’s Chicky?’ Season 2, produced by its subsidiary Cube Creative, was nominated for the Unifrance TV Export Awards in the animation category.
Xilam’s CEO, Marc du Pontavice, says that 70% of the studio’s revenue is now linked to work for streamers. In 2022, Netflix commissioned two new “Oggy” series, with first window rights.
“Zig & Sharko” is another flagship title for the company. At the Unifrance Rendez-Vous, Xilam is launching “The Adventures of Bernie,” a spinoff of “Zig & Sharko,” which focuses on Zig’s best pal the hermit crab Bernie. A new season of “Zig & Sharko” is in production.
Xilam is now producing Season 2 of “Lupin’s Tales,” about an impetuous wolf cub, for Youku Alibaba in China and France Televisions, following strong ratings for Season 1 in both territories. The company has also completed a series of shorts, “Lupin on a Mission,” which will be aired during the Chinese New Year holidays, starting Jan. 22.
At the Unifrance Rendez-Vous, Xilam is also presenting Season 2 of slapstick comedy “Mr Magoo.”
“’Mr Magoo’ is a hit in France where it is broadcast by France Télévisions,” says Favennec. “It’s also been extremely successful in other territories, such as in the U.K., broadcast by CITV, and in Canada, broadcast by Radio Canada, to name a few of the pre-buyers of the new season.”
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