The Franco-Belgian group Média-Participations unveiled its cross-media strategy and the diversity of its projects, both original creations and adaptations, in the field of animation. During the press conference at the Annecy International Animated Film Festival in France, Europe’s leading independent family entertainment group, Média-Participations, announced that it has decided to pool all its French production companies (Dargaud Media, Dupuis Edition and Audiovisuel and Ellipsanime Productions) under one umbrella brand: Ellipse Animation, which is synonymous with 170 productions and heroes (Asterix, Tintin, The Smurfs, Lucky Luke, Babar, The Garfield Show, Yakari...).
For more than 60 years, its production companies in France and Belgium have created successful animated series and films, from Garfield and company. to the new 3D series The Smurfsincluding feature film Yakari and the next marsupilamis, most of which are sold worldwide.
“Although we come from the publishing industry, our work is broader to tell and share stories. Our originality is that we know how to do it in almost all media: books, video games, amusement parks, press, digital and, of course, audiovisual. Animation, which allows our heroes to reach a wide audience in France and abroad, is more than ever at the heart of our strategy and one of our core businesses,” said Julien Papelier, Deputy General Manager of the Média Participaciones group.
“We want to create more and more synergies thanks to our cross-media ecosystem and the knowledge of the new team formed by Caroline Audebert, CEO of Ellipse Animation, and Lila Hannou, VP of creative development and strategy, who will lead this change. alongside Belvision in Belgium,” she added.
“This new brand will allow us to make our offer more visible, especially internationally, to reconnect with our heritage and pursue an offensive strategy for the future. Our ambition is to produce 4 to 6 series and one feature film per year by 2024. We have already developed some projects with other production companies. We quicken our pace and open the doors to new collaborations with French and international producers,” said Audebert.
“We are consolidating our production facilities, with our three studios Ellipse Paris, Ellipse Angoulême, MadLab Roubaix studios and the DreamWall collaboration in Belgium, we can have 500 positions to take on the most ambitious projects,” added Audebert.
“Diversity is very important to us. Not only in the content we create, but more globally, in the vision we have for our business. Starting with the production team (Gaëlle Guiny, Pierre Reyssat, Audrey Serre) who work with us. Coming from different backgrounds, they bring their knowledge, their experience, their passion, their sensitivity and their different points of view, which allows us to constantly enrich our list of projects”, said Lila Hannou.
While Ellipse Animation has a strong in-house production ecosystem for both 3D and 2D, it can count on the support of its two historical and strategic partners: Belvision in Belgium for production and Mediatoon Distribution in France for international distribution.
“Belvision has been an iconic player in Belgium since the 1950s. We are very proud to have several projects in co-production with Ellipse Animation, including Living with Dad, The Marsupilamis, The Fox-Badger Family, etc. We explore many genres, but always with a unique Belgian twist,” said Raphaële Ingberg, General Manager of Belvision.
For their part, Mediatoon Distribution and Citel, whose objective is to help finance, distribute and monetize projects around the world, have the largest catalog of animation in Europe, with more than 4,000 hours of work, as well as the largest offer of Japanese anime (with titles like like naruto hunter x hunter Y Fairy tale).
“For more than 20 years, we have been pleased to support the productions of our internal studios (Ellipse Animation and Belvision) as well as those of external partner studios (Bayard Animation, Folivari, Futurikon, Kodansha, Media Valley, Studio Pierrot, Toon Factory, etc.). This complementarity allows us to address all genres and audiences. Our VOD, DVD, gaming, music, licensing and publishing activities complete the package to further maximize revenue for our partners (and also enrich the experience for our fans and consumers),” said MD Jérôme Alby.
From preschool blockbusters to animation for adults, Ellipse Animation is aimed at all audiences and covers all genres: comedy, slapstick, adventure, action,… The team of Caroline Audebert and Lila Hannou has successfully developed all formats: series (The Marsupilamis, Belfort & Lupin, Living with Dad...), feature films (Yakari…), TV specials, and even theme park rides (The Marsupilamis for Parc Spirou), using different techniques for different styles: 2D, 3D or hybrid.
Dreamland– After the massive success of Roger and his humans Created with YouTuber Cyprien and his more than a million followers on YouTube, TikTok and Snapchat, Ellipse Animation has presented its new project for teens and adults developed with La Chouette Compagnie and ADN, Média Participations’ dedicated animation platform.
“At ADN, we are proud to partner with Ellipse Animation and La Chouette Cie to produce Dreamland. As a French streaming platform dedicated to animation, we are very excited to start producing quality original content. We can’t wait for the public to discover Dreamland and that other ambitious projects like this see the light in Europe”, said the president of ADN, Benoît de Tauriac.
Dreamland has been adapted from the best-selling manga of the same name by Reno Lemaire and published by Pika. It takes the viewer into the world of Terrence, a teenager who has been terrified of fire ever since his mother died in a fire when he was just seven years old. The teaser presented at the press conference will be broadcast on ADN’s YouTube channel on June 20.
“One night, while dreaming, he overcomes his fear by being able to control the fire. He then becomes a traveler, a special type of dreamer who every night, while sleeping, is transported to Dreamland, the world of dreams, ”said La Chouette Compagnie series producer Sylvain dos Santos.
Ongoing production and new projects:
Adaptations of IPs from the Média-Participations catalog, of course, and also adaptations of books from other publishers and original creations, Ellipse Animation is committed to diversity for its new projects.
• Higher Preschool Successes
The Smurfs 2: Produced in collaboration with Peyo Productions, this full CGI series was a huge success in 140 territories, internationally on Nickelodeon channels, in Germany on Kika and in France on TF1. The 3D animation series in 52 x 11 format aimed at children from 6 to 10 years old.
The series is directed by William Renaud, while Véronique Culliford, Nele De Wilde and Brigitte Ickmans for Peyo Productions; Caroline Duvochel and Maïa Tubiana for Dupuis Edition et Audiovisuel are the producers.
Marsupilamis: It is under development for M6-Gulli. In this series, Ellipse Animation reinterprets the world of cult comic characters in 3D for children ages five to seven. The development of Marsupilamis (52 x 13′) with strong international potential is accompanied by a true brand strategy within Média-Participations: video games, comics, children’s books, numerous licensing possibilities.
Twins Jade and Mica have taken in 3 adorable young Marsupilamis… who can’t sit still! It won’t be easy for our duo to keep the secret and protect these legendary creatures.
• Wide variety of youth programs
Trotro and Zaza: This is one of the strongest preschool IPs in the last 20 years (Export Award in 2017). The first series is currently streaming around the world, including on major platforms like Amazon Prime Video, YouTube, and Netflix. The series in which the famous burrito will face a challenge: to become a big brother. Trotro and Zaza will be presented at the next Cartoon Forum.
The series in 78×3’30’/rendu 2D format will be directed by Alexandre Coste and Benedicte Guettier is the graphic author.
The Fox-Badger Family 2: The first season won the Unifrance Audiovisual Export Award in 2020. Ellipse Animation and Belvision are currently producing the second season of the adventures of this happy blended family for viewers four years and older.
Florian Ferrier is the director of the series based on the comics by Brigitte Luciani and Eve Tharlet and published by Dargaud.
Akisi: The television special adaptation of the adventures of the intrepid girl created by Marguerite Abouet and Matthieu Sapin aired June 15 on France 4 and June 16 on Boomerang Africa.
Marguerite Abouet, Louise Cailliez, and Baptiste Grosfilley are the show’s writers. It is based on the original comic published by Gallimard Jeunesse ‘Akissi’ by Marguerite Abouet and Mathieu Sapin which was inspired by the graphic universe of Clément Oubrerie.
The show is produced by Arthur Colignon for Ellipsanime Productions, with Caroline Audebert and Caroline Duvochel serving as executive producers and Agelin Paul as line producer. Alexandre Coste has directed the 26′ 2D animation show for children from 6 to 10 years old.
Live with dad: It is the comic book adaptation of Nob. Potato, whose presentation was very well received at the Cartoon Forum in Toulouse last September. Currently in production at Ellipse Animation and Belvision, the series will air on M6 before the end of 2022.
living with dad is directed by Daniel Klein and Cyril Deydier serves as a writer. The 2D animation in 52 x 11′ format is aimed at children from 6 to 11 years old.
• Other original productions
Versailles unleashed: Created by writer Teddy Stehly, this original series is currently in development for France Télévisions in France. Designed in collaboration with the Château de Versailles, the show is for children ages 6-11.
It gives you the chance to follow the story of a unique friendship between two extraordinary dogs who clash at the court of Louis XIV. Belfort, the King’s favorite spaniel, and his friend Lupin from the Gardens. It’s also a chance to meet the feathered and furry tenants of the castle’s large menagerie and kitchens.
• Features for a family audience
Ellipse Animation bets a lot on feature films with the idea of producing one film a year. Building on the success of Yakari, a spectacular journey that, despite being released during the pandemic, had more than 350,000 spectators in theaters. He is currently developing Yakari 2 (final title to be announced) which is scheduled for release in 2025.
In this sequel, which focuses on the power of friendship and the magic of totems, Yakari’s friend Bison Seed falls into a coma. As the tribe does everything they can to keep him alive, Yakari and Little Thunder go in search of the only being capable of saving him: the fantastic but dangerous Thathanka bison.
Ellipse Animation is also co-developing, with Pan-Européenne, Maybe Movies and Belvision, two feature films adapted from the comics. lucky luke Y the legendaries.