Paprika marks Oggy and the Cockroaches prodco Xilam’s move into preschool, and will also be made in France as the debut show out of the producer’s new Lyon animation studio, which opened early this year.
“It’s our first preschool show, and we wanted something singular and unique, not like any of the others [in the market],” says Xilam chief Marc du Pontavice. “Visually, we came up with the right solution quickly, but getting the storytelling piece right took some time.”
The three-year development process – including a screening at Cartoon Forum 2014 – that the Xilam boss alludes to was so long, in part, because of the need to handle aspects of the show sensitively, while ensuring it was still funny.
The series features the Paprika twins, Olivia and Stan, the latter of whom is disabled and in a wheelchair. The 78x7mins series, which could also be packaged as 26x26mins, follows the pair and their everyday fun and adventures.
“The boy is in a wheelchair, but the entire show is about him playing with the others and showing that it isn’t a problem,” says du Pontavice.
“It needed to be treated in a delicate, sensible way, but we didn’t want it to be heavy. We wanted it to be something you don’t often get in preschool, and something that is funny and not just cute.”
Developed in Paris and produced in Lyon, the series delivers next autumn and will play on French public channel France 5 and Disney Junior in the EMEA region. There will be two complete episodes for buyers to screen at MIPJunior. Xilam is handing distribution and has already sold it to Discovery-backed kids net K2 in Italy and pan-regional free-to-air broadcaster MBC in the Middle East.
Unlike Xilam’s hit series Oggy, which has just received a new three-season order from Gulli in France and Cartoon Network Asia totalling 234x7mins, Paprika has dialogue as well as action and adventure.