Serious Lunch reps NHK, Studio Ghibli toon

Ronja the Robber's DaughterUK-based distributor Serious Lunch will oversee the international roll-out of a 26-part animated toon serial from Japanese media groups NHK and Studio Ghibli and Pippi Longstocking writer Astrid Lindgren.

Ronja, the Robber’s Daughter follows a young girl born in a mountain fort near a strange forest who grows to befriend her father’s rival, which begins to test family loyalties.

Serious Lunch has worldwide rights outside Japan and Scandinavia, and will take the show to MIFA as plans for an English-language version of the show get underway. Key to this is securing an English-language broadcaster.

The property is based on Lindgren’s 1981 novel of the same name. The TV series comes from NHK, NHK Enterprises and Dwango in collaboration with the legendary Studio Ghibli, Saltkråkan and The Astrid Lindgren Company, with Polygon Pictures attached as animation creator.

‘The magic synergy of [Studio Ghibli’s] Goro Miyazaki and Astrid Lindgren is very powerful storytelling and Ronja is an excellent female role model,” said Serious Lunch founder and CEO Genevieve Dexter.

“Serious Lunch has been supported by UK Trade & Investment with two recent visits to Japan to seek out more trade between the UK and Japan in the animation sector, and we hope that this will be the beginning of a great collaboration.”

The show is Ghibli’s first TV project, as TBI reported last year.

“With Ronja, the Robber’s Daughter, the great old dame Astrid seems to be telling children to believe in their own power to grow… all the while telling both children and adults alike to respect each other and to attain freedom in the true sense of the word. Nothing will bring me more pleasure than if I could convey those very messages through this adaptation,’ said Miyazaki, the show’s director.

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