“The reasons we decided to do Arthur and the Minimoys were, on one side, we wanted to work with Luc Besson’s company [Europacorp], and on the other, we knew this was already a well-established brand,” says Studio 100 Media managing director Patrick Elmendorff.
Besson wrote the first Arthur book in 2002, and that provided the raw material for the 2006 feature and its two sequels, which received theatrical releases.
The book series has been translated into 35 languages, meaning the brand is ubiquitous across the written word and big screen.
The Arthur of the title is a ten-year-old who, while holidaying at his grandmother’s house, finds a way to become a Minimoy, a tiny creature living in a world that cannot ordinarily be seen by the human eye.
Once in the Minimoy world, he becomes involved in their fight for survival against the armies of Maltazard. Characters in the TV series include Arthur and his friends Selenia and Betameche, all of whom will be familiar to fans of the film. Unlike the movie, which is live-action with a healthy dose of CG, the series is all animated. With a budget of €8 million-€9 million (US$9 million-US$10 million), the cost of the series is still significant.
In France, Lagardère has picked it up for its kids channels, while in Germany it is with Disney Channel. Both are copro partners alongside Studio 100 and Besson’s prodco EuropaCorp.
Studio 100 is selling the adventure comedy, which is aimed at 5-9s, in most of the rest of the world, with the first full episodes likely to be ready in early 2017.
The show: Arthur and the Minimoys
The producers: Studio 100 Animation, Europacorp Television, Lagardere, Disney Channel Germany
The distributor: Studio 100 Media
The broadcasters: Disney Channel (Germany), Gulli (France)
The concept: Animated series based on the Luc Besson book and film