Italian pubcaster Rai Fiction unveiled its new slate of animated programs this weekend at the 13th edition of the Cartoons on the Bay festival held in Rapallo (April 2-5). Luca Milano, Rai Fiction’s marketing manager overseeing animated showed images from three of the new toons in productions. Headling the new toons are Geronimo Stilton, Atlantyca/Moonscoop’s much-anticipated animated adaptation of the popular children’s book series; Pipi, Pupu and Rosmary, a preschool show based on books by Enzo d’Alo and Vincenzo Cerami (narrated by famous Italian actor Giancarolo Gianini) and Teen Days, a stylish tween-skewing series directing by filmmaker Maurizio Nichetti (Allegro non Troppo’s writer, Volere Volare’s director).
Pipi, Pupu and Rosmary centers on the adventures of a bird, a racoon and a rabbit as they travel the world in search of their Mapa (a metaphysical entity reminiscent of both a mother and a father). The 52 x 6 series will premiere on Rai Tre this fall. Geronimo Stilton is a delightful 2D animated series which follows the trials and tribulations of a mouse journalist and his clever nephew in New Mouse City. Teen Days (26 x 26) is described as an animated cross between Fame and American Idol, set against the backdrop of an experimental show biz school. The toon is a co-pro between Rai Due and Cartoon One studio, based in Rome.
Rai Fiction also announced the production of two ambitious animated projects: Marco Polo, billed as the first ever Italian-Chinese co-pro revolves around the exploits of a 13th century explorer (produced by CCTV in Nanjing and Test Multimediale in Turin and the Chinese Studio Blue Dolphin) and The Little Prince, a 52 x 26 adaptation of the hugely popular book by Antoine de Saint-Exupery. This much-anticipated show is a co-production between India’s DQ Entertainment, Sony Intl. Distribution and French studio Method Animation (Skyland). In conjunction with the show, an exhibit featuring preparatory sketches for the show were on exhibit at Rapallo’s Cartoon Village.