Canal+ Bites Into Christmas Orange

International broadcaster Canal+ has picked up Bardel’s multi award-winning animated special The Christmas Orange for its 2003 holiday season, bringing it to viewers in France, Monaco, Mauritius, Switzerland and Africa.

Based on the book of the same title by Canadian author Don Gillmor, The Christmas Orange blends humor and drama to tell the tale of a boy who awakes on Christmas morning to find that instead of the 600 toys he has requested, Santa has left him one single orange. Outraged, he decides to sue Santa but eventually comes to see the value of that one sweet, simple orange.

ABC Family gave the special its North American premiere last year, capturing 1.4 million viewers with the half-hour toon. The broadcaster will air it again this year on Dec. 17th at 7:30 p.m.

Studioworks Ent. LLC, a Ventura Distribution Company, has licensed the North American home video and DVD distribution rights for the property and is releasing it in time for the 2003 holiday season.

Other Christmas Orange sales include two in-flight movie deals with Spafax Inflight Media on behalf of Air Canada and Delta Airlines. Both will show the festive story on selected routes for the entire month of December. Hong Kong-based Emphasis Video Ent. Ltd. has also picked up the show for all of its Malaysia Airline flights from Dec. 1, 2003 through Jan. 31, 2004, and will air it on its Kidz channel.

The Christmas Orange is Bardel’s first proprietary in-house production. In May, the holiday special swept the animation category at the Leo Awards, which recognizes excellence in British Columbia’s film and television community. Orange was honored with Best Animated Program or Series, Best Musical Score, Best Direction and Best Children’s and Youth Program.