France’s Gaumont and Amsterdam-based Submarine have partnered to co-produce animated series Pol the Pirate Mouse, based on the children’s book of the same name by renowned writer Tingue Dongelman and illustrated by Denise van Leeuven. The project was presented by Bruno Felix of Submarine at the recent Cartoon Forum.
The 52 x 11′ animated series for kids ages 2–5 tells the story of Pol, a mouse who doesn’t let her limitations get in the way. In reality, she has no right to be a pirate: She’s tiny, has a sleepy eye that she needs to keep covered up, and she’s nowhere near the ocean. But she doesn’t let any of this get in the way of her dream to be the first pirate mouse of the forest. This unusual and surprising combination makes Pol a unique series.
Pol’s family has just moved from the city to the country — she’s never seen a forest before, and her new woodland friends have certainly never seen a pirate before. None of this stops them from banding together as crew members on Pol’s majestic vessel, traveling on wondrous woodland adventures down rivers and streams on the lookout for new discoveries. To Pol, everything in the forest is an unknown treasure, from a lily pad to a pinecone, and her pals love helping her find ways to have fun with them. And even when they don’t manage to find something new, the journey itself can be reward enough, as Pol knows that a magical memory is also something to be treasured.
“We’re incredibly excited to work with Bruno and the talented team at Submarine to develop this heartwarming story for TV,” commented Nicolas Atlan, President, Animation and Family at Gaumont. “When Courtney Arumugam, our VP of Creative Development in our U.K. office, first brought the book to us, we instantly fell in love with it. Brilliantly written by Tingue Dongelman and illustrated by Denise van Leeuven, Pol’s story about moving to the forest and making friends will appeal to children everywhere as they fall in love with these adventure-seeking characters.”
“We love to tell stories that inspire, surprise and delight. With Pol, we hope that our characters share the same wonder as their pre-school audience, with them both discovering the world around them for the first time,” said Bruno Felix, co-Founder and Managing Director of Submarine. “The series will be funny, action-packed and at the same time sweet and considered. This is all brought to life by Denise van Leeuwen’s rich and beautiful designs that children will want to explore and get lost in. The Submarine team of 2D and 3D artists have created an animation style that helps to tell cinematic stories while staying true to the hand-drawn style of Denise’s work. Doing this with the support of a strong and established partner like Gaumont, is a great help. With the experience in their team we can create a series that is memorable, heart-warming and full of joy.”