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Calimero returns to Japan

ANNECY: A Japanese broadcaster has embarked on its first ever Western animated coproduction by coming onboard cartoon Calimero, joining the likes of Rai, TF1 and Disney Jr.


TV Tokyo in Japan will coproduce the upcoming 104×11′ season of Calimero alongside French animation studio Gaumont-Alphanim and Italy’s Studio Campedelli and Rai Fiction.

Hiroshi Tsutsumi, manger of global development at TV Tokyo’s animation division, told C21 that exporting Japanese kids TV properties has becoming more challenging recently, meaning that the broadcaster is now looking to do more coproductions internationally.

The past links and continued popularity of the Calimero brand in Japan played a significant part in the broadcaster’s decision to come on board the toon as its first ever Western animated coproduction, Tsutsumi said.

Japan’s Toei Animation licensed the property and went on to produce Calimero series in 1974 and 1992 that aired around the world, including on TV Tokyo.

The new CGI series of Calimero follows the same loving but hapless black chicken that was first seen on Italian TV screens in a series of 1960s advertisements. 2013 represents the 50th anniversary of the character’s first appearance.

Other broadcasters attached to Calimero include Télé-Québec in Canada, RTS in Switzerland, Rai in Italy, TF1 in France and Disney Jr, which will air the series across EMEA.

The Japanese broadcast of the new series is scheduled for 2014. As part of the coproduction agreement, TV Tokyo will be handling distribution and licensing in Japan and Asia.

“The strongest point of Japanese animation is action and toy-orientated shows. So in the future I would like to work on action adventure shows,” Tsutsumi added.


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