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TeamTO to adapt kids’ graphic novel Ninn

Jean-Michel Darlot’s fantasy novel Ninn

TeamTO in France is developing a series for children aged over seven based on the graphic fantasy novel Ninn after acquiring the TV, film and licensing rights.

The animation producer will create its first limited series for over-sevens based on the IP, which is written by Jean-Michel Darlot and illustrated by Belgian artist Johan Pilet.

The series will follow an 11-year-old girl in Paris with an unusual passion for the city’s Metro system who is protected by an origami tiger as she searches for the secrets of her past.

TeamTo executive producer Corinne Kouper said: “I immediately felt attracted by its graphic design style, which is both classic and fantastical. I fell in love with the independent and free-thinking spirit of this little urban girl on the platform of the Paris Metro, visibly protected by her large and warm white tiger.

“I also liked the idea of Ninn roaming freely through the underground tunnels on her skateboard as if it were her bedroom, and her unique and touching relationship with her two dads.”

Mary Bredin, TeamTo creative development executive, added: “Adapting graphic novels is a bit of a trend right now but I think it is because they play in a darker, more dramatic space which provides a depth that isn’t normally present in a lot of animated series.”

Darlot, author of Ninn, said: “I have definitely been influenced by Miyazaki in finding the magical in the ordinary, and I have always been inspired by the Paris Metro. This is where the story comes from. The Metro is not just a means of transportation, it has its own personality and we portray it as a character in our story – a character with some secrets of its own.”

Published by boutique Belgian publisher Kennes Éditions, four graphic novels about Ninn have been distributed in France, Belgium and Canada, with over 100,000 copies sold in France. The fifth and sixth novels in the series are currently in production.

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