'Mona the Vampire', Ripley's show tooned on Canuck, French TV

MONTREAL — Canadian kids-TV specialist Cinar Films has pacted with Paris-based animation studio Alphanim to produce two animated series, “Believe It or Not!” and “Mona the Vampire.”

Montreal-based Cinar and Alphanim also partnered last year on the “Animal Crackers” series and the two companies likely will be co-producing more projects in the future, said David Ferguson, the London-based VP of Cinar Europe. Alphanim is a new partner for Cinar, but Alphanim founder Christian Davin has a long history of working with Cinar from his years as the head of France Animation.

Cinar and Alphanim will be producing 26 half-hours of “Mona the Vampire,” a Canadian-French co-production based on the popular British children’s series of the same name penned by Sonia Holleyman. They are stories centered on 10-year-old Mona, a kid with an overactive imagination who enjoys dressing up as a vampire and trying to solve mysteries. She is helped out in her investigations by her cat Fang and her quirky friends Lily and Charley. The “Mona” books are not that well-known in North America.

“Mona the Vampire” already has been sold to Gallic pubcaster France 3 and Canuck kids web YTV. The series is budgeted at $9 million.

For “Believe It or Not!” Cinar optioned the rights to “Ripley’s Believe It or Not” stories from the Ripley estate in the U.K. The show focuses on Michael Ripley, who is the nephew of Robert Ripley, the real-life figure who scoured the world looking for strange tales and artifacts.

No U.S. broadcasters are yet on board for either series.

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