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Cyber links to Disney Playhouse

Pacts with France Televisions, Teletoon

CANNES — Paris-based Cyber Group Studios has inked to develop pre-school toon skein “Zou” for Disney Playhouse in Europe.

Cyber is developing two other short-form animated series: “Mlle Zazie” for France Televisions and “Academie Royale” for Teletoon.

The development slate, the biggest to date for the five-year-old Cyber, comes as Cyber has taken on international sales outside France on two major Gallic toon series: TF1’s penguin-Inuit girl adventure comedy, “Grenadine and Peppermint”; and “Nina Patalo,” about a young girl’s zany new family, to air on France Televisions. Cyber will launch the two series at Cannes Mip TV mart, which kicks off Monday.

“Zou,” about a five-year-old zebra’s family, is based on the books of Michel Day, published in 17 countries. Gallic publisher L’Ecole des Loisirs have received the U.S Parents Choice Award.

Also making over a literary property, the books of Thierry Lenain and Delphine Durand, schoolyard-set “Zazie” features Zazie and Max, two contempo eight-year-olds.

Made for Teletoon, a Canal Plus Group subsid, “Royale” is an original concept developed by Cyber and Korean studio Sieun Design. Written by Francoise Boublil, Diane Morel and Sissman himself, it turns on three gifted 12-year-old princesses at a school of excellence.

A fast-growing production-distribution house in French animation, Europe’s biggest TV toon production industry, Cyber’s activities cuts three ways, said prexy Sissmann: production, distribution in and out of France, consumer products and merchandising.

Cyber will shortly diversify into producing live-action series for tweens, Sissmann added.

Regarding strategy, Sissmann says: “I worked at Disney,” Sissmann said. “What I’ve enjoyed at Cyber is attracting top talent, because talent brings talent.”

In 2008, Cyber’s “Ozzie Boo” won Cyber the prestigious TV France Intl. Export Award as Gaul’s most-sold animation property, having been licensed to 150 territories.

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