PARIS — Gaumont’s toon production arm Alphanim has inked an exclusive agreement with the Italian outfit Calidra and the Pagot family to develop “Calimero,” a CGI-animated series based on the cult franchise.

Alphanim also acquired the existing 130 half-hours and 290 episodes of programming for international distribution in both 13 minute and half-hour formats.

“Calimero” has aired in more than 79 countries since appearing on Italian TV in 1963 as a series of animated ads for soap produced by the Italo studio Pagot. It was later licensed to Japan’s Toei Animation for two anime skeins in the 70s and the 90s.

“Calimero” turns on a charming but ill-fated chick and his friends.

“‘Calimero’ is the first of a new series of projects handpicked to develop Alphanim’s involvement in the development of successful international brands,” said Pierre Belaisch, Alphanim’s managing director.

Gaumont-Alphanim boasts a catalog of 800 half-hours and more than 30 series, including hit toons “Galactik Football” and “SantApprentice” that air in more than 130 countries. The French outfit produced the big screen adaptation of “SantApprentice,” which was released in France in November and was acquired in most key territories.