ANNECY — Paul Leluc, director of toon TV series “Le Monde de Pahe” and “Graboullin,” is directing “The Long Long Holidays,” a flagship Gallic TV toon serial, produced by Didier Brunner’s Paris-based Les Armateurs, the company behind “The Triplets of Belleville,” Michel Ocelot’s “Kirikou” franchise, and now the latest project from Sylvain Chomet, “Swing Popa Swing.”
Comprised of 10 half-hour episodes, “Holidays” will go into production in October. It will be broadcast over 10 days in 2015.
From an original idea by Delphine Maury and Olivier Vinuesa, “Holidays” turns on a brother and sister — Ernest, who’s 11, the 6-year-old Colette — who are left by their parents at their grandparents’ house near the Normandy coast for a few weeks at the beginning of World War II.
The father goes off to fight, the mother to a sanatorium to recover from illness. As World War II rumbles on, those weeks become five years.
Graphic work, and especially character design, is being overseen by Emile Bravo, an associate of Joann Sfar and one of France’s most prestigious graphic novel artists. Bravo illustrated the graphic novel, which inspired Annecy competition contender “My Mom Is in America and Has Met Buffalo Bill.” Maury, Vinuesa, Alain Serluppus and Timothee de Fombelle wrote its bible, the first three plus Guillaume Mautalent and Sebastian Oursel the storyline and dialogue.
“Holiday’s” screenplay is near to completion, said Brunner, who produces the serial.
Gallic pubcaster channel France 3 co-produces. Giant Gallic paybox Canal Plus also co-finances. Les Armateurs is now in international co-production discussions with a “highly significant European broadcaster,” Brunner said.
A depiction of World War II — including 1944 Normandy landings — as seen through the eyes of the children, “Holidays” targets 6-10 year olds and families, he added.
“World War II now seems like the Middle Ages for Europe’s youngest generation,” Brunner said.
“The idea of ‘The Long Long Holidays’ is to tell the story of the war, to remind people that not so long ago Europe was locked in a terrible conflict between nations that are now collaborating in building a new Europe.”
To achieve this, each segment will be accompanied by a one-minute interview with people who were children during the war. The modules will be animation segs made by recent graduates from La Poudriere animation school in Valence, near Lyon.