×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Intl. Film Award: Gaumont Animation Hones Inhouse Series, Feature Films

When Gaumont — the world’s oldest film studio — decided to expand its international operations, one of its first decisions was to purchase Gallic toon powerhouse Alphanim in 2008 and rebrand it as Gaumont Animation in 2013.

“When we decided to diversify into the production of English-language TV series, animation was our natural first step because it’s immediately international,” says Gaumont’s CEO Christophe Riandee.

“A maximum of 30% of the budget for animation series comes from France,” he says. “Animation only makes sense if it works internationally, and France has achieved incredible success in this field — it’s now one of the world’s three biggest animation production centers.”

Prior to acquisition, Gaumont Animation had already amassed a major TV animation library, including hit series such as “Robotboy,” “Galactik Football” and “Santa’s Apprentice.”

Since 2008 it has capitalized on existing assets while building international brands, complemented by new projects developed inhouse.

“We aim to become a major international producer,” explains Gaumont Animation’s managing director, Pierre Belaisch. “Our strategy is simple: Develop strong brands. We believe we have the right strengths in terms of production values, and can also combine subsidies, tax credits and regional subsidies in France that gives us a competitive edge.”

Given Gaumont’s cinema background, development of animated feature films was an inevitable development, including the adaptation of TV series “SantApprentice” into two features — “Santa’s Apprentice” (2010) and “The Christmas Snowflake” (2013) — both acquired for U.S. distribution by the Weinstein Co.

The company now aims to release one to two animated feature films per year, in a budget range of $6 million-$12 million.

In 2013, the company bought TV rights to British author Enid Blyton’s 1949 “Noddy” franchise from DreamWorks Classics and is prepping a 52 x 11-minute series for pubcaster France Television.

“We’re constantly carrying out market research on our brands” explains Belaisch. “We test what’s working, what we should improve and how the hero is perceived by viewers. In the case of ‘Noddy,’ with approval from DreamWorks and France TV, we’ve eliminated some characters and introduced others.”

Diversifying from its core kids audience, the company is also developing “Going Cuckoo,” a show for young adults for France 4, that features animals working in an office environment.

Riandee is also strengthening ties between the Los Angeles-based Gaumont Intl. Television and Gaumont Animation, thus offering new production and distribution opportunities and building stronger U.S. relationships.

More Legit

  • Laurie Metcalf, John Lithgow'Hillary and Clinton'

    Why John Lithgow Worried About Starring in Broadway's 'Hillary and Clinton'

    When Lucas Hnath first conceived of “Hillary and Clinton” in 2008, he was writing for and about a very different America. Now, a total reimagining of the show has made its way to Broadway with Laurie Metcalf and John Lithgow in the titular roles. At the opening on Thursday night, the cast and creatives talked [...]

  • Three Sisters review

    London Theater Review: 'Three Sisters'

    Ennui has become exhaustion in playwright Cordelia Lynn’s new version of “Three Sisters.” The word recurs and recurs. Everyone on the Prozorov estate is worn out; too “overworked” to do anything but sit around idle. Are they killing time or is time killing them? Either way, a play often framed as a study of boredom [...]

  • Patrick Page, Amber Grey, Eva Noblezada,

    'Hadestown' Took 12 Years to Get to Broadway, but It's More Relevant Than Ever

    When “Hadestown” was first staged as a tiny, DIY theater project in Vermont, those involved could never have predicted that it was the start of a 12-year journey to Broadway — or how painfully relevant it would be when it arrived. At Wednesday night’s opening at the Walter Kerr Theatre, the cast and creatives discussed [...]

  • Hillary and Clinton review

    Broadway Review: Laurie Metcalf and John Lithgow in 'Hillary and Clinton'

    If anyone could play Hillary Clinton, it’s Laurie Metcalf – and here she is, in Lucas Hnath’s “Hillary and Clinton,” giving a performance that feels painfully honest and true. And if anyone could capture Bill Clinton’s feckless but irresistible charm, that would be John Lithgow – and here he is, too. Who better to work [...]

  • Hadestown review

    Broadway Review: 'Hadestown'

    “Hadestown” triggered a lot of buzz when this wholly American show (which came to the stage by way of a concept album) premiered at Off Broadway’s New York Theatre Workshop in 2016. Arriving on Broadway with its earthly delights more or less intact, this perfectly heavenly musical — with book, music and lyrics by Anaïs [...]

  • Burn This review

    Broadway Review: Adam Driver, Keri Russell in 'Burn This'

    The ache for an absent artist permeates Lanford Wilson’s “Burn This,” now receiving a finely-tuned Broadway revival that features incendiary performances by Adam Driver and Keri Russell, playing two lost souls in a powerful and passionate dance of denial. AIDS is never mentioned in this 1987 play, yet the epidemic and the profound grief that [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content