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Master illusionist  and escape artist Harry Houdini will get a youthful treatment in “Houdini,” a French animated series set to be pitched at Cartoon Forum, the Toulouse-based co-production mini-mart.

Toon series – comprising 26 half-hours–  is produced by Jean-Baptiste Wery and 
Emmanuèle Pétry-Sirvin at France’s Dandelooo, which is competing for a Cartoon Tribute.

Set in 1887, the series follows the adventures of Houdini, a gifted 11-year-old illusionist driven by an urge to analyse the many mysteries of New York, which tend to get him embroiled in dubious situations.

Cédric Babouche, the co-author of the novels that served as source material for the series, is directing.

Although the series is not based on a major franchise, it still holds a large potential due to the near-cult status of Harry Houdini, explained Petry-Sirvinn who will be pitching the show at Cartoon Forum.

“Houdini was one of the first illusionist to become internationally acclaimed while alive, thanks to his talent and although kids probably don’t know him as yet, adults do and are intrigued about his mysterious and amazing innate gifts for magic.

Aside from the TV series, Dandeldoo is also delivering a TV special that has already been picked up in more than 20 territories.

So far, Dandeldoo, which handles international sales, has inked pre-sales with France Television, RTBF and VRT (Belgium) , DR (Denmark, Sinema TV (Turkey) , Gloob, (Brazil), TVG (Spain), NRK (Norway, Telequebec (Canada), MTVA (Hungary), among others.

At Cartoon Forum, Dandeldoo is looking to close more pre sales on the TV special and the series project, as well as find co-production partners.
Cartoon Forum runs Sept. 23-26.