Xilam Animation is partnering with Films Grand Huit to co-produce “My Life in Versailles," the upcoming five-part animated series commissioned by France Télévisions for kids and families and sequel to the multi-awarded TV special of the same name. In addition, the company has appointed new licensing agents for "Oggy Oggy," the preschool spin-off to its "Oggy and the Cockroaches" franchise.
Set to be delivered in summer 2024, “My Life in Versailles” was created by Clémence Madeleine-Perdrillat and Nathaniel H'Limi who will also direct. The series will also be co-produced by Mélusine Productions. In addition to the commissioning deal, Xilam will also handle international sales for both the original “My Life in Versailles” TV special and the series and will be presenting the project at Mipcom 2023. “The original ‘My Life in Versailles’ special had a remarkable performance on the awards and festival circuit, capturing the hearts of audiences and juries alike with its touching exploration of loss, family and belonging,” Marc du Pontavice, Founder and CEO at Xilam Animation, said.
The original “My Life in Versailles” TV special was released theatrically in France in 2019 and has scored 27 international awards, including prizes from Annecy International Animation Film Festival, Stuttgart International Festival of Animated Film, Chicago International Children Film Festival, New York International Film Festival, Anima Festival, Imaginaria, Unifrance Youth Festival and IndieJunior Audience Awards. It has received over 50 awards nominations, including at the Annie Awards in 2022 for ‘Best TV Production’. “As we continue to expand our slate of family-targeted animated series, it’s fantastic to collaborate with Films Grand Huit on this project and to bring the next instalment of Violette’s story to international audiences," du Pontavice said.
The voice cast for the English-language version includes Jemma Wilcox as Violette, Saul Jephcott as Regis and Charlotte Rampling as Geneviève. For the French-language version, the cast includes Frédéric Pierrot as Régis, Anne Alvaro as Geneviève and Emi Lucas-Viguier as Violette. "My Life in Versailles" has also been adapted into four illustrated books by L’Ecole des loisirs, with the fifth and the sixth titles being released in 2024.
Set in the modern day, “My Life in Versailles” follows Violette, who at eight years old, suddenly becomes an orphan and is sent to live with her uncle Regis, who she barely knows. He is a gruff man and works as the caretaker of the Palace of Versailles. After a tough start, Violette finds self-confidence and begins to move on, thanks to Regis, her best friend Malcolm, her kindly social worker Genevieve and all of the new friends she makes. In this majestic place, little Violette realises that she will find unexpected refuge and a new loving family.
“‘My Life in Versailles’ is an ambitious series, both editorially and visually, and one which we’re confident will bring many families together for an ideal co-viewing experience,” Lionel Massol, Founder and Producer at Films Grand Huit, said. “We are very happy to bring Xilam Animation on board, as the quality and professionalism of the studio’s teams, combined with its strong presence in the international market, will help us elevate the story of our funny and moving characters.”
In addition to its deal for the family animated series, the company will work with the new licensing partners appointed for "Oggy Oggy," which are Bavaria Licensing for Germany and DeAPlaneta Entertainment for France, Spain, Portugal and CEE. These latest agents join existing partner Licensing Matters, which represents the brand in the UK market. "We are thrilled about our collaboration with Xilam Animation to bring Oggy Oggy to kids and families in France, Spain, Portugal, and CEE. The characters' adorability and curiosity make this series special, and we are eager to create local merchandise programs that reflect its charm,” Antonella Ceraso, Consumer Products Director at DeAPlaneta Entertainment Kids & Family, said. “This is an opportunity to impart essential values like creativity, courage, and teamwork through products that little ones will adore."
The agents will each assemble local merchandise programs for "Oggy Oggy" targeting kids and families across apparel, gifting, back-to-school and home categories. An Oggy Oggy master toy range from Simba Dickie Group launched in stores across France, Germany and Italy for Christmas 2022, and will be extending into further European markets and adding a new plush this year.
Xilam has also secured two new licensing deals for “Oggy Oggy.” Hachette is now on board for a line of publishing products in France spanning story books and sticker albums, which will launch in January 2024. Additionally, Tonies has signed for an Oggy Oggy audio figurine for its award-winning Toniebox audio system for children in France, Switzerland and Belgium, set to launch in November.
"We’re thrilled to be working with Xilam Animation on Oggy Oggy, our new dedicated preschool brand,” Luisa Kleinschmidt, Sales Manager at Bavaria Media Licensing, said. “The unique, catchy design of the series with its adorable and curious characters immediately stole our hearts! In their fantasy playful world, Oggy Oggy and his friends go on various adventures and teach our little ones important values such as creativity, courage and team spirit.”
The appointment of these agents and new deals follows the growing international broadcast presence for Xilam’s hit CG animated “Oggy Oggy” series. The first season debuted globally on Netflix in August 2021 and is also available on free-to-air broadcasters, including Channel 5’s Milkshake! in the UK, Toggolino/RTL Kids in Germany, Frisbee in Italy, France Télévisions in France, Clan/RTVE in Spain, RTS in French-speaking Switzerland, Minimini+ in Poland, Hop! in Israel, Sony YAY! in India, Daekyo TV in South Korea, Viu TV (Hong-Kong & Macao, Yoyo TV in Taiwan and E-Junior in UAE.
"Oggy Oggy"’s digital presence also continues to expand and now spans a website featuring activities for fans, a YouTube channel with exclusive short episodes, music and dance videos, and a dedicated e-shop featuring Simba’s products and exclusive items across apparel, puzzles and cushions. “Oggy Oggy continues to gather significant momentum worldwide, both through a growing line up of top-tier broadcast partners and its expanding consumer products program – including Simba Dickie’s imaginative toy offering,” Safaa Benazzouz, EVP Distribution at Xilam Animation, said. “It’s wonderful to build on this success by welcoming these new licensing agents and licensees on board our special property, who have each demonstrated remarkable expertise and innovative ideas to bring the adorable world of Oggy Oggy to life beyond the screen.”
The original ‘My Life in Versailles’ special had a remarkable performance on the awards and festival circuit, capturing the hearts of audiences and juries alike with its touching exploration of loss, family and belonging.” Marc du Pontavice, Founder and CEO at Xilam Animation, Founder and CEO at Xilam Animation,