Paris-based premium kids content producer Cottonwood Media has announced its sister distribution company, Federation Kids & Family, has nabbed world rights for its upcoming TV series “Welcome to Lolyland.” 

The project is one of 80 being pitched this week at Cartoon Forum, the leading European event for animated TV series in development aimed at industry professionals, that runs in the south-eastern French city of Toulouse.

Based on the original comic books “Lolicornes” by Cédric Asna, Emmanuel Martin and Pierre Walterspieler, who are working on the TV adaptation, the series will be made up of 52 11-minute episodes aimed at six to nine-year olds. 

It tells the story of Penny, an ordinary 10-year-old girl who, one day, wakes up in a strange world filled with unicorns, Cyclops, dragons and all sorts of strange creatures. She, too, has a strange horn stuck to her forehead. On her quest to find out how this happened and how to get back home, she makes new friends and embarks on a series of missions for Grandma Loly, the crazy ruler of Lolyland.

Asked what the standout qualities of the show are, Cottonwood founder and CEO David Michel told Variety that it is part of the company’s strategy to create more culturally specific shows for an increasingly demanding audience. 

“If you look at the type of shows we’ve produced in the last few years that are doing well: “Find Me in Paris” is a show about a girl lost in time in Paris, that did very well internationally and in the U.S.; the other live action show we have out now, “Theodosia”, is set in England in 1905. These shows are very culturally specific and [“Welcome to Lolyland”] fits into that: We’re trying not to be culturally generic. So, the comic book we worked off is very French, the design and the humour are very French, and that’s what we went for – it’s part of this trend of going back to local for global audiences.”

With a general slowdown expected in the market, according to Michel, the idea is to rely on quality rather than quantity. “For companies whose strategy relies on volume it’s going to be quite problematic,” he said. “Because the volume of commissions from the streamers is going down already. So, we’re going for quality, a very limited number of shows and titles, and nurture them to make sure they really stand out.”

Cartoon Forum runs in Toulouse over Sept. 19 – Sept 22.

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