The race to reach younger audiences
by Aurore Engelen
- After Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles came out last week, targeting pre-teens, this week sees the release of five films aimed at younger audiences, including Trippel Trappel: Dierensinterklaas
Blame it on the half-term holidays: today sees the theatrical release of no fewer than five films aimed at younger audiences in Belgium. Squaring up to US colossus The Book of Life, which was produced by 20th Century Fox and boasts the artistic endorsement of Guillermo del Toro, four European challengers are about to try their luck. One of the releases we should take note of is that of Le Grimoire d’Arkandias [+see also:
film profile], a kind of French-language alternative to the Harry Potter saga, produced by UGC. Adapted from the La Trilogie d’Arkandias literary franchise, the film makes good use of a number of widely tried-and-tested ingredients: a trio of young pupils, a healthy dose of magic, a slightly nutty mentor and a fearsome witch… The film is being released in 400 theatres in French-speaking regions – in other words, it is getting plenty of exposure.
This half-term week also sees the release of a seasonal Belgian-Dutch production, Trippel Trappel: Dierensinterklaas [+see also:
film profile], by Albert ‘t Hooft. In the movie, we follow a very timely quest undertaken by three pets: Freddy the ferret, Cari the canary and Mosus the stick insect. They come up with the smart idea to go and take their Christmas list to Santa Claus themselves, as their owners do not seem willing to listen to them. As they are nearing their goal, following a series of extraordinary adventures, a final obstacle rises up before them, in the form of a particularly uncooperative rat. Fittingly seasonal and with an appropriate running time for very young viewers, Trippel Trappel: Dierensinterklaas should manage to attract its target audience. The film is being released in both a French- and a Dutch-language version, from the north to the south of the country, across 485 screens. Produced by Luna Blue Film and Vivi Film for Belgium, and by Il Luster in the Netherlands, the film received backing from the VAF, Screen Flanders, the CCA, Wallimage-Bruxellimage, RTBF and, of course, the Tax Shelter in Belgium.
Lastly of note is the launch of two other European films aimed at young audiences: Beyond Beyond [+see also:
film profile], an animated movie by Swedish director Esben Toft Jacobsen, and Sinterklaas en Het Pratende Paard, the third cinematic instalment of a cross-media franchise produced by RTL, blending a TV series that has been airing since 1999, musical performances, albums and, naturally, feature films.
(Translated from French)