Alibaba’s Youku Streaming Service to Bring Preschool Series to China
Academy Award®-nominated French animation studio Xilam Animation (Paris:XIL) is partnering with Alibaba Group’s video streaming platform, Youku, to co-produce its new 2D and 3D animated preschool series Lupin’s Tales (78 x 7’), which is set to launch in 2021. To support the series, Xilam and Youku will also collaborate to develop a range of merchandise for the Chinese market, with an initial focus on educational products.
Marc du Pontavice, CEO at Xilam Animation, said: “We’re thrilled to partner with Alibaba’s Youku on our first ever French-Chinese co-production project. Lupin’s Tales has many values that will resonate with audiences in China, such as its encouragement to create your own path in life and using your imagination to explore a variety of cultures. Alibaba’s outstanding expertise across content and e-commerce make them the ideal partner to launch the brand in the market, and we look forward to seeing the series and consumer products range come to life.”
Targeting a preschool audience, Lupin’s Tales follows a wolf-cub who dreams of being like the storybook heroes he admires, and goes from one tale to another to live out their adventures through all continents and ages. But the impetuous Lupin is far from perfect, and it is not always easy for him to get to that “happily ever after” - luckily, he can count on the narrator’s help and on his good heart to learn from his mistakes.
Alibaba will hold all distribution and merchandising rights to Lupin’s Tales in mainland China, and Xilam will handle the rest of the world.
Youku is a leading multi-screen online video sharing and streaming platform in China and forms a key part of Alibaba Group's digital media and entertainment business, under its “Double H” (Health and Happiness) strategy. Youku Kids offers high-quality programming, covering a comprehensive range of categories including animation series, nursery songs, puzzle games, e-books, and preschool education.
A major player in animation, Xilam is an integrated studio founded in 1999 that creates, produces and distributes original programmes in more than 190 countries for both children and adult audiences. Xilam content is broadcast on television, and is also available on SVoD platforms including Netflix, Disney+, Amazon and NBC Universal, and ADVoD streaming platforms including YouTube and Facebook.
With its creativity and capacity for innovation recognised worldwide, and editorial and commercial expertise at the cutting edge of its industry, Xilam is positioned as a key player in a fast-growing market. Each year, Xilam builds real successes and capitalises on its powerful historical brands including Oggy and the Cockroaches and Zig & Sharko, as well as new properties such as Oggy Oggy for a preschool audience, Moka, Mr. Magoo, and Academy Award® nominated adult feature film I Lost My Body. Xilam’s expanding and strong catalogue now consists of over 2,200 episodes and three feature films.
In 2019, Xilam acquired Cube Creative, a studio providing the company with unique expertise in 3D and computer generated images. Xilam employs more than 500 individuals, including 400 artists, across its studios in Paris, Lyon, Angoulême and Ho Chi Minh in Vietnam.