A Profession On The Way To Maturity
In such a realm, the producers don't have an easy choice, and most prefer to rely on proven commodities, most often derived from popular literature or successful comic books. On the shelves of toys that represent on average the better part of licensing receipts arising from animation, enthroned in majesty aside Winnie the Pooh, are: Tintin, Lucky Luke, Babar, and Obelix, leaving a little room for the Rugrats and Mimi, that astonishing little mouse created by British author Lucy Cousins, but discovered in France and made popular thanks to the lively books published by Albin Michel. Models offer even a larger selection, including all the Looney Tunes characters and the Dupuis comic books, as well as the irresistible Shadoks, heroes of a cult series created by Jacques Rouxel in 1968. Managed by the L'Oeuf company, a little family enterprise, the sale of rights has generated many items, including comic books, CD-Roms, post cards, neckties (more than 30 types for all tastes and seasons), socks, tableware, wrist-watches, alarm clocks, grandfather clocks, figurines (Pixi), as well as caps, tee-shirts, pajamas and sleeping bags (Wilsa Sport).
In this soaring world-wide market, France has made a place for itself. Today France is the leader on the continent, with an annual business income in the neighborhood of 5 billion dollars (25% of the European communal income). But this market is nonetheless difficult to penetrate, especially for little businesses that often lack the means to devote to the complex questions of marketing, which don't always jibe with artistic creativity.
Originally a screenwriter, Valerie Rivoallon has worked in journalism since 1988. On the editorial staff of BREF, a magazine devoted to the short film, she has specialized in animation since 1993. She has also organized programs for several festivals, and works on the radio. Her monthly animation program is called Bulles de rêve.