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Rai Fiction's New Cartoons for Fall

As autumn approaches, new original cartoons from Rai Fiction hit Rai's national networks, as well as those of the two satellite kids channels Rai Sat Yoyo and Smash (with around 20% of these channels' offer consisting of cartoons produced by Rai Fiction). In addition, Rai Cartoon, a daily half-hour slot devoted to cartoons produced or co-produced by Rai Fiction, takes to the air on Rai Gulp, the new public service channel for youngsters that began experimental broadcasts on June 1, 2007, using terrestrial digital technology.

"Rai Fiction's series are leaders in the morning with a 15% share on Rai 2, where Italian and European cartoons double the competition," says Luca Milano, marketing/animation manager. "The range for kids up to the age of seven reaches a share of over 50% and that for the eight- to 14-year olds is around 34%. On Rai 3 the main timeslot is in the afternoon, with excellent results"

To accompany the return to school, Rai 2 introduces THE INVISIBLE MAN, a.k.a. Alan Crystal, a scholar researching an inexhaustible source of clean energy for our planet. Crystal is close to the solution, but Opacus, the wicked lord of the darkness, causes a horrific accident and one that makes Alan disappear from the face of the earth. The 26x30 show was produced by Rai Fiction, BRB, Moonscoop Screen 21 and Smec.

In October for Halloween, Rai 2 offers SCHOOL FOR VAMPIRES, a 52x26 co-production from Rai Fiction, Cartoon One and the German company Hahn Studio. The series was directed by Gerhard Hahn and Maurizio Forestieri (TOTO SAPORE). Set in Transylvania between gothic atmospheres and modern technologies, the series follows the adventures of a group of young students of the "Von Horrificus" school. Located in a sinister abandoned castle, the prestigious Institute's task is to train the true vampires of tomorrow. Subjects taught there include Biology (of blood), geography (of graveyards), molecular structures (of garlic) alongside many other extravagant disciplines. The hero is Oskar, a young sensitive and inquisitive vampire with an incurable phobia for blood.

Additionally, Rai Fiction will launch new episodes of MARTIN MYSTERE, the detective of the impossible brought to life by the art of Alfredo Castelli. Younger in this animated cartoon version than in the comicbooks, Martin is here an impulsive and reckless teenager in a typical English style boarding school. He, her study partner and companion in adventures Diana and Java the caveman form a perfect trio ready to solve enigmas, mysteries and unsolved cases in every corner of the planet. The show is a co-production between Rai Fiction, Marathon, M6, Canal J and YTV.

Meanwhile, TEAM GALAXY takes to the air every day from Monday to Friday (co-produced by Marathon, Rai Fiction, Jetix Europe, France3 and YTV), starting July 31, with its three daredevil teenagers taking on dark powers from outer space. The galaxy, populated by mysterious creatures, unknown forces, bewildering characters, is their adventure playground.

WATER & BUBBLES is a new 26 three-minute, 3D series. Pippo, an extremely sweet but naive fish, and Palla, an ocean-going fish who's seen the world and has seen death in the face from the tanks of the world's most fashionable restaurants, watch, from their family aquarium, the Carugati family's everyday life: father, mother and two teenage kids, Sara and Chris, who like all teenagers spend most of their time arguing among themselves and with their parents. This is a co-production with Maga Animation Studios.

ME, MYSELF AND THE OTHERS (52x5), aimed at pre-school children, is the adventures of a "gang" of animals -- including Pancrazio the lion, Leggerio the elephant, Raffa the giraffe, Luisella the tapir -- who go through life together, not without the more than occasional problem. Rai Fiction co-produced it with Motus and Enanimation and the German Motion Works.

In anticipation of WINX THE MOVIE - THE SECRET OF THE LOST KINGDOM -- the first feature film dedicated to the celebrated fairies, produced by Rainbow CGI and co-produced by Rai Fiction -- due for release in Italy on Nov. 30, 2007, there will be plenty of repeats of the successful TV series. And, in anticipation of a second series, STREET FOOTBALL is back too, the story of a group of kids and their passion for the sport of the title -- in France street football has become a real sporting phenomenon, thanks to this cartoon loosely based on a book by Stefano Benni. STREET FOOTBALL is produced by Rai Fiction, de Mas & Partners and Teleimages.

After the success of HOW TO COOK ITALIAN WITH ARTURO & KIWI, pure Italian cuisine in Flash by Andrea Zingoni -- Rai 3 has 20 fast Italian recipes sung by chef extraordinaire, Cookarina. The light tone, the crazy rhymes, the simplicity of style make them enjoyable for audiences of all ages. The Rai Fiction and Marcenaro Interactive co-production was directed by Umberto Marcenaro with drawings by Ro Marcenaro.

For more information, visit www.raifiction.rai.it.

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Rick DeMott
Animation World Network
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