Code Lyoko

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Code Lyoko
Code Lyoko logo.png
Code Lyoko logo
Genre Action-Adventure, Dramedy, Romantic, Science fiction, Supernatural
Format Animated series, CGI
Created by Tania Palumbo
Thomas Romain
Written by Sophie Decroisette
Directed by Jérôme Mouscadet
Voices of Sharon Mann
Matthew Géczy
Mirabelle Kirkland
Barbara Weber-Scaff
Jodi Forrest
David Gasman
Theme music composer Franck Keller
Ygal Amar
Opening theme "Code Lyoko Theme Song" A.K.A. "A World Without Danger" by Noam Kaniel
"Un Monde Sans Danger" by Julien Lamassonne in French
Ending theme

"A World Without Danger" (Instrumental) Season 1

"Break Away" (Instrumental) by Subdigitals Seasons 2-4
Composer(s) Serge Tavitian
Herman Martin
Country of origin France
No. of seasons 4
No. of episodes 97 (List of episodes)
Production
Running time 26 minutes approx.
Production company(s) Antefilms (Season 1)
MoonScoop (Season 2-4)
Broadcast
Original channel France 3 and Canal J (France)
Cartoon Network (US)
Original run Original series:
3 September 2003 (2003-09-03) – 10 November 2007
Chronology
Followed by Code Lyoko Evolution
External links
(currently shut down) Website

Code Lyoko is a French animated television series created by Thomas Romain and Tania Palumbo. The series centers on a group of five teenagers who travel to the virtual world of Lyoko to battle against a malignant artificial intelligence named XANA who threatens Earth. The series is presented in both 2D hand-drawn animation and CGI.

The series began its initial ninety-seven episode run on 3 September 2003, on France's France 3, and ended its run on 10 November 2007. In the United States, the show was first broadcast on 19 April 2004, on Turner and Time Warner's Cartoon Network. The show would return with a live-action reboot series, Code Lyoko Evolution, which began in late 2012, changing the traditional animation to live action and keeping the 3D computer animation while in Lyoko.

Plot[edit]

Jeremie Belpois, a profoundly gifted and intelligently knowledgeable thirteen-year old boy attending boarding school at the fictional Kadic Academy, one day discovers a quantum supercomputer in an abandoned factory near his school. Upon activating it, he discovers a virtual world called Lyoko and Aelita, a young girl trapped inside it. Afterward, unusual events begin to occur at school. Jeremie learns of X.A.N.A., an autonomous and sentient malevolent and rouge artificial intelligence/multi-agent system who also dwells within the supercomputer whose goal is to take over the real world. Jeremie soon forms a goal to materialize Aelita into the real world and stop X.A.N.A. in his tracks. With the help from Jeremy's best friends and classmates-Ulrich Stern, Odd Della Robbia, Yumi Ishiyama, and Aelita-the group goes to Lyoko in hope to save both worlds from the sinisterly evil virtual entity.

Background[edit]

Original promotional poster for Garage Kids

Origins[edit]

Code Lyoko originates from the film short Les enfants font leur cinéma ("The children make their movies"), directed by Thomas Romain and produced by a group of students from Parisian visual arts school Gobelins School of the Image.[1] Romain worked with Tania Palumbo, Stanislas Brunet, and Jerome Cottray to create the film, which was screened at the 2000 Annecy International Animated Film Festival.[2] French animation company Antefilms offered Romain and Palumbo a contract as a result of the film. This led to the development of the pilot, Garage Kids.[1]

Garage Kids was first released in 2001. The project was created by Palumbo, Romain, and Carlo de Boutiny and developed by Anne de Galard. Its producers were Eric Garnet, Nicolas Atlan, Benoît di Sabatino, and Christophe di Sabatino. The project was produced by Antefilms.

Similar to its succeeding show Code Lyoko, Garage Kids was originally intended to be a 26-episode miniseries detailing the lives of four French boarding school students who discover the secret of the virtual world of Xanadu; created by a research group headed by a character known as the "Professor". The pilot featured both traditional animation and CGI.[3]

Garage Kids evolved into Code Lyoko, which began broadcast in 2003, with the virtual world renamed to "Lyoko". Romain, however, left the show to work on the Japanese anime series Ōban Star-Racers.

The factory and boarding school are based on real locations in France. The factory was based on a Renault production plant in Boulogne-Billancourt, but has since been demolished.[4] The school, Kadic Academy, is based on Lycée Lakanal in Sceaux.[5]

Characters[edit]

The main characters of the first season: From Left to Right: Aelita, Ulrich, Yumi, Odd (holding Kiwi), Jeremy, with the symbol of X.A.N.A. in the background.

Main characters[edit]

  • Jeremy Belpois: (French: Raphaëlle Bruneau, English: Sharon Mann) Nicknamed Einstein, Jeremy is a top-of-the-class student who finds and starts the factory's supercomputer while looking for parts to build a robot. As part of the group, he specializes in programming new ways to defeat XANA and monitors the group while they are on Lyoko. Because he is not very athletic and more computer savvy, Jeremy rarely goes to Lyoko. When going to the factory, he rides a scooter.
  • Ulrich Stern: (French: Marie-Line Landerwijn, English: Barbara Weber-Scaff) Pronounced ōrĭk, he is one of the more laid back students who is expected to show potential in front of his parents. In his off-time he practices Pencak Silat with Yumi, who "is a friend and that's all." Before Lyoko, he was friends with Sissy, so he often has to deal with or use her as the warriors deal with XANA and their own personal issues within the group. While in Lyoko, he is clothed in a yellow and black suit. His abilities in Lyoko include triplicate, which allows him to create two decoys of himself, and supersprint, which allows him to run at a very high speed. His main weapon is a single sword, which increases to two in the fourth season. He is the second-least knowledgeable about using the supercomputer. He skateboards to the factory.
  • Yumi Ishiyama: (French: Géraldine Frippiat, English: Mirabelle Kirkland) A fairly reserved student who lives near and attends Kadic. She is of Japanese descent, and has one younger brother Hiroki. Because of her parents and culture, she must maintain good grades and observe family values. At home, she generally has to deal with marital issues between her parents. She has an older friend of William Dunbar, who transferred to Kadic during the second season. She practices Pencak Silat with Ulrich, but because of all the tensions created by Lyoko, she and Ulrich "are just friends and that's it." She always wears black, and on Lyoko she is clothed with a black dress and a big bow tie. Her special ability is Psychokinesis. Her weapons are two Japanese war fans that act like boomerangs. She has also the most knowledgeable about using the supercomputer besides Jeremy, until Aelita becomes completely human. She skateboards to the factory.
  • Odd Della Robia: (French: Raphaëlle Bruneau, English: Matthew Géczy) The comic relief of the group, Odd is the least intelligent of the group, unless he studies, which rarely happens. During tests, he generally cheats off of Jeremy. He shares a dorm with Ulrich and has a dog named Kiwi, which he hides in a dresser because pets aren't allowed at Kadic. He attempts to go out with girls, but his bad habits get in the way. Odd's hair has a purple spot and is upright, except for the first episode. He generally wears a purple hoodie and he is clothed like a cat when in Lyoko. His only ability and attack is laser arrow, which allows him to shoot arrows out of his arms. He is the least computer-literate of the group and rides a skateboard to the factory
  • Aelita Schaeffer: (French: Sophie Landresse, English: Sharon Mann) Better known as Aelita Hopper, she is the daughter of Franz Hopper Schaeffer, creator of Lyoko. Nicknamed "Miss Einstein" and "Princess," she is the second smartest of the group, closely following Jeremy. As a little girl, she lost her mother. When a group of suited men came to her home, the "Hermitage", she and her father fled and virtualized themselves on Lyoko. Between the virtualization and Jeremy's discovery of the supercomputer, XANA stole an important memory fragment that inhibited her from becoming human again. After this fragment was retrieved, she was no longer linked to the supercomputer. In Lyoko, she has an elf-like appearance, similar to that of "Mr. Puck", a toy elf from her childhood. After becoming human, she often has premonitions and nightmares of what is to come or what was. Until the third season, she has no defensive capabilities, thus her nickname, Princess. In the third season, she acquires the capability to produce an plasma ball called energy field. In the fourth season, she acquires the ability to fly with wings. However, the ability she had from the start was being able to create terrain on Lyoko by singing. She is also enrolled in Kadic after full materialization. In order to eliminate problems, they gave her the fake last name Stones, and was considered a cousin of Odd. When going to the factory, she rides a scooter.
  • William Dunbar (French: Mathieu Moreau, English: David Gasman) William is an overconfident student at Kadic Academy who often fights Ulrich for Yumi's attention. Despite his rifts with the other Lyoko Warriors, he becomes the closest thing to a trusted ally they have. Although Jeremy, Ulrich, Odd, and Aelita initially voted in favor of his joining them, they were unable to reach consensus due to Yumi's disapproval. Eventually, however, the vote becomes unanimous that William's membership is necessary. On his first mission in Lyoko, he is captured and possessed by XANA, who ensnares William as its puppet. From that point on, a clone of William, created by Jeremy, was used to pose as the real William until Jeremy is able to free him. Unfortunately, Jeremy's program is extremely malfunction-prone, causing the William clone to act either abysmally unintelligent or unpredictable and dangerous. Near the end of the series the clone starts developing several human-like traits, which he eventually uses to help the warriors. In Lyoko, he carries a giant sword and has a black outfit. He travels to the factory on foot and is unknowledgeable on how to use the supercomputer.

XANA[edit]

XANA (also spelled as X.A.N.A.) is a sentient and autonomous artificial intelligence/multi-agent system that serves as the main antagonist of the series. It was originally programmed by Franz Hopper in the 1990s designed to destroy Project Carthage – software that Franz Hopper had previously been closely involved with. He mentions that his motives were to prevent the French government from obtaining access to Project Carthage. Unfortunately, due to his repeated returns to the past, X.A.N.A. eventually became alive and sentient and thus developed a mind and will of its own, conscience, self-awareness, autonomy, independence, thoughts, feelings, emotions, and personality; choosing to rebel against its own creator. It then trapped Franz and his daughter Aelita inside Lyoko. Luckily, Franz was able to shut down the supercomputer to trap X.A.N.A. and prevent it from wreaking havoc and destruction in the real world, such as possessing humans, animals, items, environments, and many other forms such as gravity and electromagnetism. XANA displays no mercy whatsoever towards those who stand in its way, waging attacks through Lyoko structures known as towers into the real world, often attempting mortal harm against the protagonists. It usually employs monsters inside Lyoko in order to prevent the heroes from deactivating the towers and ruining its plans. It also has the ability to manipulate electrical devices and control living beings through possession. Whenever a human is possessed by XANA, that person is given enhanced strength and speed, alongside electrokinesis, technopathy, and the ability to phase through solid matter.

Being merely a thinking and feeling software computer program, XANA has no actual physical form. Despite a symbol called the Eye of XANA constantly symbolizing its presence, it never actually confronts the Lyoko Warriors in person. It is speculated that its monsters are actually part of X.A.N.A. itself, but is still unconfirmed. The only known physical incarnation of XANA appeared in Episode twenty-four "Ghost Channel"; where after having its disguise as Jeremy being exposed, it transformed into a demonic caricature figure of him and tried to kill all of the warriors. XANA's voice was provided by David Gasman in this episode.

Monsters[edit]

There are many types of monsters in Lyoko, that XANA creates in order to keep the towers it activates safe and battle the group. Some are a mere nuisance while others are a major threat. The ones that can be considered a nuisance make up for this fact by traveling in packs. All of them, however, try to impede the group. The monsters remain until they are destroyed or a return trip is activated. XANA has twelve types of monsters: Krabe, Blok, Kankrelat, Megatank, Hornet, Creeper, Kolossus, Kongre, Sharks, Manta, Tarantula and Scyphozoa.

Other monsters exist that do not fall into the same category as XANA's monsters. One is a monster Jeremy produced, called the Marabounta, which only appeared in episode thirty-six. There is also an entity known as the Transport Orb. It is a giant white sphere with an Eye of XANA printed on it, like all of XANA's monsters. Unlike the other monsters, however, its only purpose is to ferry passengers from the edge of any region to the center of the fifth sector, Carthage, and back again. Both Jeremy and XANA can access it at will. This entity's classification as a monster is arguable, but it is included for the sake of completion. Also, there are monsters located in the Digital Sea. These monsters must be destroyed using torpedoes shot from the Skidbladnir Nickname {Skid}or Nav Skids. There are also Guardians that keep beings locked inside. We see a Guardian in one of the first episodes of the show that is holding Yumi prisoner while a XANA created clone passes as her in the real world.

Supporting[edit]

  • Waldo Franz Schaeffer: (French: Mathieu Moreau, English: Paul Bandey and Alan Wenger) Better known as Franz Hopper (after he legally changed their family's last name), is the creator of both Lyoko and XANA, and was involved in the creation of Project Carthage. Formerly a science teacher at Kadic Academy, he vanished suddenly while living in a house in the school park called the Hermitage. In a nearby abandoned factory, he constructed the supercomputer on which he created Lyoko, only to be intercepted by XANA during his and Aelita's virtualization. Franz was forced to shut the supercomputer down, until it was discovered by Jeremy Belpois nearly ten years later. In the final episode of the cartoon, he dies in Lyoko, allowing Jeremy to bring XANA down once and for all.
  • Elisabeth "Sissi" Delmas: (French: Carole Baillien, English: Christine Flowers and Jodi Forrest) Daughter of Kadic's principal, she is a sissy-like girl who has a crush on Ulrich and is always looking to get the Lyoko Warriors in action. She is often followed by two other boys who she resents, but uses to her advantage.
  • Jean-Pierre Delmas: (French: Bruno Mullenaerts, English: Alan Wenger) (known by the students at Kadic as Mr. Delmas, to Sissi as Daddy or Dad) The headmaster/principal of Kadic. He is very straightforward and weak-minded, as his daughter Sissi can often boss him around, sometimes to the advantage or disadvantage of the Lyoko Warriors. He is very ignorant and gullible as seen in his dealings with his daughter and members of the Lyoko Warriors. She has convinced him many times to organize school dances and other activities for her (or rather, has demanded for him to do so).
  • Jim Morales: (French: Frédéric Meaux, English: David Gasman) Jim is the physical education teacher for Kadic Academy, although it is never explicitly revealed what his entire occupational history is. His meticulously half-secretive past, which may or may not be accurate, is one Jim is particularly proud of, typically digressing from his lectures in order to reminisce on stories of his youth. Jim is often suspicious of the Lyoko Warriors, despite wishing to be friends with them.
  • Suzanne Hertz: (French: Nathalie Stas, English: Jodi Forrest) Mrs. Hertz is a science teacher at Kadic who is often teaching math. Yumi is often found dismissing herself from Mrs. Hertz's class due to a XANA attack.
  • Hiroki Ishiyama: (French: Guylaine Gibert, English: Barbara Weber-Scaff) Admitted to Kadic during the third season, he is the younger brother of Yumi. He is often creative and is curious about what is going on between Yumi and Ulrich. When Yumi asks him to do her a favor, at minimum she must do his homework for a week. Although Yumi is usually annoyed by Hiroki, she still loves him, as shown on numerous occasions.
  • Herve Pichon: (French: Bruno Mullenaerts, English: David Gasman) Better known as Herb, is an eighth grader (ninth grader in season 3 onwards) at Kadic and a classmate to the Lyoko Warriors. He is the second-in-command of Sissi's Gang, and sometimes even the boss in times of emergency when Sissi proves to be incompetent, as he is obviously the most intelligent in their group. Herb is also in love with Sissi, although he can't tell her because she has crushes on various people including Ulrich and Theo Gauthier.
  • Nicolas Poliakoff: (French: Carole Baillien, English: Matthew Géczy) Nicholas is an eighth grader (ninth grader in season 3 onwards)at Kadic. He is a member of Sissi's gang, and mostly just stands there staring into space unless Sissi orders him to follow her. He is the stereotypical dumb, muscle kind of bully. It is still unknown why exactly Nicholas joined Sissi's "gang", but it is probably due to the fact Herb did. Nicholas also has a crush on Aelita, but has never acted on it. He can play the drums, and is in the Pop Rock Progressives, a band started by Odd. As a result, he is certainly more tolerant of and kinder toward the Lyoko Warriors than Herb and Sissi are. In some episodes, it is shown he has at least some degree of intelligence, as he wrote the play in Laughing Fit. Nicholas is also easy to scare, as is Herb.

A long with secondary characters, there are also minor characters and on-off characters that appear throughout the show.

Lyoko[edit]

Lyoko (pronounced "lee-oh-koh") is the virtual world contained within the supercomputer. It is composed of five different regions or sectors, each one representing a different landscape and environment. The first four being the Forest, Desert, Ice/Polar/Glacier, and Mountains, superficially resembling various real-world landscapes, climate, and ecosystems. The fifth sector, Carthage, serves as the central hub of Lyoko; it contains all of Lyoko's data, and X.A.N.A.'s as well. It also contains the Core/Heart of Lyoko itself, the code which maintains and supports the whole virtual world; and the hangar for the group's virtual submersible ship, the Skidbladnir. The first four sectors are arranged by four points leading to the center, around the fifth sector, a ball like figure. All five sectors are eventually destroyed by the end of the third season; by destroying the Core of Lyoko in the third season finale, X.A.N.A. made it so that the quintet would no longer pose a threat to him and his evil schemes to rule the real world. In the fourth season, all five sectors are eventually recreated by Jeremy and Aelita due to a recreation, restoration program given to them by Franz Hopper.

Digital Sea[edit]

The Digital Sea (or Digital Void) is a liquid sea and ocean that resides below all of the four main sectors and is how the Lyoko program portrays the supercomputer's DOS or DOS's quantum computer equivalent. When something falls into the Digital Sea, a white column of light emanates from it; this represents the deletion it causes. It is the most forbidden place on Lyoko due to the permanent deletion, as well as eternal virtualization on Lyoko. Only two people have actually fallen in it: Yumi, who was brought back by a materialization program originally made for Aelita, and Aelita who was eventually brought back by her father. X.A.N.A. intended to constantly throw Aelita into the digital sea in order to lure Franz Hopper out of hiding so that he could destroy him once and for all.

Replikas[edit]

Lyoko is hosted on a supercomputer that is located in the abandoned factory; after destroying the original Lyoko, X.A.N.A.'s plan was to host more Lyokos on different supercomputers so he could launch attacks on the real world, much like he could on the original Lyoko. A Replika is a complete replica of one sector of Lyoko, complete with its own set of towers. The group attempted to rid the Network of all of the hundreds of existing Replikas, as doing so greatly weakened X.A.N.A., but there were too many to destroy one by one. Eventually, Jeremy's multi-agent program, due to Franz Hopper's sacrifice, had possessed enough energy and power to wipe them all out entirely, along with X.A.N.A. itself from existence.In the fifth season, another Replika is located deep within the digital sea. It is a chaotic, ever-changing and unpredictable region known as the Cortex where X.A.N.A. is currently living. It is sustained by another quantum supercomputer that was built by the insanely mad scientist named Professor Tyron.

Accolades[edit]

Code Lyoko was voted as the best show by Canal J viewers in France,[6] and has achieved international fame as well; the show has been rated as one of the best shows on Cartoon Network and Kabillion in the United States, with Cartoon Network having it rated as the #3 best performing show in 2006 and Kabillion having it as #4 in monthly average views in 2010. The show has reached success in Spain as one of Clan TVE's highest rated shows, on Italy's Rai2 network, and in Finland and the United Kingdom as well. The show also won France's Prix de l'Export 2006 Award for Animation in December 2006.[7]

Merchandise[edit]

Several Code Lyoko products have been released, including DVDs, a series of cine-manga by Tokyopop, a series of four novels by Italian publisher Atlantyca, apparel and other accessories. In 2006, Marvel Toys released a line of Code Lyoko toys and action figures. A series of four chapter books was released and distributed in Italy and other countries.

The Game Factory has released three video games based on the show: Code Lyoko and Code Lyoko: Fall of X.A.N.A. for the Nintendo DS, and Code Lyoko: Quest for Infinity for the Wii, PSP, and PlayStation 2. There have been other games released through various mediums, one being Facebook.[8][9]

As of January 2011, all four seasons of Code Lyoko have been released on iTunes in the US and in France by MoonScoop Holdings. As of October 2011, all four seasons have been released on Amazon Instant Streaming and via DVD in the same countries.[10] On August 6, 2012, all four seasons were made available on Netflix DVD and Instant Watch.A series of Clan TVE festivals in Spain included live stage shows based on Code Lyoko among other things.[11] A game show known as Code Lyoko Challenge was due to be released in late 2012.[8]

Book series[edit]

A series of four chapter books was released and distributed in Italy and other countries. Taking place after the end of the series, in the books, the rogue, sentient artificial intelligence X.A.N.A. miraculously survives and returns, much stronger and more dangerously devious than ever. In addition to the gang's problem, a terrorist group, the Green Phoenix, has become interested in supercomputer and intend to use it and Lyoko for evil purposes. There are new characters as well: Eva Skinner, who joins the gang while being controlled by X.A.N.A., and Grigory Nictapolus, the leader of Green Phoenix. It has been confirmed that the series will never be released officially in English, nor the final two books released in French.[12]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b French news article referencing Code Lyoko Animeland. 2002-06-01. Retrieved 2011-06-13.
  2. ^ News article featuring Annecy films made by Gobleins' students (Including Thomas Romain's film) Catsuka. 2011-04-02. Retrieved 2011-06-13.
  3. ^ Garage Kids Presentation 2002-03-12. Retrieved 2011-06-13.
  4. ^ The Location of the Factory in Code Lyoko CodeLyoko.net. Retrieved 2011-06-20.
  5. ^ The Location of Kadic in Code Lyoko CodeLyoko.net. Retrieved 2011-06-20.
  6. ^ "Code Lyoko Game Coming to DS", Nintendo World Report. 2005-09-30.
  7. ^ MoonScoop Group-Partners and Awards MoonScoop. Retrieved 2011-06-20.
  8. ^ a b CL Presentation MIPTV 2012 2012-04-19. Retrieved 2012-04-19.
  9. ^ News article about social game. Kidscreen. 2011-21-11. Retrieved 2011-21-11
  10. ^ Code Lyoko Facebook Page Facebook. 2011-8-16. Retrieved 2011-12-10.
  11. ^ MoonScoop-Breaking News. MoonScoop. 2011-06-20
  12. ^ "News * Code Lyoko – CodeLyoko.Fr". Retrieved 2013-05-19

External links[edit]