Minuscule (TV series)

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Minuscule
Created by Hélène Giraud
Thomas Szabo
Directed by Hélène Giraud
Thomas Szabo
Country of origin France
No. of episodes 78
Production
Producer(s) Phillipe Delarue
Jean-Jacques Benhamou
Running time 6 minutes
Production company(s) Futurikon
Broadcast
Original channel France 2 and France 5 in Zouzous (France)
Disney Channel (France)
BBC Four (United Kingdom)
Original run October 25, 2006  – present

Minuscule—the private life of insects is a French-made series of short video animations giving "a bird's eye view of insects' day to day existence, distorted through a burlesque, yet poetic lens".[1] The characters are computer-modelled in 3D and set against natural scenery. Each animation has a self-contained and usually humorous storyline. The audio is a combination of genuine insect and ambient recordings with artificial sound effects. The various protagonist insects often perform anthropomorphic activities, displaying ironically portrayed intelligence, enjoyment and, sometimes, pathos. The background settings are generally of rural France, and include farm houses, fences, cars, road surfaces, drains, gutters and garbage bins. In Season 1 episodes, humans appeared only peripherally (e.g., as mute drivers of intrusive vehicles) and large farm animals were the main reluctant witnesses to the variety of insect, spider and mollusc activities. Some Season 2 episodes depict more explicit interaction with humans. Production of a feature film was commenced in March 2012. The feature film titled Minuscule: Valley of the Lost Ants, was released on January 29, 2014.[2][3]

Storylines[edit]

The series has an overall feel very much like that of the 1996 movie "Microcosmos: Le peuple de l'herbe" with the same European country farm setting (for most episodes), similar camera angles and shots, and an almost identical musical score consisting largely of open-ended, repeated piano phrases. The creators also cite the Warner Bros. cartoons of the 1950s as a model for the series, and they are aimed at both young and old alike. Episodes tend to follow one or more insect characters through a specific situation and have involved storylines such as multi-insect races reminiscent of the pod race sequence in Star Wars:The Phantom Menace, a spider becoming trapped on a helium balloon, and a grasshopper maliciously launching other unsuspecting insects from a catapult made from a blade of grass.

Production and distribution[edit]

Created by Thomas Szabo and Hélène Giraud, Minuscule is produced by Phillipe Delarue. Although made in France, its generalized country settings and avoidance of spoken dialogue enable universal accessibility and appeal. The series has been sold to more than 70 countries on television and 30 countries on video.[1]

Characters[edit]

Minuscule portrays an array of eighteen or more recurring characters, usually limited to one or two in each episode, each displaying distinctive personality and behaviour. Among the more commonly recurring insect characters are:

Ladybugs
Grasshoppers
Flies
Ants
Spiders (two varieties)
Snails

Other occasional insect characters include:

Episodes—Season 1[edit]

French[edit]

Volume 1[edit]

  1. La coccinelle
  2. Catapulte
  3. Bouse de là
  4. Deux chenilles
  5. Les Fourmis
  6. Prisonnière
  7. Rêve d'escargot
  8. Love story
  9. Grasse matinée
  10. Top guêpe
  11. La nouille
  12. Le pont de la rivière Bzzz
  13. Zzzeplin
  14. Un monde de brutes
  15. Coup de vent
  16. Silence
  17. La fourmilière infernale
  18. La bonne éducation
  19. Rêve de chenille
  20. Chewing gum

Volume 2[edit]

  1. Libellules
  2. Cigale do Brazil
  3. Hoquet
  4. Tomate cerise
  5. Sans coquille
  6. Bananes
  7. Les vers sont dans la pomme
  8. Le convoi
  9. Bouse au carré
  10. Fourmis à la noix
  11. Hyperactive
  12. Le moustique
  13. Salade
  14. Il pleut il mouille c'est la fête à l'escargouille
  15. À fond la caisse
  16. Pique nique
  17. Une nuit dehors
  18. Tire au flanc
  19. Ventilo
  20. La chenille qui voulait voir la mer

Volume 3[edit]

  1. La bonne graine
  2. La chenille et le ruisseau
  3. Un radiateur pour deux
  4. Patrouille de bzzz
  5. Le chant des cigales
  6. Petit trouillard
  7. Escargot qui roule n'amasse pas mousse
  8. L'attaque de la sucette rose
  9. L'heure de la sieste
  10. Moche
  11. Petit repas entre mouches
  12. Narcisso
  13. Coccinelles
  14. Le Totem
  15. L'évasion
  16. Tenace
  17. Pas de chance
  18. King size camembert
  19. Chenille des villes papillon des champs

Volume 4[edit]

  1. À tes souhaits
  2. Mon beau Sapin
  3. Top départ
  4. Mouche bizarre
  5. Torpedo
  6. Toiles d’intérieur
  7. L’union fait la force
  8. Un après-midi de moustique
  9. Grosse mouche bleue
  10. Pot de colle
  11. La conserve
  12. Nuit blanche
  13. Mouche folle
  14. Poule mouillée
  15. La horde sauvage
  16. Halloween parano
  17. Hop
  18. Fourmi rose
  19. C’est noël

Region 4 DVD set (English titles)[edit]

The region 4 DVD set for season 1 consists of 3 disks. The episodes on each disk are as follows:

Disk 1[edit]

  1. Ants
  2. Love Story
  3. Wasp Belle
  4. The Caterpillar and the Brook
  5. A Snail's Dream
  6. Sleeping In
  7. Zzzeplin
  8. Yellow
  9. Caterpillar Dream
  10. Picnic
  11. The Last Supper
  12. Catapult
  13. Cowardly Coward
  14. Nap Time
  15. Cicada's Song
  16. The Bridge Over the River Zzzzzeee
  17. The Ladybug
  18. A Gust of Wind
  19. Shell Less
  20. The Winter of Our Discontent
  21. Windswept
  22. Hiccups
  23. Halloween Paranoid
  24. Ugly
  25. No Exit
  26. The Right Seed
  27. Torpedo
  28. Sleepless Night
  29. Horsefly
  30. Convoy

Disk 2[edit]

  1. Caterpillars in Pairs
  2. Dragonflies
  3. Shellproof Nut
  4. Lettuce
  5. A Bee's Night Out
  6. The Dung Beetle Battle
  7. The Caterpillar Who Wanted to See the Ocean
  8. Quiet
  9. Rosy
  10. The Quest For The Pink Lollipop
  11. Ladybugs
  12. The Apple Of Concord
  13. Narcissus
  14. No Luck
  15. Noodle Battle
  16. O Tannenbaum
  17. It Never Rains But It Pours
  18. A Cruel World
  19. The Wild Bunch
  20. United We Stand
  21. Chewing Gum
  22. Dung Beetle Blues
  23. Insect High Velocity
  24. Bananas

Disk 3[edit]

  1. On Your Mark, Get Set, Go!
  2. Totem
  3. City Caterpillar Butterfly Of The Fields
  4. Infernal Anthill
  5. Cicada Do Brazil
  6. A Rolling Snail Gathers No Moss
  7. Hyperactive
  8. Some Weird Fly
  9. Come Christmas
  10. Bless You
  11. Leech
  12. Jump Jump Jump
  13. The Persevering One
  14. Goofing Off
  15. The Zzzzz Patrol
  16. King Size Camembert
  17. Mad Fly
  18. The Good Education
  19. The Mosquito
  20. The Escapist
  21. Interior Cobwebs
  22. Out Of A Tin Can
  23. Cherry Tomato
  24. A Mosquito Day Afternoon

Episodes—Season 2[edit]

As of March 2012 the second series was in production.[4]

  1. Dans une cheminée
  2. Chasse à mouche
  3. Saucisse Prédator
  4. Comme un boulet de canon
  5. La longue route
  6. Fille unique
  7. 220 volts
  8. Histoire vache
  9. Ruse à la noix
  10. Mouche à miel
  11. Saint Valentin
  12. Qui sème le vent récolte la tempête
  13. Haute voltige
  14. Sans abri
  15. Plante verte à loyer modéré
  16. Glue
  17. Assoiffé
  18. Chapeau de la méduse
  19. Chewing-gum rodéo
  20. Deux petits pois deux mesures
  21. Un voisin bien gênant
  22. Opération merguez
  23. Têtue
  24. Horizontoile

International broadcast[edit]

Country/Region Channel
 France France 2
Disney Channel (France)
France 5
 United Kingdom BBC Four
Discovery Channel
 Australia Australian Broadcasting Corporation
 India Nickelodeon India
Cartoon Network India
 United States Disney Channel
American Broadcasting Company
 Singapore
 Malaysia
 Indonesia
 Thailand
 Cambodia
 Philippines
 Vietnam
Disney Channel (Asia)
 Canada BBC Kids
VRAK.TV
 Denmark Danmarks Radio
 Finland Yle
 Italy Rai 3
Rai YoYo
 Norway NRK
 Japan NHK Educational TV
 Netherlands VPRO
 Sweden Sveriges Television
 Brazil Disney Channel (Brazil)
TV Cultura
Rede Bandeirantes
 Russia 2x2
 Thailand Channel 6
 Czech Republic TV Barrandov
 Estonia Eesti Televisioon (Estonian Television)
 Portugal Canal Panda
 Mexico Canal Once

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b MINUSCULE - Season 1: 78x6' at Futurikon.com
  2. ^ Glaud, Emilie Film Review: ‘Minuscule: Valley of the Lost Ants’ at Variety, 7 March 2014. Accessed 7 March 2013
  3. ^ Debruge, Peter Cicada's Song at official blog site, 19 March 2012. Accessed 19 March 2012
  4. ^ Minuscule 2 at official Minuscule website. Accessed 19 March 2012

External links[edit]