Miraculous: Tales of Ladybug & Cat Noir

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Miraculous: Tales of Ladybug & Cat Noir
Miraculous- Tales of Ladybug and Cat Noir logo.png
Also known as
  • Miraculous
  • Miraculous Ladybug
  • Ladybug
Genre
Created by Thomas Astruc
Developed by Jeremy Zag
Written by Thomas Astruc
Sébastien Thibaudeau
Directed by
  • Thomas Astruc
  • Christelle Abgrall (season 2)[4]
  • Wilifried Pain (season 2)[4]
  • Jun Violet (season 2)[4]
Voices of
Theme music composer Jeremy Zag and Noam Kaniel; Lyrics by Alain Garcia
Opening theme English: "It's Ladybug!" performed by Wendy Child and Cash Callaway; French: "Miraculous", Marily and Noam
Ending theme "It's Ladybug!" (instrumental)
Composer(s)
Country of origin France
Original language(s) French
No. of seasons 2
No. of episodes 49 + special (list of episodes)
Production
Executive producer(s)
  • Jared Wolfson
  • Pascal Boutboul
  • Sébastien Thibaudeau
  • Alexandre Lippens
  • Christophe Guignement
  • Jean-Yves Patay
  • Cédric Pilot
For Toei Animation
  • Hiroyuki Kinoshita
  • Ryuji Kochi
  • Pierre Belletante
For SAMG Animation
  • Suhoon Kim
Producer(s)
  • Jeremy Zag
  • Aton Soumache
  • Jacqueline Tordjman (associate)
  • Maurice Marciano (associate)
Running time 22 minutes
Production company(s)
Distributor
Release
Original network
First shown in South Korea
Original release 1 September 2015 (2015-09-01) – present (present)
External links
Website
Production website

Miraculous: Tales of Ladybug & Cat Noir[5][6] (French: Miraculous, les aventures de Ladybug et Chat Noir; also known as Miraculous Ladybug[2][7][8] or Miraculous[9][10]) is a CGI superhero animated series produced by French studios Zagtoon and Method Animation in collaboration with De Agostini S.p.A in Italy, Toei Animation in Japan and SAMG Animation in South Korea.[2][11] The series features two Parisian teenagers, Marinette Dupain-Cheng and Adrien Agreste, who transform into the superheroes Ladybug and Cat Noir, respectively, to protect the city from supervillains.

Prior to its debut in France on 19 October 2015 on TF1,[12] the series was first shown in South Korea on 1 September 2015 on EBS1.[13] In the United States, the series debuted on Nickelodeon on 6 December. In the United Kingdom and Ireland, the show premiered on 30 January 2016 on Disney Channel.[14] A Christmas special was released in 2016 and the second season premiered in French on TF1 and in English on Disney Channel UK in 2017. Netflix acquired the U.S. video-on-demand streaming rights and further seasons are in production.

Plot[edit]

Set in modern-day Paris, the series focuses on teenagers[15][16][a] Marinette Dupain-Cheng and Adrien Agreste.[18] When evil arises, Marinette transforms into her secret superhero persona Ladybug, while Adrien transforms into his superhero persona Cat Noir, using magical jewels known as the Miraculous. Oblivious to each other's true identities, the two work together to protect Paris from the mysterious villain Hawk Moth, who covets and attempts to steal their powers by using his akuma, butterflies infused with negative energy, to transform everyday citizens into supervillains.[15][19]

Production[edit]

Conception and creation[edit]

The series is based on an original concept created by French animator Thomas Astruc,[20] who was inspired by a meeting with a certain lady, Japanese anime, and "decades of comics binge reading".[21] In an interview with Nolife, Astruc said he was working as an animator on the show W.I.T.C.H. when he met a woman who had a T-shirt with a ladybug on it. They began to share drawings, some of which were ladybug-themed. Astruc also noted that Marinette's hair was styled after the woman. They also worked on the cartoon A.T.O.M. around 2004–05. Astruc first drew Ladybug on sticky notes and remarked how strong the Ladybug character was, but despite this, he had no memory of seeing any ladybug-themed superheroes in comics.[22]

Astruc had intended to make Ladybug a comic book series until he met Jeremy Zag, who loved the project and wanted to produce it as a cartoon; Zag was 25 at the time and not originally from the cartoon industry.[22]

In developing Cat Noir, Astruc said that ladybugs represented good luck, so it was natural to partner her with a black cat character with bad luck powers. Cat Noir was a tribute to comics characters like Catwoman, so it was like having Catwoman and Spider-Man in the same show but reversed genders.[22]

A character named Félix was originally going to have the role of Cat Noir,[23] but he was later scrapped in favor of Adrien because the creative team felt that Félix was a cliché of a male anime protagonist, and that Adrien would allow them to tell more interesting stories.[24][25] In September 2015, Astruc indicated that he was open to revisiting the character of Félix,[26] but he abandoned it by February 2016, writing that the character was a poor idea.[27]

Hiring companies[edit]

In 2010, the show was announced at Cannes' MIPCOM with French production groups Univergroup Pictures and Onyx Films heading the project and working with Method Animation and Zagtoon. Aton Soumache of Onyx and Method[28] said that they want "to create a glamourous superhero character with a real European flair with Paris as [the] backdrop." The producers had also planned to animate it in stereoscopic 3D. (which they did in CGI animation now.)[20]

In June 2012, Toei Animation, the animation studio branch owned by Toei Company in Japan, was announced as a co-producer.[28] Two years before 2012, Toei Animation had released a Pretty Cure film that was set in Paris, France and was very interested in expanding their international audience.[22] Even after the production was moved to CGI animation, Toei is still remained as co-producer, with the executive producers from the company being credited.

On 21 November 2012, a memorandum of understanding between Zagtoon, Method Animation, SAMG Animation and SK Broadband was announced: together, the companies would invest $50 million USD through 2017 into five projects. The first of these projects developed into Miraculous, which received an investment of $10 million. As a part of the deal, SK Broadband would have exclusive rights in South Korea for video on demand release, available to the subscribers of the company's IPTV platform B TV.[29][30]

Animation[edit]

When Toei Animation joined as a co-producer in June 2012, it was also announced that the show would be drawn in a colourful manga-like style.[28] Later in September, Zagtoon, Method, & Toei released a traditionally-animated promotional video for Ladybug.[7][8] The video featured Marinette as Ladybug, and a (now-scrapped) different character named Félix as Cat Noir,[23] Marinette & Félix's Kwamis, Tikki and Plagg, Hawk Moth (without the mask and a different outfit and look, also his lair looks different than in the current series), The Mime, and Mr. Pigeon. And also, their transformation sequences into Ladybug & Cat Noir (their transformation sequences are different than the one in the current TV series). Also, their Miraculouses had a different look in the promotional video than the Miraculous in the current series. The song from the promotional video was performed by Noam.[31][32][33]

The anime concept was a complete success; but however, there were concerns about the marketability of traditional 2D animation, and the difficulty in animating Ladybug's costume of red with black spots, as it caused some strobing effects.[22] Executive producer Jared Wolfson said that Zag wanted the animation to be cinematic and epic, unique and different, and said that they are continuing to partner with Toei as it brings in the Asian inspiration and that a 2D version might be a potential product.[34][35][36][37][38]

The aforementioned problem with 2D animation was resolved by moving to CGI animation; the switch also allowed for easier implementation of mobile camera angles.[22] SAMG Animation, a CGI animation studio located in South Korea which officially joined in the production in November 2012,[29][30] produced modeling and animation.[39] Zag latter recalled why SAMG was chosen for quality reason, in a video message he sent to a South Korean press conference held in 2015 by the Seoul-based company.[40] Astruc and assistant director Wilfried Pain instructed the animators not to improvise scenes so that they could keep things consistent and understandable.[22] Pain estimated about 350–400 shots are used in a typical 20-minute episode; with 10 panels per shot, that makes up to 4000 panels an episode.[22] Wolfson said that the show's animation brings dynamic camera angles and texturing.[34] A trailer with the new CGI-animated style was released in October 2013.[41]

Themes, writing and process[edit]

The concept for the show originally dealt with political themes, geared towards teens and young adults. However, after failing to gain traction with networks, it was retooled for a younger target audience.[42]:40 Astruc said that he is delighted that the show is able to reach younger and older people.[22]

Each episode takes around 3 months to write, from scratch to final validation of broadcasters.[43] Assistant director Wilfried Pain said that each episode is composed of two parts: a sitcom aspect where the characters have to speak for themselves, and an action element where the camera is always moving.[22]

The music was done by Noam Kaniel, who had also worked on shows such as Code Lyoko and Power Rangers.[34][31] The theme song was written by Kaniel and Zag. The English lyrics were done by Alain Garcia and performed by Wendy Child and Cash Callaway.[44] The French version was performed by Marily and Noam.[45]

Broadcast[edit]

Astruc has said that the show has reached over 120 countries.[22] Disney Channel has had broadcasting rights in Europe, the Middle East and Africa, having to do with participation from The Walt Disney Company France: specifically, it acquired cable and satellite television rights in Europe, Eastern Europe and Scandinavia, and free-to-air rights in Spain, Germany, Russia and Turkey.[2][46]

South Korea was the first country to premiere Ladybug, with girl group Fiestar to sing its translated theme song. It aired on 1 September 2015 on EBS1,[13] and ran for 13 episodes until November 2015, with repeats through February 2016, and its second half of the season airing from 1 March 2016. SK Broadband, having participated in the production, provided the episodes on video on demand exclusively to subscribers of their IPTV platform B TV, about a half-hour following the South Korean broadcast of each one on EBS1.[29][47] Disney Channel in South Korea has also aired the series as of 7 December 2015.[48]

In France, the series premiered on 19 October 2015 on the Tfou programming block on TF1.[12]

In the United States, the series debuted on Nickelodeon on 6 December 2015[49][50][51] The KidsClick programming block would later broadcast the series on 3 July 2017.[52][53] In Canada, the French version of the series was premiered on 9 January 2016 on Télé-Québec, a provincial public service television network in Quebec.[54] In English Canada, the series premiered on Family Channel on 1 November 2016.[55]

In the United Kingdom and Ireland, the show premiered on 30 January 2016 on Disney Channel[14][56] The first series was also made available to Netflix subscribers in the UK. Among the free-to-air terrestrial television broadcasters in the Republic of Ireland, Raidió Teilifís Éireann premiered the show in 2018 on RTÉ2's teenage programming block, TRTÉ.[citation needed]

In Australia, the Australian Broadcasting Corporation released the show on its ABC iview streaming service on 1 January 2016,[46][57] and premiered the show on its linear channel ABC3 on 22 March 2016. In New Zealand, the show premiered on 27 April 2016 on TVNZ's TV2.[58]

In Japan, Disney Channel streamed the episode "Stormy Weather" through its mobile application on 1 July 2018, before the official premiere on 23 July in the same year.[59][60][61][62][63]

The second season premiere is scheduled for a global launch around September–November 2017 in Europe,[64] At a panel at San Diego Comic-Con 2017, it was announced that the second season would have its North American release on Netflix in December 2017, with 13 episodes to be released.[65] KidsClick will start airing season 2 of this show in the US starting 30 August 2018, marking the first time that Season 2 of this show airing on American over-the-air television. A third season is also in development.[66] On 22 January 2018, Zag posted on Instagram that the crew was working on a fourth and fifth season.[67]On 31 August premiered a new series with Miraculous: Tales of Ladybug & Cat Noir which this time is in chibi style.[68] On 5 September, 2018, Skydance Media has acquired the live-action film and live-action television rights.[69]

Reception[edit]

Kimberly Cooper, a blog writer who has contributed to news media such as The Huffington Post,[70] wrote that the show has inspired teens and adults to create and propagate Miraculous remixes, and liked that the show featured multiracial characters as with the film Big Hero 6 which had won an Oscar. She "quickly realized there was a far cooler and broader Miraculous movement underway".[71] Caitlin Donovan of entertainment website Epicstream listed it as one of her top 10 animated series of 2015. She wrote that "The characters are so charming that the tropey aspects of the show are merely a lot of fun, rather than irritating." with creative fights and good CGI animation. She wrote that "Marinette is an adorable lead who is genuinely awkward as a civilian, but confident as a superhero, which makes for an interesting contrast."[72] Ella Anders of BSCKids wrote that the show stands out because of "how it meshes both the magical girl and superhero genera together".[73] Robert Lloyd of the Los Angeles Times described the show as "clever, romantic, fun, the way some of us prefer our superhero stories". He found the characters to "have the look of extruded plastic common to CGI cartoons", but "within these limits the design is lovely and the animation elegant, and a lot of work has gone into the staging and execution of the action scenes".[1]

The North American Precis Syndicate called the show "authentic and aspirational – a story of today's modern everygirl superhero who comes to life. The series, about a young girl who taps into her superhero powers and innocent optimism to save Paris from the evil Hawk Moth, will no doubt inspire today's youth to try to save the day, each and every day in their own way".[74] Andrea Reiher of Zap2It wrote that the "storylines are rich with family, friends, adventure, intrigue, villains, creativity and more, delivering themes that are relatable and relevant to kids and preteens" and anticipated it would be a huge hit on Nickelodeon.[75]

Several media reviewers have anticipated Miraculous-brand toys to be among the hot superheroine properties for 2016.[76][77] Zag has partnered with Bandai to release Miraculous-based toys, as well as deals to make Miraculous-brand clothing and other merchandise.[2][34]

Awards and nominations[edit]

Year Award Category Result
2018 Teen Choice Awards[78] Choice Animated TV Show Won

Other media[edit]

An endless runner video game was developed by TabTale and released in April 2018 as a mobile app.[79][80]

A live-action film is in development with Astruc writing the script and Zag as director. It is licensed by EuropaCorp, Skydance Media, Lionsgate Films, and Columbia Pictures and slated to be released on 2020.[81][69]

Works cited[edit]

  1. ^ "Le Pharaon". Miraculous: Les Aventures de Ladybug et Chat Noir. Season 1. Episode 3 (in French). 8 March 2016. Event occurs at 00:48. TF1. (Alya, after picking up Ladybug's history book) Ladybug dropped a book! It's a (French: classe de troisième, equivalent of ninth grade) history book; I'm in a good position to know! I have the exact same one at home! Could our favorite masked vigilante be a (French: collégienne, equivalent of middle school) in real life? In the English version "The Pharaoh", Alya says that it's a tenth-grade history book, and suspects that Ladybug could be a high schooler, conflicting with the French version. As Astruc has stated that the show's canon language is French,[17] the article will use ninth grade.

References[edit]

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External links[edit]