Minuscule (TV series)
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|Created by||Hélène Giraud|
|Directed by||Hélène Giraud|
|Country of origin||France|
|Running time||6 minutes|
|Original network||France 2 and France 5 in Zouzous|
|Original release||October 25, 2006 –|
Minuscule was a French series of short video animations giving "a bird's eye view of insects' day to day existence, distorted through a burlesque, yet poetic lens".Miniscule is a popular French animated TV series created in 2006 by Futurikon. It is about the life challenges of small insects and bugs and is set against realistic backdrops from the human and natural environment, making a combination of animation and film. The most important technique used is personification. This allows the audience to relate the characters, the relationships and the situations, which all reflect real life. Humor is created through the personification as the viewer imagines themselves in similar situations to the insects. Sometimes the characters are in competition with each other such as in “at full speed” where six different insects have a race along a road. They use dirty tricks to try to outdo each other but end up crashing. In this episode and most others, a combination of background music, realistic and created sounds are used. There is no dialogue in this series however the insects all make different sounds to communicate with each other. This unusual TV series can be enjoyed and understood by people from all cultures and ages.
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 intelligence, enjoyment and, sometimes, pathos. The background settings are generally of rural France, and include farmhouses, 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.
The creators describe the series as "an improbable blend of Tex Avery and Microcosmos", referring to the Franco-Swiss-Italian production of 1996 "Microcosmos: Le peuple de l'herbe" filming real-life insects in their natural setting. Similarities can be seen in the use of 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, aimed at both young and old alike, and the series is often described as "a cross between a Tex Avery cartoon and a National Geographic documentary !". 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: Episode I – The Phantom Menace, and a grasshopper maliciously launching other unsuspecting insects from a catapult made from a blade of grass.
Production and distribution
Minuscule is produced by Phillipe Delarue, Thomas Szabo and Hélène Giraud at Futurikon. The show's generalised country settings and avoidance of spoken dialogue enable universal accessibility and appeal. The series has been sold to more than 100 countries on television and about 30 countries on video.
Minuscule portrays an array of eighteen or more recurring species, usually limited to one or two in each episode, each displaying distinctive personality and behaviour. Among the more commonly recurring insect characters include ladybugs, flies, black ants, red ants, black spiders, yellow spiders, green caterpillars, chubby blue caterpillars, snails, millipedes, bees, wasps, butterflies, grasshoppers, dragonflies, mosquitoes, dung beetles, cicadas, and moths.
The region 4 DVD set for season 1 consists of 3 discs.
Production of a feature film that shares the same creative universe was commenced in March 2012. A feature film titled Minuscule - Valley of the Lost Ants, was released on January 29, 2014. A second feature film, Minuscule - Mandibles from Far Away, was released on January 30, 2019.
- Minuscule - Season 1: 78x6' Archived 2012-05-01 at the Wayback Machine Futurikon.com
- Minuscule - Mandibles from Far Away www.dailymotion.com, accessed 11 October 2020
- Minuscule 592K subscribers www.youtube.com, accessed 11 October 2020
- about us- futurikon www.futurikon.com, accessed 11 October 2020
- Minuscule s2 www.futurikon.com, accessed 11 October 2020
- Glaud, Emilie Film Review: ‘Minuscule - Valley of the Lost Ants’ at Variety, 7 March 2014. Accessed 7 March 2013
- Debruge, Peter Cicada's Song at official blog site, 19 March 2012. Accessed 19 March 2012
- "Minuscule 2 - Les Mandibules du bout du monde". www.allocine.fr. Retrieved 11 October 2020. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
- http://www.nickjr.com.au/shows/minuscule[failed verification]