Minuscule (TV series)

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Minuscule
Minuscule France 2 Nick Jr Australia Logo.png
Created by Hélène Giraud
Thomas Szabo
Directed by Hélène Giraud
Thomas Szabo
Country of origin France
Production
Producer(s) Philippe Delarue
Running time 6 minutes
Production company(s) Futurikon
Release
Original network France 2 and France 5 in Zouzous
Original release October 25, 2006 – present

Minuscule is 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".[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 that shares the same creative universe 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 creators describe the series as "an improbable blend of Tex Avery and Microcosmos",[4] 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 !".[5] 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, 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]

Minuscule is produced by Phillipe Delarue through his society Futurikon,[6] Thomas Szabo and Hélène Giraud. 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.[1]

Characters[edit]

Minuscule portrays an array of eighteen or more recurring characters,[7] usually limited to one or two in each episode, each displaying distinctive personality and behaviour. Among the more commonly recurring insect characters are:

The Ladybug
The Grasshopper
The Fly
The Black Ant
The Red Ant
The Jumping Spider
The Red Spider
The Snail

Other occasional insect characters include:

The Mosquito
The Butterfly
The Green Caterpillar
The Chubby Caterpillar
The Centipede
The Dung Beetle
The Dragonfly
The Cicada
The Bumblebee
The Wasp
The Moth

Episodes—Season 1[edit]

French[edit]

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:

International broadcast[edit]

Country/Region Channel
 France France 2
Disney Channel (France)
France 5
 United Kingdom BBC Four
Discovery Channel
CBBC
 Australia Australian Broadcasting Corporation
Nick Jr. Australia[8]
 India Nickelodeon India
Cartoon Network India
 United States Disney Channel
American Broadcasting Company
 Singapore
 Malaysia
 Cambodia
 Philippines
 Vietnam
Disney Channel (Asia)
 Indonesia RTV
Disney Channel (Asia)
 Canada BBC Kids
VRAK.TV
TVOntario
 Denmark Danmarks Radio
 Finland Yle
 Greece ERT2
 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
Disney Channel (Asia)
 Estonia Eesti Televisioon (Estonian Television)
 Czech Republic TV Barrandov
 Portugal Canal Panda
 Mexico Canal Once
 China CCTV
 South Korea EBS
 Argentina Canal Incaa.tv
 Spain TV3 (Catalonia)
 Belgium Ketnet
La Trois
 Turkey Planet Çocuk

References[edit]

External links[edit]